Neo-Realism as a Pericope of Cinematic Political Influence

Paul Fischer
Thain and Furuhata
FLM 279
28th March 2012

Neo-Realism as a Pericope of Cinematic Political Influence

The fusion of the documentary style supported and developed by fascist leaders before World War Two, with narrative and montage styles from America and Russia, led to the creation of the cinematic form neo-realism in post-war Italy.  In around a dozen or so films, which depict everyday life as the subject and use cinematography to influence and grip the audience, neo-realist directors found themselves in a unique place and point in history. Because Europe had been bombed flat by allied campaigns, the poverty and destitution provided stunning sets for films shot on site usually detailing the life of poor Europeans. The impact was immediate and massive, though short-lived as economic recovery sent customers to more upbeat American films in the fifties. This paper will look at the political message and success of neo-realism, and attempt to arrive at some conclusion of how the “altered reality” was able to make change in a very modern world.

The language of politics and neo-realism is complex, and it is necessary to draw some definitions before proceeding. Fundamentally, there is little that is truly unique to neo-realism; it does not rely on trick shots, comedy or cinema of attractions. From its beginning, neo-realism was a “reaction to the autobiographical lyricism and elegiac introversion of contemporary Italian letters” (Marcus 18) which was heavily repressed and censored in Italy. Instead neo-realism offered a “strenuously analytic, crude, dramatic representation of a human condition tormented between will and inclination by the anguish of the senses, the conventions of bourgeois life, the emptiness and boredom of existence; and a language founded no longer on the how but on the what, sunk as deeply as possible into ‘things,’ adhering to the ‘object’” that was also largely unique to cinema in form (Bocelli 366-7).
Political influence can be anti-establishment or reactionary in nature. Neo-realism, despite its dark nature, actually exerted an optimistic pressure on politics. This optimism is manifested in the attempt to shape political reality according to a moral idea. While this was not successful, the film were censored by the late forties, the filmmakers never lost their dignity, and managed to make a widespread impact on public opinion (Marcus 28).   The Italian political scene allowed for another type of dissident: neo-realists without strong affinity for communism, the occupying powers, or the former fascists. Once categorized, the magnitude and scale of the influence can be gauged as well, both for the time and later. In this case, a unique form of cinema, neo-realism, came about with a very specific set of conditions in post-war Italy. The original subjects of neo-realism are war and Fascism, but later resurgence of the genius in the sixties, shows that the art form is intrinsically tied to achieving political goals.
To understand how the neo-realists were able to create and produce a startlingly small number of extremely influential films, it is necessary to first look at what characterizes neo-realism. There are the developmental stages that evolved and fused before these films as well as Mussolini era “white telephone” films that provided an aesthetic and artistic wasteland that post-war directors were excited to fill. Neo-realism, as a moment in Italian cinema, occurred to fill a creative void after decades of boring documentaries and censorship left the film industry in tatters.
In the films’ content, there is depression and poverty as before the Italian Reconstruction the country was horribly depressed economically. The audience sees real devastation on-site, often filmed with non-professional actors also assembled on location. The pain is often evident in these films not only through the plot or storyline, but also in the cinematography and sound. The subject is nearly always post-war poverty and struggle, yet can vary greatly in degree, sometimes showing homicide and death or otherwise focusing on something as seemingly insignificant as a bicycle in The Bicycle Thief (1948). Even in a story that follows the search of an unemployed man for his stolen bicycle, gripping social statements and panoramas are imparted to the viewer. In Germany: Year Zero (1947) sweeping panoramic shots of the devastation and profiles of ruined blocks blend with cramped living spaces, three families struggling to fit in an old apartment, poverty and hardship to give the audience true sentiment and empathy for the subjects.
From a political standpoint, the Nazi ex-school teacher’s typecasting as a pedophile or the depictions of severe poverty or looting from potato trains show how ferociously dissident neo-realism was. At the end of one of the most destructive wars in history, many europeans were left asking questions and neo-realism offered Italians a vehicle or mechanism for these questions.  The ideological use of cinema with mixed or unclear messages is characteristic of the era. From the older brother who fought in the streets until the last day to the sister who goes out dancing at night with Americans to get a couple cigarettes to buy potatoes to finally the younger son, the monster, who poisons his father, each character is blamed by the film. Yet by the end of the film, the viewer feels more empathy and sadness. The last sequence in particular, in which the boy sort of walks around, a Frankenstein monster of sorts, searching for friends but finding none instead commits suicide, the viewer is enfolded into an understanding of the child.
This connected viewers in a new way to their world and themselves, instead of to another exotic land or uncivilized people as was the fashion with earlier pieces of cinema of attractions or documentaries. Instead of taxidermy, or preserving the moment, these new political narratives provided a compelling impetus for change. While still in narrative pattern, these films show distinct differences from the talking pictures that evolved from cinema of attraction as well. By combining and improving on older cinema the directors provide a nuanced view of the subject that is at the same time striking and incontestable. In comparison with “white telephone” films that dominated Italian cinema before neo-realism, the new films provided an infusion of creativity and political insight.
While the political impetus for this explosion was the removal of fascist censorship laws, the films were made technically feasible by advances in sound, plastic, and lighting technology that occurred. Cheap film and handheld cameras made onsite recording and filming possible. The destruction in the wake of World War Two left cheap or free elaborate sets throughout Axis Europe. As directors and filmmakers spiraled out across Europe, however, their opposition to occupying post-war forces and uneasy relations with communism made neo-realism a financially risky endeavor. The ultimate decline of neo-realism was blamed on this inability to conform to commercial and political norms (Marcus 27). Under the Andreotti Law of 1949, censors became able to cut and edit films. Toothless neo-realism soon became antiquidated  as Italy went through economic recovery, and the scenes of post-war devastation and incredible poverty started to disappear from the country.
For many, Italian neo-realism was a moment in film history that is not approachable by modern standards. Modern attempts to revisit the era are wasted because the extensive suffering and repression that occurred in Italy has not happened since then to a leading cultural nation of Italy’s caliber since World War Two. The shock value combined with intense emotional connection to the subjects cannot be recovered now, or in the near future. That the Italian cinema felt compelled to fight censorship and authority in order to realize a moral ideal in politics has given an imperative to those enjoying freedom of speech and ample resources to pay some respect to this “moment” in Italian cinema.
The legacy of the political message of neo-realists exists today, and recurs at points in cinema and political history. The success was not found in only the box-office or from immediate impact on occupying forces, but instead from the inspiration that was evident as many Italians felt compelled to finally speak out after years of hushed-up Fascism. Influence cannot directly be traced, but the genius and emotional power of these films are directly evident to a viewer even today.
Without neo-realism it would be impossible to capture the moment in post-war Italy. In this sense it is a form of taxidermy, yet it goes far beyond mere preservation of the scenes; this was not documentary, similar, but with a twist. As a fusion of multiple different forms, there is no canon or universally accepted definition, but instead only a few cinematography notes and considerable violence to plastics or lighting. Neo-realism has a direct emotional connection to the viewer that other styles of cinema simply cannot rival, but can perhaps take something from.
Bibliography: Neo-Realism as a Pericope of Cinematic Political Influence
Arnaldo Bocelli, Letteratura del ‘900. Palermo: Salvatore Sciascia, 1975. Print.
Bicycle Thief. Arthur Mayer & Jos. Burstyn, 1949.
Germany in Year Zero Germania Anno Zero. Dir. Roberto Rossellini. A Film by Roberto  Rossellini, 1947.
Marcus, Millicent Joy. Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP,  1986. Print.
Thain, Alanna, and Yuriko Furuhata. Introduction to Film History: Courspack. Montreal: McGill,  2012. Print.

