Sunday, October 21, 2012

The conquest of Florida

In the article which I read about early settlers I found out a number of interesting points about how the discovers of America viewed the people living in America and their opinions on the state and the people living there. The account is about a Spanish man who discovers what would become the American state of Florida, the article was written in 1544. I chose to read and write about this particular account because I have travelled to some of the places mentioned in the account, and am very interested in Florida as a state. I also believe all of the information in the account is relevant fro anyone interested or learning about the early settlement.
The first quote from the text which I found most interesting was; “As soon as we went on shore, we found out from some Indians taken, that there was a Christian in the country” I believe there are a number of interesting choices of vocabulary to pick up on this particular piece of text, the first being how the writer refers to the people living in Florida as Indians, this is something which came from Christopher Columbus who when he discovered America he believed he was in fact in India. This use of language shows how the writer knows very little about the people living in the state of Florida, and how he is very narrow minded. The second point which I feel is very important to touch on is the fact the discoverer is in search of a Christian, it is as though he feels this is most important and as though he cannot associate himself with anyone who is not Christian, he also doesn’t know that the native people are not Christian? He just assumes and this could be due to a number of different factors for example their physical appearance. Finally the use of the word country suggests that the writer believes that Florida is the whole of America, the little knowledge and understanding is shown here.

The second quote I found very interesting was; “He came naked like them” (The writer is talking about the Christian which the discoverers found) I believe this is a very useful and interesting piece of information as it shows how the Christian has become like one of the native people living in Florida. He has also been accepted by the native people, this is very interesting because it shows the native people accept him, even though some of their friends and family may have possible been taken or killed by previous discoverers like him. The Christian has also blended in and interrogated with the native community and has adapted to their way of life and culture. This is information is very interesting because this is something which later did not continue to happen, people who came to America did not embrace the native culture but merely fought against it and changed it, this christen man in this account was an exception.
Another quote which I found useful as information to finding out about the settlers in America was: “ Where we took some persons, not on the lookout , they never having heard of us, the people agreed to come and serve us peacefully” this quote makes the reader really question as to whether the people did actually agree to sever peacefully or whether they had no choice, the discoverers would have most likely to have been armed with weapons therefore it is unlikely the native people would have had little chance of survival if they were to refuse! This quote suggests that the discoverers we just picking the native people up anywhere, as though to suggest they are superior to the native people, even though the discovers are in their state!

The final two quotes which I found remarkable were; “A rosary of jet beads, some false pearls, such as taken from this country to traffic with the Indians” and “No place which to find gold” this shows how the discoverers came over to take what they could, they bargained with the native people with items which could not be found in Florida. This was like a business not only taking items from the land its self but also the local community. This kind of behaviour happened across the globe, with discovers taking important artefacts and posesions of counties and introducing them in their own country.
I believe these quotes from the account are very significant and show a number of important pieces of information when learning about the Native Americans and the early settlers. The fact that the discoverers had no worry in capturing innocent people, and removing them from their homes and environment to serve for them, the fact that the discovers came looking for a Christian, this shows the importance of Christianity, something which can be interpreted as quite ironic in this particular account as much of the behaviour from the discoverers was very unchristian like. And finally, the overall use of vocabulary and choice of words shows how the discoverers were very narrowing minded and knew very little history of Florida, or America for that matter.

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