Sunday, April 17, 2011

Possible Solutions for Resolving the Situation

          What options did the American government of the time possess in order to deal with the problem of two culturally diverse nations within a single territory? Sadly, the options that the government could implement remained few and difficult to impose. Total extermination, or rather genocide, concluded one options because the U.S. government remained militarily dominant and the Native Americans maintained little power in their own land, yet to some degree the U.S. allowed the Natives Americans to remain sovereign. While this variable seemed unusually cruel, many political leaders preserved the option.
Optimists looked to rapid assimilation which was the dream of idealistic humanitarians who thought it could be accomplished in one generation, although it soon became apparent this was not going to happen. The cultural differences divided the two nations extraordinarily. Politically, the white settlers believed if one did not cultivate and develop the land then the ‘owner’ had no right to keep the territory. The Native Americans understood land to be an extension of their deity and their ancestors, through natural inherent placement the land became part of the Indians’ identity. The state also passed laws against polygamy, the Indians practiced this to some extent, and the men should support their children, while Native American law dictated the children as a natural and complete extension of the mother, maintaining a matrilineal society as opposed to a patrilineal society. The two nations contradicted each other in the basic unit of civilization and property rights. Additionally, religious ideologies drove an impassable stake through the sparing nations. The U.S. government exiled idolatrous practices as brutish and barbaric.  The Native Americans used several wooden carvings in ceremonies and festivals to represent the presence of their gods. Women also maintained a large role in Indian authority and governance which countered the U.S. practices of women’s roles to be isolated to the domestic sphere. Assimilation proved to be naïve option for realists.
One option that many favored, although in practice never prospered. The U.S. would agree to protect their sovereignty if they remained isolated in their ancestral lands, although trade and commerce would be allowed on a nation level. This proposal never flourished due to several proponents. The question of their status became a question in that the government ruled them to be domestic independent nations, similar to a protectorate, but the Indian nations could not maintain that independence without federal assistance. The U.S. never acquiesced to creating a standing army to defend them.
The catalyst came when the state of Georgia required the U.S. to act on a previously agreed upon treaty to irradiate the Indians from Georgia in exchange for lands west of the Mississippi. In 1826 and 1827, the state legislature passed resolutions asserting state sovereignty over Indian lands within Georgia on the basis of their colonial charter. The state legislation proclaimed that all the federal government did was to regulate commerce and failed to initiate the Indian Removal Act as promised in 1802. Under this shortcoming, the state had the right to possess the Indian lands. The federal government, not willing to go to war with Georgia, felt that the Indian Removal Act posed the best option.
Sadly, the Indian Removal Act appeared to be the best option in that the Native Americans could regulate their own laws without hindrance from federal or state jurisdiction to interfere. The Indians could assimilate at their own pace if they desired and they could maintain a semblance of their own culture without contentious, social pressures to conform. President Jackson implemented the Indian Removal Act in 1830 when it finally passed in U.S. Congress. Jackson made several statements to the native nations in order to make sure the Indians understood that they would be well compensated for their lands, and the government would provide for all the cost of removal and relocation. He wrote that only in the west could “the general government exercise a parental control over their interests and possibly perpetuate their race.”[1] While the Indian Removal Act became a devastatingly fatal march of intolerance, the U.S. government had few other realistic options without inciting a civil war.

[1] Dr. Katherine Osburn, Andrew Jackson and Indian Removal, notes from ilearn in HIST 4440 (11 Nov. 2010).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

An anaylitcal review over the foundational steps of colonizer initiated revolution

          In examination of this first step to colonizer initiated revolution, many ideas seem to circumvent each other; this is called a Cartesian circle. A Cartesian circle comes from the Enlightenment Era and specifically from the French theologian and mathematician René Déscartes. He ascribed the idea of the Cartesian circle which applies to a plethora of ideas from the first step in colonizer based revolution. In Descartes’ paper entitled, Meditations on First Philosophies, he detailed the understanding of the Cartesian model through his thoughts on God; I know God exists because of certainty, and I am capable of certainty because God exists.[1] This reflects the similar ideologies behind the terms of the mark of the plural, dehumanization, orientalism, and racism. They confluence in order to exist; they cannot exist without each other. Mark of the plural can only exist with the understanding of dehumanization, and dehumanization is possible through the mark of the plural. Orientalism exists because people understand racism, without racism orientalism could not function and racism is the product of orientalism.
            To fully elucidate this idea one must be in a tenacious comprehension of the terms. Dehumanization contains the existence of the mark of the plural because for one to see a person as less than worthy of human respect the individuality must be demolished completely. In order for this to be accomplished, the individual can only be stripped of individuality by being viewed exactly the same as several others. While two persons can never inherently be the same, through mark of the plural they may be considered as such. A person utilizes the mark of the plural when they observe one trait or pattern in a few people of similar ethnic, national, political, or religious background and assigning the characteristics of the few to the whole, in so doing they strip the identity from the individual. For a person to justify a stereotype as more than a canard, said person must understand the person to not be worthy of individuality. Many times people may take identity away in order to simplify a group of people and thus create an easier understanding of a particular religious, political, ethnic, or national association. For an onlooker to vindicate the mark of the plural they must first make them less than themselves. Given that the onlooker is human, the group or victims of the mark of the plural become less than human which procreates dehumanization. This orchestrates the ideology of the Cartesian circle in that the effect is also the cause and the cause is the effect.
            Orientalism and racism pertain to the Cartesian circle in a reciprocal parallel. In the aforementioned definition of orientalism, Edward Said who ascribed in his book, Orientalism, defined the ideology as a way of regarding a particular group of people with a constellation of fabricated assumptions marked from a privileged perspective.[2] This falsified assumption from a privileged perspective can take many forms, one such form is racism. Racism may be defined as grouping together a particular group of people based on ethnic heritage and discriminating against them because of their ethnic heritage and assuming one’s own ethnic heritage as superior. In order for this to happen a certain brindled characteristic must be ascribed which many times are based on false assumptions and regulated ideas from a callow and neophyte perspective, which is orientalism. Racism comes from orientalism although orientalism cannot be justified without racism. For orientalism to be rationalized racism must be understood because no one can have a privileged perspective without regarding other groups as less civilized or intelligent, which is a factor in racism. This again propels the Cartesian circle ideology.