Israeli-Arab relations in the Middle East

Paul Fischer
Brandon Mills
HIST 351
13th April 2012

For the first fifty years of Israeli-Arab relations in the Middle East, the United States played a crucial role in mediation and the arming of both sides in the limited and escalating conflicts that arose between the new nation-state Israel and their neighbors. From the earliest point, American supported Israeli sovereignty, arming the small nation and providing the muscle necessary to permit permanent access to the Holy Lands, while acquiring a small outpost of power in the oil rich Middle East for obvious economic and strategic ends. Conflict in this region has remained at the center of media and political attention throughout the history of man. A series of conflicts, from the end of the Second World War through the Second Gulf War, are the most recent in an almost biblical stream of conflict in the region documented back to at least the Assyrian and Babylonian empires. What has separated this conflict, is not the mad pursuit of oil or drugs produced in the Middle East, but the almost atheistic refusal of nearly the entire christian world, excepting America, to participate or partake in any significant manner in the latest struggle to secure the religious holy lands.

This balance of power and the exertion of American influence through friendly regimes and various ams deals throughout the region allowed and continues to allow the American military, with the capability of striking nearly anywhere in the world in under fifteen minutes with Bill Clinton era drones, with enough oil to project considerable power. While modern internet technology such as IP addresses and sattelite imaging provide American forces with the intel needed to identify and eliminate terrorists actively working to radicalize and pervert peaceful interpretations of the Koran, and those that sympathize or support them. Although the United States has been criticized for the modern wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is necessary to understand these events as part of a historical narrative. One that is central to the Jewish and Christian faiths, as well as to Muslims. Equally important is the possibility that a limited nuclear war in the Middle East could potentially end all life on Earth. Combined with Cold War tensions, for many the Middle East was the flashpoint in which nuclear war could actually occur.
While initially neither side had nuclear arms, though Russia has engaged in warfare with Israel, after the War of Independence Israel was able to amass the third largest military in the world after the two global superpowers. Within a couple of decades the Israelis had amassed over two hundred nuclear weapons, leaving them in a strong position strategically. Fear of losing even one of these weapons, or of allowing Middle Eastern nations to
The nuclear weapons did not work as an effective deterrent against radical terrorist attacks for a couple of reasons, the first of which is unique to Islam and the Koran and the second of which is
As Egypt and Israel faced off in the sixties, the US had recently finished intervening in North Korea and would soon fight a massively ineffective war in Vietnam. Though the F-16’s that decided the brilliantly executed and carried out Israeli attacks were American made, when they created an unfair advantage on the battlefield, the US also provided the Egyptian dictator Nasser with the same planes, along with other arms at the time. In other conflicts, including the Iraq-Iran conflict of the eighties, the US also provided even chemical weapons to help countries fight each other. By playing both sides in the Middle East, the United States has exposed themselves to drawn out conflicts in which there are no clear ideological goals or values. In addition, however, many of the strongest forces in the region are indebted to the United States and reliant on American military aid to implement policy change at home and abroad.
While the first case perhaps of American intervention in the Middle East occurred as a result of trade dispute and pirate suppression in the region in the eighteenth century, though the US was less than effective, embarrassingly losing a battleship to pirates. Many members of the crew were imprisoned in Tripoli for over 18 months. In order that these pirates would not be able to use the ship, a team of US soldiers was able to destroy the ship (Long). This is typical of US foreign policy in the region: though the US recognizes the strategic importance of the Middle East, the reality of intervention or exerting any influence at best only destabilizes the region and at worst can arm the United States’ political and economic rivals. Today, a similar sort of situation with America’s extended attempt at destroying the weapons it left/sold to Middle Eastern countries.
Prior to US dominance of the global political sphere, the interests at play were primarily colonial, and the conflict was largely imperial in nature, with resource extraction and, for royal companies, profit the highest goal attainable. At the close of the Second World War, however, the United States dominated the global economy. Where once the Monroe Doctrine had driven colonial powers out of the Americas, now the United States had toppled the colonial powers at home, or at least rescued them from National Socialism anyway. The Marshall plan forced much of Europe into debt to America, while stimulating the economy. American foreign policy had the power and the impetus to demand a Jewish state in the Middle East, and more importantly, to block Russian power from extending south through arabian oil fields.
Immediate US support in the war of Israeli Independence and American military aid was soon overshadowed, however, by the six-day war in which Israel played an aggressive role to prevent a second possible holocaust (McCalister 111). While the United States was not actively involved in this conflict, and the Soviet Union agreed to stay out of the conflict as well, Israel was armed and funded by Jewish supporters in America. During the war, the United Jewish Appeal’s Israel Emergency fund raised more than $90 million in a week for Israeli efforts in the war. Just twenty years after Independence, many were strongly in favor of a powerful Israeli foothold in the Middle East. Despite the opposition to the war in Vietnam, the domino effect was still a very real political world view at this point, and American power was less imperial, still with the ideology of opposition to the evil Soviet empire.
This would change dramatically after the withdrawal from Vietnam, as public opposition to American power grew and politicians sought to clamp down on the territories that still operated as part of the “free world”. Even in supporting enemies of friends, America could ensure access to resources and rejection of Soviet ideals by giving friendly dictators and regimes such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia extensive weaponry and means of support.  The United States’ decision to stop Israeli forces in 1973, led to major gains in economic power, political influence, and prestige for the Arab nations. In the future, in order to retain access to Arabian oil, the United States needed to make serious concessions, ones that would hurt the small state of Israel (McCalister 173). For many Israelis, this was a slippery slope during which the American umbilical cord would be cut, their support removed.
Prior to Vietnam, Israeli conflict with Soviet and Arab powers allowed it to serve as a focal point for American power, a sort of bulldog; they were the third largest military in the world, mostly paid for by international Jewry and through American support. With the close of the Vietnam war, OPEC’s assertions of economic might in the seventies, and various mounting racial tensions at home, the United States was no longer equipped to fight a multipolar war against communism. With taxes between 75 and 90 percent at the time, the war economy that Eisenhower warned of in his last address was strangling American interests globally. Furthermore, the country’s and the military’s dependence on oil put the nation’s interests at the mercy of unreliable dictators and royal families in the Middle East. Worse, it made it impossible to properly reassure Jews across the world that the fledgling state of Israel, though the third most powerful military in the world, was not vulnerable to abandonment from America and extermination by Arab countries.
While no one saw the Jewish state as fragile by 1967, there were still many who were concerned about how their hostile rich Arab neighbors would react to the dispossession of Palestinian peoples from their homelands and the establishment of a western foothold centered around the Jewish historical narrative in Israel. Worse than only the creation of such a state, however, was the removal of the previous Palestinians from the area, and the imminent threat posed by Israel’s massive, well-equipped military to regional security. With Iranian oil companies nationalized in the fifties, threatening the radicalization of other regimes or royal families in the region threatened American oil. And oil meant everything to the states: peace, security, and economic prosperity.  
While it is extremely difficult to find the reality of the origins of the modern Arab Spring and other modern movements in the Middle East, it is easy to identify several main themes that generally accompany the flexing of American power in the cold war. By treating these countries as third world resource depots and centers for cheap labour, however, the United States risked the very ideals of liberty and freedom that were supposed to be propagated by American foreign policy. The supporting of dictators, extraction of resources was not unsubstantiated though. In doing so, Americans believed, they were protecting themselves and these countries from violent communist revolutions and limiting the economic and political influence the USSR could exercise. First and foremost was a knee-jerk reactionary response to all manipulations or maneuvers made by the Soviet Union. Directly after the Second World War, this primarily meant developing faster, more effective, and stronger deterrent nuclear power. However, this strategy requires that a dualistic relationship exists between the nations that are sharing power. As it became clear that the two remaining superpowers in the world were diametrically opposed, and the conflicts would be increasingly multi-polar in nature, it became equally clear that the cold war doctrine would have to be fought through conventional methods as well. While Korean, Vietnamese, and Afghan wars all ended in stalemate for invading forces, these were part of an over-reaching global conflict in which two ideologies, two mind-sets, two economic superpowers clashed. To understand how conflict in the Cold War was precipitated, it is necessary to look at the machinations of colonialism.
The primary goal of many third-world countries was casting off the bondage of European colonialism and adopting or recovering their national and cultural identity lost through centuries of oppression. European powers were broken by two world wars, and while some nations were kept until decades later as colonial powers, the vast majority broke away from Europe in this time period. In the coming Cold War, these small nations provided a battlefield for conflict between the US and USSR. While America as a rule supported anti-colonial movements, the movement of third world countries such as Senegal, North Korea, and Vietnam towards socialism or international communism forced Americans to reconsider their foreign policy. Rather than encouraging anti-colonialists to adopt American values, though this did occur in more friendly former colonies, the policy became to instead fully oppose communist activities across the world. The radicalization of American thought and opinion towards Soviet Russia took place over decades through the McCarthy hunts and massive amounts of propaganda which permeated the entirety of the human consciousness.
The greater impact on foreign policy, and in some ways precipitating the massive public propaganda campaign, was made by a secret document  made by the National Security Council, Paper No. 68. This document identifies two themes in the world that were occurring at the time, 1950. First is the decline of the French and English Empires and the defeat of the axis powers, secondly is the rise of a new power in the Soviet Union, which is described as “animated by a new fanatic faith, anti-ethical to our own, and [sought] to impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world” (Merrill 292) whose only salvation, the council goes on to argue in the paper, is by uniting behind an American hegemony. By assuming economic leadership, the United States would then be able to contain the Soviet Union on a non-militaristic, scaled back level. Concluding with a call for “a much more rapid and concerted build-up of the actual strength of both the United States and the other nations of the free world,” (294) this paper set the mode and tone for America for much of the Cold War.
Though the document was confidential, it was widely distributed and its values echo throughout the Cold War in America. In the USSR, the goal of countering capitalists across the world resulted in an unambiguous stance countering American interests. Without the common enemy of the Fascist powers in Europe and Japan, the two former allies were locked head-to-head. NSC 68 only attempts to put a nuclear armed superpower in Russia in context, and argues or asserts that the new USSR would not only be a world power, but also a threatening one to national security in the United States.
In the Middle East, the tendency was less towards populist or communist revolution or government change and American fears were instead of possible Soviet armed states or an all out invasion of smaller countries with port access. In the Russian wars against Afghanistan and Israel, the USSR brought more than cheap manufactured goods, but also one of the world’s two most powerful militaries. The failure in both scenarios was a part of a trend in which poorly equipped small nations were able to reject modern imperialist aims of either superpower and embarrass the greatest militaries in the world with only guerrilla warfare and/or nationalist forces. As one of the highest historically unfulfilled political goals of Russia, obtaining a port in warm waters was something America had a vested fear in preventing. In addition, access to the Arabian oil fields was vital to the United States’ capability of competing with the energy-rich Soviet Union.
For European allies of the United States, control of the Holy Lands has been a goal for over one thousand years. By creating a safe haven for Jews, Christians, and Muslims to the places of Pilgrimage, evangelical christians in America are achieving their own goals while fulfilling ancient prophesies about the home of the Jews. Unfortunately, just as in the Crusades of the middle ages, the extended conflict in the Middle East seems to have no resolution or end.
Long, David F. Long. (1983). Sailor-Diplomat: A Biography of Commodore James Biddle, 1783-1848 Boston: Northeastern University Press. ISBN 978-0-930-35039-0

