While the new American settlers were busy growing tobacco and building city churches in their new environment, European immigrants who moved to America didn’t cease being or wanting to be Europeans. In fact, they wanted to reshape their new homes and cities into what they had left behind in Europe instead of attempting to create their own new society. American culture didn’t actually exist at this time, as a majority of what could be considered culture in the new world was brought from other countries.
Plagues and Peoples by William H. McNeill is an extraordinary historical read consisting of humankind’s records and assumptions of disease throughout our known past. From the construction of early human migrations up until briefly mentioned cases of disease within the 20th century, the original book was published in 1975. The version I acquired, however, was a version printed with a revised preface discussing Ebola and Aids which was re-published in 1998.
Puritan is a complex term, and was not meant as a compliment in this time period. Puritan refers to England’s most radical protestants, people who were upset with Queen Elizabeth for being too lenient towards Catholics. Although Queen Elizabeth had no love or respect for Catholics, as she saw them as a threat to her realm, she did embrace Catholic ways of thinking. This can be noted by the Church of England’s adoption of the 39 Articles of Religion. She allowed the church to regain catholic governmental structure, including bishops and aristocrats. And in 1559, The Book of Common Prayer, the Church of England’s book, used enough catholic language to make radical protestants, who loved their kingdom of England but loved their religion just a bit more, very uncomfortable.
In the last post, we discussed Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, the fall of the Aztec and Inca Empires, and the terrible diseases that plagued the New World. However, now that this New World, the Americas, have been “discovered”, it’s about time that European societies get interested. Up until this point in time, Europeans saw these two continents as nothing but a burden, obstacles in the way to easy trading markets in China and India. To understand the colonization of America, we have to understand the colonial movements of some of the important European powers.
Anyone who has taken a United States History course knows that sometimes, well, most of the time, we eliminate and “forget” to write down the lows of American History. Not many high school text books discuss the fact that Franklin Delano Roosevelt had made a decision to not to bomb railways used to transport prisoners to Auschwitz during World War 2, a controversial topic you can read more about here. But, there are five themes in United States history that can be seen in any high school or college history course.