Marcovaldo Response

Paul Andreas Fischer
The neo-realist novel, Seasons in the Summer, by Italo Calvino is a fantastical narrative following the life of a simple factory worker, protagonist Marcovaldo. Marcovaldo “since he does not have great powers of communication” (97) himself is forced by his concrete surroundings to seek a better life for himself and his family in the urban jungle. Though he finds at the end of the story that he is interviewed by a reporter for television, largely he goes unnoticed in the city, a ghost or a vagrant to some, mostly representing as a quiet factory worker, helping every day to produce the city’s many goods.
The post-fascism, almost communist views of the author are latent in the text. In chapter 16, Marcovaldo at the supermarket, the consumers come “to dismantle, to gnaw, to grope, to plunder,” (84) and the irony is, of course that though Marcovaldo works in one of the factories that produces the wide variety of goods, his family cannot afford to actually shop and only take the minimum requirements at the supermarket.
Combined with this socialist commentary, which the narrative style of the story affords the author great room in inserting, is an environmental lamenting of the passing of the country from the lives of the city’s inhabitants. Rather than focusing on the joys of country life, or the beauty of nature in and of itself, this environmental criticism instead highlights the contrast inherrently experienced by a family of city urchins. The family goes to nature on occasion, when his son, Michelino follows a herd of cattle to the country, Marcovaldo’s first questions are, “How are you? Was it beautiful?” (49) There is an envy for the boy, though he worked like a mule, it is a completion for Marcovaldo’s earlier dream that his children might one day be able to go in the meadows.
While Marcovaldo himself never was able to go into the country, or even to see a forest as a child, being of the first generation of truly urban city-dwellers, he still has an instinctive wish to see his children experience nature for themselves. Explaining to his child the need for good air and taking them to the hill, their response is almost comical, “Walls without a roof… Did they bomb them?” (41). But even in this passage, the hills and pastures that Marcovaldo finds for the children to roam, and play in, the land is owned by a Sanatorium, it seems to be a statement that in today’s urban world, nature is for the insane.
Calvino is writing with a strong voice that retains a playfulness reminiscent of European folk tales. In fact he is in a sort of way recording urban legends or myths, compiling his own series of modern tales following this unlikely protagonist of his own creation. The result is a compelling work that forces the reader to reconsider many assumptions that may be held about industrial “progress” and uncovers some of the realities of urban life. As the book has two parts, one set in hard times, post-war Italy and the second during boom times of the sixties, it is very difficult to define a set of values though out the work. Certainly it is possible that some recurring themes can be identified, the need for escape, and constant watchfulness of a caring father for his children’s health and well-being for example. While it would be impossible to characterize this book as ideological in a specific sense, it is better compared to a series of folk tales, with morals and consequences for the reader and protagonist as the narrator manages to remain suitably distanced in giving outright judgements. Marcovaldo doesn’t attempt to change or influence the world he is in, but merely to survive in it.

US History Essay

Paul Fischer
US History to 1865
December 4, 2010


For early colonists in America, the Atlantic and the distracted British Empire insulated and protected them from British prejudices and governance. At the end of the Seven Years War, the imperialistic ambitions of the recently victorious British sought to extend control through the colonies. The colonies were unable to swallow the existence of an enforced British rule, which manifested itself both indirectly and directly. While pointing to a single act or event that triggered the imperial antagonism necessary to unite on a platform of independence cannot fully describe the unique phenomenon that occurred, the Continental Congress of 1774 represents the both the first contact between many colonial leaders and the culmination of escalating republican colonial conflict with British attempts to reassert control over its citizens. For the first time, the colonies were united and, while they appealed to the same constitution as Parliament, agreeing on a set of rights, against the monarchy, laid the foundation for how independent colonial government could operate. While this seven week meeting was just the beginning of the road to independence, it was the culmination of decades of escalating conflict between the British and their colonies in America. The Continental Congress was also the first time that the colonies united officially, which separates it distinctly from the localized events leading up to it.
The British had some reason to be assertive in their relations with their North American colonies: the massive debts incurred by war with the French, which occupied a quarter of the eighteenth century, created an economic nightmare on a scale practically unimaginable. Britain tried to thwart American smuggling operations through the Townshend Revenue Act of 1767, in which taxes were generally lowered but far better enforced by numbers of British regulators who were granted rights to operate in colonial America. Unfortunately, Prime Minister Charles Townshend apparently underestimated the influence of both smugglers and the colonial political system who had been long united in opposing British economic rulings.
The use of colonial assemblies to let off smugglers in a political statement of solidarity to the crown developed as a result of the stricter shipping laws. As both a smuggler and an elite patriot, John Hancock, who was said to have employed most of Boston at various points, realized the economic potential of adopting a patriotic stance. When British customs officials seized his ship, Liberty, and threatened him with harsh fines, Hancock rallied thousands of boys in his employ for a mob to drive off the British. The commitment of merchantmen smugglers and politicians to opposing Britain allowed colonial patriots to begin organizing, for some time, effective boycotts and propaganda programs, which over the period of time the duties remained in effect cost the British over 75-fold the tea of the Boston Tea Party. Yet still the patriots were relatively radical and most colonists were afraid of republican ideals that were to support the drive for independence; it was not until later that the problems of New England merchants were truly felt to reverberate throughout the colonies.
Following the ineffectiveness of their attempts to tax the colonies, the British government let up for some time, and by 1772 imports into the colonies had doubled. This was due in part to the efforts of a fiery politician and cartoonist named Samuel Adams. His portrayal of the Boston massacre, in a simple but incriminating cartoon, became among the most widely reproduced in the British Empire. Horrified citizens even in Britain questioned the moral legitimacy of British rule in America and authorities repealed nearly all of the duties, with the exception of tea. The lull from the Boston massacre until the Tea Act of 1773 and the subsequent tea party, resulted in the near total dismemberment of the nonimportation movement.
The Tea Act was meant to be a win-win: British East India Company is able to cut out middle men, and sell cheaper tea to colonists thus defusing rebellious sentiment. This satisfied, perhaps, the economic basis of patriot complaints, but ignored the political issues that went along with republican ideals that were fanned across the colonies by early patriot leaders. These patriot leaders were a new sort of elite, with strong connections and access to the mechanisms of populism. By provoking British retaliation at more and more drastic levels, they were able to engage more of the country with talk of British oppression. With the British fury that accompanied the Boston Tea Party, several acts were passed with the explicit intention of punishment. Boston, as the center of the resistance, was also hit the hardest, and was turned into an island of rebels locked away from the mainland by a drunken, uncontrollable army let loose on the streets of Boston. The tensions between appointed governors and their population from before the Boston massacre returned with full, if not greater force in Massachusetts.
All of the events leading up to this point had been local in nature, even movements such as Sons of Liberty were qualified by region or locality. What united them was the hundreds of printing presses operated by men such as Ben Franklin or Sam Adams. These resistance leaders, along with fifty-four other delegates from twelve of the thirteen colonies, met in 1774, many for the first time, and unified in opposition to the British government’s policies. According to Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, the blockade ordered by the Continental Congress eliminated 97 percent of British-American trade in the next year.
This resolved some of the economic issues Americans had with England, but the problems over Boston and Massachusetts remained. The Suffolk resolves represented a recognition of the plight of Massachusetts and a political sense of solidarity as a united colonial assembly voted to passively defy the intolerable acts, actually resulting in British regulars dieing outside of Charleston from disease because they were not allowed to quarter in private residence.
Far more important is the declaration of rights insisted upon by the Continental Congress. These rights are similar to those expounded by the declaration of Independence two years later, though not quite as openly defiant yet. The Continental Congress is significant not in the direct or immediate impact, but in that it is representative of the decades of conflict preceding it. With the Suffolk resolves, the Declaration of Rights and embargo on Britain, the Continental Congress addressed the humanitarian, political, and economic aspects of the crisis that occurred in America before the Revolution. After declaring such solidarity in opposition to England, without government permission, the Continental Congress delivered the unwelcome message to the British: leave us alone, or go home.

Violence Over the Land, Book Review

Paul Fischer
Natives of the Americas

Violence Over the Land, Book Review

The use of violence to dismember and destroy Native American communities is a familiar theme in American history. The root of the violence may go farther than simply the weapons and culture of Europeans, but may actually be dependent on financial variables. Ned Blackhawk introduces the concept that trade and violence are intrinsically tied in his book  Violence Over The Land, Indians and Empires in the American West, whose broad scope covers Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Mexico, Nevada, and California from the first Spanish arrivals to Indian marginalization and removal from modern society. This allows Blackhawk to show the devastating effect European trade, and therefore violence, had on Indian communities again and again. He then follows the region’s relations with the Spanish, French, Mexicans and Americans. In every case, it seems, from the collection of Indian ears on the Palacio Ristra to the dispossession of Utah’s Utes by American Mormons through child-slavery (240), the methodology of Indian devolution changes in perceptible ways that allow insight as to the nature of financial or cultural invasion as opposed to military invasion. “The ears provide a grim yet useful introduction to the history of New Mexico” (18).
This book focuses on Native Americans, who have been portrayed in a particular manner in popular culture for hundreds of years, and objectively, historically examine the narrative timeline and the causes and motives for various recorded events. From the beginning, Blackhawk acknowledges that to claim some sort of complete knowledge is impossible, especially from the period before European influence. Unfortunately, by the time events begin to be recorded, their communities have already been heavily impacted. “When Spanish traders, missionaries, outlaws, and armies ventured north, they entered worlds in the midst of dramatic change” (19). The people they encountered had already begun to adapt to fierce competition for trade goods, especially horses and weapons, and slave raiding and trading had become integral parts of Indian society.
This book also tries to put the southwest at the center of a historical narrative, one that involves far greater outside powers. The implications of wars around the world, in places that hardly knew the Southwest exists, were felt acutely by Indians. The rise of France in the New World, the Civil War, manifest destiny, all of these sorts of events or movements resulted in the dispossession and ultimate oppression of Indians. By the time settlers and diplomats came and incorporated Great Basin Indians into their political systems, violence associated with European goods was endemic. This caused for many, slavery, death and even generations later, poverty. “Upon incorporation into distant empires and nations, Great Basin Indians witnessed continued and in many cases growing destitution, prompting the increase use of violence” (265). This vicious cycle continues to ravage the region even today, where Natives live in literally a third world nation within America.
Even for Indians who have been integrated into mainstream society, the assumptions and stereotypes they are associated with are based on a post-european contact Great Basin, rather than the qualities that defined them before. An example of this is in equestrian Indians: in 1592 there were absolutely no horses in North America, “by the eighteenth century, the horse had become such an integral part of their [Indians] lives that a non-equestrian existence must have seemed distant or inconceivable” (20). Yet Indians are irreversibly associated with an equestrian existence by public imagination and historians alike. The sale of European goods to Indians not only sped up, but initiated a process of increasing violence. As new nations became involved, the process intensified: “these foreigners, Utes understood, brought guns, ammunition, and powder needed by Indian people” (123).
Other Indian nations were more able to avoid European influence. The Great Basin anthropologist, Julian Stewart, thought The Shoshones were exceptional, in their ability to remain less modified than other Indians. “Their subsistence lifestyle, migratory routes, and political structures, he believed, contradicted established notions of ‘tribes’” (277). By examining these modern researchers, Blackhawk can see the change that continues to occur in Native American society. By researching the information that is available, it may be possible to gain better insight on how to help the Great Basin Indians develop, or revert, to a better society.

Blackhawk, Ned. Violence over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2006. Print.

Culture as a Device of Change in Gender Performance and the State

Paul Fischer
Anthropology 342
Third Written Assignment

Culture as a Device of Change in Gender Performance and the State

Social norms control the actions of people in thousands of imperceptible ways. Laughing, gossip, other modes of maintaining social norms can be encountered even by ordinary individuals many times in the course of their day. The concept of gender as a member of the host of societal issues affecting people may appear to be inherently limited in scale, to recent waves of various feminist movements, but it is one which permeates our entire range of actions and movements. More importantly, the continuation of these norms by the state and business as society tries to remove them creates a paradox that explains the subjugation of women far better than other attempts such as the gender-application of Freud’s  penis envy. This relationship that is established between men and women is based on the maintenance of unequal norms by various communicative devices, primarily cultural. As these cultural devices change, it is reflected in society.
Women, in a general sense, can only be expected in our society to gain access to money through men. This will be true as long as gender performance exists the way it does today. Their highly stylized gender-performance is focused around an ideal created by men, and perpetuated by fear of losing their access to their livelihood. The fundamental precept that is assumed here is that men have the money. If that were to change, then man would lose the power and be subjugated. This relationship is intrinsically involved with the application of the state in society, and is the primary paradox which has resulted in centuries of feminine exclusion and debasement, in matters of public life and work. The state is a tool man created to protect this power and culture is a device that can slowly implement change. There are other devices, war, rebellion, outside influences, etc. but they are all extremely damaging and costly when they occur.
What happens in a society regulated by the state is that the social norms are set through laws such that they do not reach a point where extremes, such as murder or incest, occur randomly and might be celebrated. In our society, the state has instead turned into a tool of oppression which makes it possible to maintain a relatively constant level of power over women, without suffering consequences. In the same way, it would be conceivable to reverse the power, or financial stability so that men seek to gender-perform in order to survive. Unfortunately, this isn’t particularly better than the status quo; what is needed is the constant maintenance of norms at a moderate level that allows cultural devices and the state to communicate freely and inclusively.
It is possible for the state to be involved harmoniously within an open and nonprejudicial social system. To do this, the gender situation needs to be addressed directly, with clear goals in mind. Making real progress against inequality in gender reaches beyond simple anti-harassment lawsuits or adjusting percentage points on a paycheck, in this case the progress made can only be measured in the slow changes in human perception. As people recognize that different values are being rewarded, other than masculinity, societal norms actually can change. First wave feminism was only the result of quiet, patient work in America by women, dating back to Abigail Adams and earlier, to expand the role of women in public and commercial life. These women used social connections and print methods of communication to slowly change the economics and intellectual thought of and about gender. By the time people’s concept of the female gender moved from the Victorian “angel on a pedestal” ideal to one where women could hold positions in the workplace, rights such as suffrage were afforded to them, and by 1940 women were a part of WWII’s war machines.
That is an oversimplification, perhaps, but it shows how gradual changes in gender norms can impact real change socially and politically. Today we have new problems with women-relations, and entire new groups such as homosexuals that need to be allowed to take part, without prejudice, in our society. For this to happen the maintenance of norms in society need to be constantly adapting in order to ensure that the state, which is fatally reactionary, doesn’t revert backwards, leading to oppression. The tool that provides the link between the maintenance of norms and the state is culture, which operates as a device intended to allow people to relate to one another, normally accompanied by judgement based on previously held traditions. In moving past judgement
The greatest example of modern maintenance of norms is television. With one news story, commercial, or show, producers can effect millions of people at once. To understand the impact of television on each individual, imagine an ordinary male Canadian  reaction to an air freshener commercial. They see a house that is perfectly arranged and kept with cars, good smell, TVs, and of course a wife. The viewer sees this idyllic scenario and wants to have everything in it: house, cars, good smell, TV, and a women. Once, he (or she) might have breathed deep and set out to accomplish and achieve, but now they simply laugh at these outdated ideas of gender roles and personal success. This is an example of how culture can strongly influence the mindset of people in a state society, illustrating a potential tool in attempting to subvert the state and open public life to women. This is not limited to commercials or anything, for a similar example look to sitcoms, which take shows that used to show the perfect or ideal family and make it suitable for the audience to laugh at.
Individually, it can be difficult to change social norms, for the simple reason that even if one person knows what is right and is divinely inspired or such, then they become a laughingstock as long as the rest of society maintains different norms. However, the constant change in these norms earlier discussed, means that it is possible to change the system while conforming outwardly to gender-performance.  This is not hypocritical because even if one rejects all gender performance, they are still performing in that but they simply are at a radical end of the social norm continuum. When dealing with social norms, ultimately, one has to conform and cultural devices to implement change, slowly or quickly depending on technology, because radical pursuit of equality scares away far more people and attracts far less than a sitcom, for example.

Little men, how the oppression of women can destroy a man.

Little men, how the oppression of women can destroy a man.
Paul Fischer
Anth 342

Relationships can be trying and difficult, both at first and after a long time. A six year old boy listening to his parents escalating fight attests to this. As he sits in the driveway in the scorching summer heat salting slugs, the father figure, unemployed, far from home and far overqualified for the odd jobs he finds takes out his frustration on his wife, who struggles to raise children (three including the father) and finish her Medical degree. What little understanding the boy has of the reasons and motives for argument, he is left with an image imprinted in his brain forever.

His parents are silhouetted against the hallway light, father’s hands tightly gripping his mother’s neck. They are fighting each other, the words “daddy, daddy dont kill mommy!” seem to come from someone else’s mouth, but the disgusted father flings the mother at the boy, both of whom in tears. Hours later again in the ER. Months later still trying to work things out. Not until years later, after psychological and physical torture, did the boy, his mom, and his one-year old brother desperately flee that abusive father. The mom claims that what finally ended the delusion of working out the relationship was when the father turned to her and said, entirely sober and serious, “I could really kill you, like if I ever want to.”
For most individuals, when they are put in a situation where they have to make a decision, such as a life or death decision, the blood stream is shunted off to the frontal right cortex. This part of the brain is primarily used in executive function, and encourages cool, calm, collected behavior even in extremely dangerous situations. This is a relatively ineffective biological method of stopping certain feedback loops that, when perpetuated, can lead to homicide. Alternatively, the blood is sometimes diverted to different parts of the brain. In this case, the individual becomes extremely aggressive. Every word or action becomes hostile to them, and provokes uncontrollable responses.
The problem here however was not biological, but social. As will be explained later, the German father had radically different marital norms to the mother, who grew up in Indiana. The stratification that occurred through their relationship was intensified by a sense of futility and poverty. They met in Montreal at a Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young concert in the mid-80’s, and quickly fell in love and got married in 1989. Soon after the mother realized that certain parts of being a German “haus-frau” were actually quite barbaric. After asking a psychologist in Nuremberg about what options she had, having just given birth to a child who was beaten in the womb, she was informed that the situation was normal, that she should go home to cook and clean. Her parents were somewhat more sympathetic, but essentially gave the same advice. Instead she decided to finish medical school, and her husband and child came with her.
The misery of those next years are not entirely describable. The enormous stress on a medical student raising a child combined with the frustration of having a fully qualified German CPA and attorney-at-law created a situation in which higher executive function did not come into play. Instead, even minor incidents flared up into fights, with both mother and father unable to control their emotions, verbally and physically abusing each other as, near-by, their child committed genocide against the slug populations of their constantly changing apartments.
For someone the age of that child, not many remember what they were doing when Bill Clinton was caught with the post-girl, but that boy listened to his sobbing mother, little brother, and the AM radio for most of the twelve hour car trip. Somehow, it seemed fitting when his mother explained that father is a criminal, the president of the United States was also in trouble. He did not really understand. He knew they hurt each other. He thought they loved each other as well.
A decade later, he went to Germany and stayed with his Uncle, in order to meet this “lost” family of his. What he found in his father was somewhat shocking. The man was broken, a victim of his own mode of oppression. His entire life had become so caught up with one woman, perhaps it was love in a sort of way, that he had completely self-destructed. Ten years later, he still conducts his law office in cash and works the bare minimum to survive in order to keep childcare payments from her. He claimed to have forgotten her, but obviously had fed feedback loops and perpetuated a cycle that is today as pathetic as it was once vicious.
The ability of the state to impose some limits on these feedback loops, by making murder or rape illegal, for example, is significant. This story shows that it is not enough. That even two highly educated, loving individuals can fight like barbarians when both society and state fails to establish some level of mandatory mutual respect. Usually, it might be said that men oppress, and therefore damage women. What this makes clear, however, is that the damage to men is equally as great, and the establishment and maintenance of social norms to respectful levels is vitally important to both sexes.

Schismogenesis and me

Schismogenesis and me
By Paul Fischer
Anth 342

At a young age, in warlike cultures, the children are exposed to militaristic ideals. Aztec children are surrounded by weapons literally from birth, Spartan children worked in military school starting at the age seven. These cultures simulate a harsh living environment for their children to prepare them for the rigours of both life and war. Even today, children are removed from their parents and indoctrinated with certain  ideals in public schools from an earlier and earlier age. Yet everyone comes from a unique background in the way they are raised at home.

For me, going to school meant learning that certain feedback loops in my discourse with other people could not be perpetuated. In fact, this is true of most kids, who have unique interests in the home or develop fear (such as of the dark) before coming into social contact with their peers and quickly adjusting to the norms. This is the earliest form of schismogenesis, whereby the kids are separated from society by various experiences they have which change the way they interpret societal feedbacks.The ways in which children fail to adjust to the norms still leave them fitting into the normal bell curve for every trait. There are a couple specific examples I can think of that disengaged my participation with the feedback loops as well as some that  stimulated me into reversing the effects.
First moving to Little Rock, Arkansas in first grade, my pronunciation of my name, Paul, was significantly different than any other student in the class was familiar with. During recess, as I was introducing myself to various other kids, some of the older ones told me that there was absolutely no way my name could be pronounced AND spelled that way. Somehow, with the deep southern drawl most kids had there, the way they said Paul emphasized the “u” as well as the “a” resulting in a word that was not my name. I have the distinct memory of being really  disgusted with these older kids who were simply unable to imagine of a name they didn’t know, and were arrogant enough to dictate their botched version of my name to me.
The social consequences of this interaction probably weren’t serious, since I don’t remember anything beyond my feeling of complete disgust with the other kids. This emotion does suggest, however, that my experience with this particular set of parameters (complementary schismogenesis, or older foreign children) discouraged me from interactions with them. This is not necessarily the standard response, however: many people or groups that are forced to submit and cut off feedback loops, even when they disagree, see this as a form of domination and seek to deliver a sort of retribution to their oppressor. An example of this would be Union leaders who let the workers take a pay cut in order to maneuver into a position where potential strikes would hurt the company much more.
As a kid, I was also obsessed with baseball. I knew every stat, spent every spare moment trying to live up to my idol, Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves. By fifth or sixth grade, my little brother and I were out, rain or shine, to play baseball every day. At this point we lived in Vermont, so in the winter we would be playing catch with three feet of snow! When I played Little League, I was third base and third batter for the South End Yankees. We did all right, but weren’t quite the best team.
Baseball, along with other team sports, is a form of schismogenesis on a more macro scale. The kids are divided up into teams, which should be mostly equal, in order to compete for the recognition associated with winning. This is termed symmetrical schismogenesis, in which both sides are held to the same rules (as opposed to the older children earlier, they were able to disregard my opposition because of their 8 or 9 year old wisdom must be better than a 5 year old’s) and compete against one another in competition that does not achieve a goal but seems to rank one group above another.
It is possible that symmetrical schismogenesis is necessary to create the distinctions that allow us to cut off the feedback loops by submitting to someone who is recognized as higher. The societal role of sports is to level the playing field by regulating rules and equipment, thus allowing us to differentiate between different groups ie. “The Braves are the best team, the Mets suck.” Remembering that, it is somewhat of a surprise to find that almost none of our nominal judgements are made based on achievement in games, but based on things such as social standing, money, and power that can be inherited and is definitely not controlled to be equal in all things.

History Notes 2010

Paleo and Archaic Age 12,000-9,000 years ago
Cahokia (pronounced /kəˈhoʊki.ə/) Mounds State Historic Site is the area of an ancient indigenous city (ca. 600–1400 CE) near Collinsville,Illinois. In the American Bottom floodplain, it is across the Mississippi Riverfrom St. Louis, Missouri. The 2,200-acre (8.9 km2) site included 120 man-made earthwork mounds over an area of six square miles, although only 80 survive.[1] Cahokia Mounds is the largest archaeological site related to theMississippian culture, which developed advanced societies in central and eastern North America beginning more than five centuries before the arrival of Europeans.[2]

The Algonquian languages (also Algonkian; pronounced /ælˈɡɒŋkwiən/ or /ælˈɡɒŋkiən/)[1] are a subfamily of Native American languages which includes most of the languages in the Algic language family. The name of the Algonquian language family is distinguished from the orthographically similar Algonquin dialect of the Ojibwe language, which is a member of the Algonquian language family. The term “Algonquin” derives from the Maliseet word elakómkwik (pronounced[ɛlæˈɡomoɡwik]), “they are our relatives/allies”.[2][3] Most Algonquian languages are extremely endangered today, with few native speakers. A number of the languages have already become extinct.

Speakers of Algonquian languages stretch from the east coast of North America all the way to the west coast. The Yurock and Wiyot being the western-most nation to have language resembling other Algic languages. The proto-language from which all of the languages of the family descend, Proto-Algonquian, was spoken at least 3,000 years ago. There is no scholarly consensus as to the territory where this language was spoken.

The Iroquois (pronounced /ˈɪrəkwɔɪ/), also known as the Haudenosauneeor the “People of the Longhouse“,[1] are an association of several tribes ofindigenous people of North America. After the Iroquoian-speaking peoples coalesced as distinct tribes, based mostly in present-day upstate New York, in the 16th century or earlier they came together in an association known today as the Iroquois League, or the “League of Peace and Power”. The original Iroquois League was often known as the Five Nations, as it was composed of theMohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca nations. After the Tuscaroranation joined the League in 1722, the Iroquois became known as the Six Nations. The League is embodied in the Grand Council, an assembly of fifty hereditarysachems.[2]
Matrilineal and Matrifocal- Following the mother and her kin through a clan like system to assert power or control.
Sky Woman/Corn Maiden Iroquois creator being.
Manitou is a term used to designate the spirits among many Algonquian groups. It refers to the concept of one aspect of the interconnection and balance of nature/life, similar to the East Asian concept of qi;[citation needed] in simpler terms it can refer to a spirit. This spirit is seen as a (contactable) person as well as a concept. Everything has its own manitou—every plant, every stone, even machines.
Mourning Wars- Raids Iroquois went on to capture people to symbolically replace their dead.
Res Nullium
Res nullius (lit: nobody’s property) is a Latin term derived from Roman law whereby res (an object in the legal sense, anything that can be owned, even a slave, but not a subject in law such as a citizen) is not yet the object of rights of any specific subject. Such items are considered ownerless property and are usually free to be owned.
Examples of res nullius in the socio-economic sphere are wild animals or abandoned property. Finding can also be a means of occupation (i.e. vesting ownership), since a thing completely lost or abandoned is res nullius, and therefore belonged to the first taker. Specific legislation may be made, e.g. for beachcombing.

“Speaking Apes”
All Fool’s Day/Charivari- Folk custom in which the lords dressed as peasants and the peasants pretended to be lords.
Inns of Court/Common Law- Universities and the law that establishes res nullius as a response to increasing royal power until the enclosurement act at the close of an extended period of several hundred years of inflation.
Vagrancy Acts- Series of British laws seeking to control the swelling ranks of young men who had become vagrants with the institution of the enclosurement act. Often include harsh punishments such as whipping, death, or slavery
“Masterless Men” -Indentured servitude
Scottish migration to Ulster- Protestant attempt to consolidate power in Northern Ireland, 100000 Protestant Scots moved to Catholic N. Ireland under King James
Elizabeth I (1558-1603)
Henry VIII (1509-47)
Vacuum Domicilium – Concept that no one was in America, therefore the Colonists could take control of the land with no problems. Winthrop articulates this, also drawing distinction between natural and civil rights to land.

Roanoke colony, 1587
The first English Colony of Roanoke, originally consisting of 100 householders, was founded in 1585, 22 years before Jamestown and 37 years before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts, under the ultimate authority of Sir Walter Raleigh. In 1584 Raleigh had been granted a patent by Queen Elizabeth I to colonize America.
Joint-stock companies
Arawaks, from 8 million to 200
Spain’s incredibly inhumane and oppressive policies of enslavement, slaughter and separation of families, combined with starvation and overwork and so increased susceptibility to smallpox, resulted in Taino society’s drastic decline within a few decades after contact.[8] Attacks by Carib tribes and unrelenting harsh treatment by the Europeans accelerated the process. Although Taino society was destroyed by European expansion, some of their bloodlines persist among the new settlers, primarily Western and African peoples.
Statute of Artificers, 1563
The Statute of Artificers was a group of English laws (1558-63) which regulated the supply and conduct of labour. In particular it set wages of certain classes of worker, it regulated the quality of people entering certain professions by laying down rules for apprenticeships and it restricted the free movement of workers. Effectively, it transferred to the newly forming Englishstate the functions previously held by the feudal craft guilds[1].
James I (1603-25)
James was not wholly unsuccessful as king, but his Scottish background failed to translate well into a changing English society. He is described, albeit humorously, in 1066 and All That, as such: “James I slobbered at the mouth and had favourites; he was thus a bad king”; Sir Anthony Weldon made a more somber observation: “He was very crafty and cunning in petty things, as the circumventing any great man, the change of a Favourite, &c. inasmuch as a very wise man was wont to say, he believed him the very wisest fool in Christendom.”
Powhatan Confederacy
Powhatan Confederacy, group of Native North Americans belonging to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). Their area embraced most of tidewater Virginia and the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay. Wahunsonacock, or Powhatan, as the English called him, was the leader of the confederacy when Jamestown was settled in 1607. The Powhatan are said to have been driven N to Virginia by the Spanish, where their chief, Powhatan’s father, subjugated five other Virginia tribes. With Powhatan’s own conquests, the empire included, among some 30 peoples, the Pamunkey, Mattapony, Chickahominy, and others likewise commemorated in the names of the streams and rivers of E Virginia. They were a sedentary people, with some 200 settlements, many of them protected by palisades when the English arrived. They cultivated corn, fished, and hunted. Of his many capitals, Powhatan favored Werowocomoco, on the left bank of the York River near modern Purtan Bay, where Capt. John Smith first met him in 1608. The English soon seized the best lands, and Powhatan quickly retaliated. To appease him, he was given a crown, and a coronation ceremony was formally performed by Christopher Newport in 1609. Peace with Powhatan was secured when his daughter Pocahontas married (1614) John Rolfe.

John Smith
Captain John Smith (c. January 1580 – June 21, 1631) Admiral of New England was an English soldier, explorer, and author. He was knighted for his services toSigismund Bathory, Prince of Transylvania. He is remembered for his role in establishing the first permanent English settlement in North America atJamestown, Virginia, and his brief association with the Virginia Indian[1] girlPocahontas during an altercation with the Powhatan Confederacy and her father,Chief Powhatan. He was a leader of the Virginia Colony (based at Jamestown) between September 1608 and August 1609, and led an exploration along the rivers of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay.
House of Burgesses- assembly used by colonists to consolidate power.
Gender ration as of 1660- 6:1 female to male
22 March 1622 The Indian Massacre of 1622 occurred in the Colony of Virginia, in what is now United States of America, on Friday, March 22, 1622. Though he had not been in Virginia since 1609 and was thus not a firsthand eyewitness, Captain John Smith related in his History of Virginia that the Indians “came unarmed into our houses with deer, turkeys, fish, fruits, and other provisions to sell us”.[1] Suddenly the Indians grabbed any tools or weapons available to them and killed any English settlers that were in sight, including men, women and children of all ages. Chief Opechancanough led a coordinated series of surprise attacks of the Powhatan Confederacy that killed 347 people, a quarter of the English population of Jamestown
Covenant of Works/Covenant of Grace- Adam and Eve ideas of native’s innocence
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904)
In the book, Weber wrote that capitalism in northern Europe evolved when the Protestant(particularly Calvinist) ethic influenced large numbers of people to engage in work in the secular world, developing their own enterprises and engaging in trade and the accumulation of wealth for investment. In other words, the Protestant work ethic was a force behind an unplanned and uncoordinated mass action that influenced the development of capitalism.
John Calvin
John Calvin (Middle French: Jean Cauvin) (10 July 1509 – 27 May 1564) was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later calledCalvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530. After religious tensions provoked a violent uprising against Protestants in France, Calvin fled to Basel, Switzerland, where in 1536 he published the first edition of his seminal work Institutes of the Christian Religion.Calvin’s writing and preachings provided the seeds for the branch of theology that bears his name. The Presbyterian and otherReformed churches, which look to Calvin as a chief expositor of their beliefs, have spread throughout the world.
John Winthrop
John Winthrop (12 January 1588– 26 March 1649) obtained a royal charter, along with other wealthy Puritans, from King Charles I for the Massachusetts Bay Company and led a group of English Puritans to the New World in 1630.[1] He was elected the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony the year before. Between 1639 and 1648, he was voted out of the governorship and then re-elected a total of 12 times. Although Winthrop was a respected political figure, he was criticized for his obstinacy regarding the formation of a general assembly in 1634, and he clashed repeatedly with other Puritan leaders like Thomas Dudley, Rev. Peter Hobart and others. puritan priest 1604
“Visible Saints”- Visible saints were people who appeared to be godly Christian people who would go to heaven when they died. Strict Puritans in colonial days only allowed visible saints to worship with them because they thought that the church of England was blasphemous for allowing everyone to worship in the same way. They were revered because they were open about their beliefs, and they influenced Father William Joseph Chaminade. (Source: Wikipedia)
1 minister for 415 people (vs. 1 for 3,200)
Harvard College, 1636
Anne Hutchinson
Anne Hutchinson (baptized July 20, 1591[1][2] – August 20, 1643) was a pioneer settler in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Netherlands and the unauthorized minister of a dissident church discussion group. Hutchinson heldBible meetings for women that soon appealed to men as well. Eventually, she went beyond Bible study to proclaim her own theological interpretations of sermons. Some, such as antinomianism, offended the colony leadership. A major controversy ensued and after a trial before a jury of officials and clergy, she was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.[3]

“Governing the Tongue” Governing the Tongue explains why the spoken word assumed such importance in the culture of early New England. In a work that is at once historical, socio-cultural, and linguistic, Jane Kamensky explores the little-known words of unsung individuals, and reconsiders such famous Puritan events as the banishment of Anne Hutchinson and the Salem witch trials, to expose the ever-present fear of what the Puritans called “sins of the tongue.” But even while dangerous or deviant speech was restricted, as Kamensky illustrates here, godly speech was continuously praised and promoted. Congregations were told that one should lift one’s voice “like a trumpet” to God and “cry out and cease not.” By placing speech at the heart of New England’s early history, Kamensky develops new ideas about the complex relationship between speech and power in both Puritan New England and, by extension, our world today.

Oliver Cromwell’s republic
Charles II (1660-85)
December Days, 1641
Adultery Act, 1650
Levellers and Diggers
The Black Dog of Newgate Prison
John Locke’s Fundamental Constitutions
Goose Creek Men The Goose Creek Men
The “Goose Creek Men” were English planters, some who came to S.C. from Barbados. They settled nearby, soon became wealthy through the Indian trade, and conducted an illegal trade in Indian slaves and with pirates.
William Berkeley vs. Nathaniel Bacon Autonomy from crown

Hernando de Soto’s rampage (1540s)
Iroquois Confederacy
Hugo Grotius
“Town Destroyers”
Walking Purchase, 1737
Grand Settlement of Montréal, 1701
When the French, on behalf of fur trade monopolists, inserted themselves into the rhythms of First Nations societies in the early seventeenth century, they became enmeshed in regional hostilities. Finally in 1701, after nearly a hundred years of recurrent warfare, French and natives joined together in a spectacular summit to sign a treaty that would end the atrocities and guarantee peace for more than a half century

Kidnapping of Eunice Williams, 1704 chose to remain with canadian mohawks
Cherokee (Iroquoian) vs. Creeks (Muskogeean)

Asante, Dahomey, Oyo
1660, first black majority
Barbadian Slave Code, 1661
York County, Virginia, 1690s
Partus Sequiter Ventrum
Sartorial laws
Enslaved percentages: 2% (New England) and 78% (West Indies)

Diana, the pagan goddess- statue of liberty
Malleus Maleficarum (1486) – anti-witch handbook
“He for God only, she for God in him” (John Milton, Paradise Lost)
Godsib or gossip
“Whore” and “slut” vs. “knave” and “fool”
Spectral evidence
Special Court of Oyer and Terminer
Rev. Increase Mather – president of harvard, defended witch hunters (or at least the judges and lawyers)

Pawnage vs. Chattel Slavery
Jonathan Edwards, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
New York, 20% enslaved
South Carolina’s black majority
Washington, Lee, Byrd
Charleston slave exchange
Spanish Florida

Population density (50 vs. 13,000 per square mile)
“Rustics” and “potatoes”
Literacy rates
Endogamy rates
“Give him the bag”
Femme sole and Femme couverte
Book debts vs. promissory notes
Top 10% of wealth test
Fence-viewers, hogreeves, selectmen

Source Criticism, Broken Bones

Paul Fischer
Natives of the Americas
Writing Assignment 1: Source Criticism, Broken Bones
HST 223 – 005

The defeat of the Aztecs occurred primarily in two phases, each of about one year, separated by a short period in which Cortes was driven out of Tenochtitlan and forced to take refuge with his near-by allies. This short period, in the summer of 1520, opens a window into the mind of one individual that was central to the nature of the Spanish Conquest and typical of the conquistadors that wreaked havoc across one of the world’s most prosperous regions. Also, the response of the Spanish, seen through both Cortes’ letters to the king and a soldier’s fond memoirs reveals a great amount of what sort of bias exists both for the Spanish and those that compiled the Broken Bones.

Cortes portrays himself as the ultimate European leader, but in fact he was only as a bully allowed to enter the chocolate factory. The response of the Aztecs to his presence is surprisingly muted initially, as he topples religious centers and humiliates Montezuma, suggesting a hatred from the Aztec people for the feared emperor and his deities, an impression that would have been reinforced by the evil of the Spanish.

There are lots of explanations for why the small Spanish force was able to topple one of the greatest empires in the world, but these explanations are equivalent to saying a bully is stronger than his victims, or better trained. The situation in Central America was not one of particularly exciting technology or warfare, but simple savagery. This is seen by analysing the bias of Broken Bones in order to gain a better understanding of the actual sequence of events, and more importantly, what Cortes was expecting to achieve with his brutal actions.  The barbaric manner in which the Spanish mass amputated natives’ hands or killed innocents, often unrelated to battle of any sort, terrified the natives into submission, which allowed Cortes to prey upon them further.

In his letters to the King, Cortes tends to justify these actions primarily through religion. As a part of a systematic eradication of a Satanic religion, the crown would tolerate any treatment of its subjects.  The expulsion of the Spanish from Mexico City is described by the natives as a direct result of the Spaniard’s greed, which  overtook them as they entered a new city. Cortes’ account of the event describes his pragmatic attack on a plot to poison or kill the Spanish and their allies.

Regardless, some factor, whether it was just Spanish greed or native hostility, arose that created anonymity between the two. Also it is known that Cortes responded in a characteristic manner, massacring the natives at one of their important warrior festivals analogous to Easter in importance and in date.  That Cortes wished this conflict to be viewed as a betrayal rather than unprovoked murder shows that he has some consciousness, at least in communication with his homeland, of the cruelty of his actions. With Montezuma losing control, and the Spaniards engaging in worse and worse behaviour such as raping women or pillaging delicate sculptures for ingots of precious metals,  nobles or other leaders in Aztec society may have attempted to grab control by driving the Spaniards out. The probability of this, however, is low because of the strictly hierarchical society in which the Aztecs lived that would not have allowed them to disobey their god-ruler, Montezuma.

The cruelty of Cortes is seen over and over again in his journey through Central American, and the religious setting of this massacre is typical for him. Among the most complete accomplishments of his conquest was the eradication of the indigenous religion. His favors for the catholic church include both hastily rededicated temples and priests, as well as killing prominent individuals involved with religious services. As Montezuma was treated with the worshipping reverence French nobles later gave to the Sun King, it is possible that Cortes had difficulty discerning between the upper and lower classes of society.  Thus his massacre of heretic dancing warriors may have actually been the first violence between the Spanish and the upper classes of Aztec society, resulting in bloodshed and warfare, where before the Spanish were only abusing peasants (with the exception of course of Montezuma).

The affluence of the Aztec civilization may have awed the Spanish, who would certainly have been overcome with greed, but this would not make Cortes any less shrewd in his actions. Where Broken Bones places the blame for the massacre squarely on the Spanish, and less directly, their greed, it is perhaps better to consider that the noble class of the Aztecs was highly militaristic and relied on their leader, Montezuma, for guidance. Cortes made his first mistake humiliating Montezuma, but after that he realized the use of a puppet ruler. This is seen in Broken Bones as he attempts to re-establish the power of Montezuma before killing him (literally described by the Spanish as an accident with their swords) and running for the woods. The greater mistake was in the massacre of innocent dancers, which may have been simply Cortes’ way of blowing off steam after the nobles refused to acknowledge Montezuma anymore (though they  were still far too scared to actually threaten Cortes). In this massacre, there must have been some element which enraged the Aztecs freshly, and more deeply, than the humiliation of their ruler. This could have  been the killing of influential nobles, warriors who wielded real power in Aztec society. This isn’t certain, but it is sure that the group who controlled the Aztec government was angered by the massacre at the ritual dancing in a way that the Spanish desecration of Temples and Emperor could not.

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