[1] John Cottingham ed., Meditations on First Philosophy: With Selections from the Objections and Replies (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 25-30.
[2] Class discussion on Edward Said, notes taken in HON 4013: The Fallout of Civilization, Francophone Africa (1 February, 2011).

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Foundation to the first step in colonizer initiated revolution

             In understanding the first step in colonizer based revolution, one must then be led to the foundation of this step which is the mark of the plural. The mark of the plural may be defined as an individual that looks upon a particular group of people as a whole and not as several individuals. In doing this the practice proliferates and induces the mindset of creating dehumanization. Dehumanization encourages the onlooker to see an individual as less than human and more animalistic. In utilizing the mark of the plural, one dehumanizes the individual to lower than being worthy to be seen as an individual which individuality intones people as equal. When someone performs in important role in society they become an individual and personalized, but to dehumanize them would be take that away from them. When the colonizer capitalizes on the mark of the plural, orientalism takes shape. Orientalism may be defined as one who stereotypes in taking one aspect from one or two members of a group and categorizing the entire group under that persona, in essence taking away individuality. Orientalism in its full growth gives place to racism. These ideologies coalesce to form the foundation in the first stage of rebellion.
            Jackson believed the Indians did not own their land just roamed and because they did not advance and develop in the land, the Native Americans were savages and uncivilized. The white American lived in faith to the idea that these lands should be used as “God intended,” which is market based, mono-crop agriculture, and mining in order to advance bullionism, the amount of gold a country possesses which was the basis to mercantilism in Europe; the primary economic system of the time. Civilization and savagery could not coexist in the eyes of the white-American settlers or as the French might call them the “pied noir.” President Andrew Jackson, the signer of the Indian Removal Act, stated, “The philanthropist will rejoice that the remnant of that ill-fated race has been at length place beyond the reach…”[1] Jackson showed his ideas of racism in his phrase “that ill-fated race.” In doing this, Jackson utilized several aspects of the foundation to the first step of which rebellion emerges. He expresses obvious racist ideas which spurn from orientalism, and orientalism has seated ideologies in the mark of the plural which is a form of dehumanization. Once the colonized start to accept their usurpers authority the colonizer’s laws and ideologies become more important and considered worthy to be regarded as truth and the colonized start to internalize the negative orientalism as truth because in their mind they may be able to see some aspects of the negative stereotype in their native society. Rarely does an orientalized stereotype develop from nothing, but the ideas are gleaned from a few and assigned to the whole. In seeing the few examples that the colonizer may be deriving his orientalism from and exploiting the occurrences as more common place than reality would allow, the colonized internalize the racism as the truth. Sadly, numerous Native Americans internalized the racism as truth and thought their life and society worthy to be a protectorate of the American government.

[1] Dr. Katherine Osburn, Andrew Jackson and Indian Removal, handout in class (11 November, 2010).

Monday, March 28, 2011

Example of the first step in colonizer initiated revolution

In regards to colonizer based revolution, let us now examine a more familiar aspect to this ideology to Americans in parallel to the Maghreb, the Native American rebellion to English settlers. This is not to be mistaken for the American Revolution rebellion. In the American Revolution, the native inhabitants did not rebel but the “pied noir” as the French called the settlers from France that were either born the Maghreb or made their home in there. The English called the “pied noir” in the Americas the “patriots” which are all too familiar to Americans. In order to elucidate an accurate accommodation to the study of colonizer based revolution, the revolt must come from the native population, in this case, the Native Americans who founded a thriving civilization full of tradition and prosperity just as the Berbers in the Maghreb.
            When the English settlers established Jamestown in 1607, they imagined no intension of settling but rather a port for pirates in order to raid the passing Spanish ships of the New World treasures and escort the stolen goods to England. Until 1619, Jamestown consisted of a fort and ports. After 1619, when the English government founded a town, indentured servants bound for their freedom journeyed to Jamestown. When the inevitable conflict emerged, the Native Americans found the English settlers of industrial strength and tenacious veracity. The English possessed guns and metal armor, and although the Native Americans fought not without formidable weapons of their own, the bow could not endure to the fire power of the gun. Usurpation was eminent unless diplomacy prevailed. Through Native Americans’ willingness to negotiate and indomitable diplomats such as the famed Pocahontas, usurpation was postponed unlike the cursory domination of the Maghreb.
            The Native Americans fought to maintain their lands in the southeast of America, but this did not stop the Indian Removal Act. President Andrew Jackson addressed the Senate in 1829 stating that the U.S. would no longer support Cherokee sovereignty and called for the removal act that permitted violent and rapacious relocation of the Native Americans to the west of the Mississippi River. He believed they were incapable of assimilation, they blocked the advance of a civilized republic, and stated that the natives would be victimized and taken advantage of based on their lack of intelligence. The American government integrated their negative “mark of the plural” (defined as stereotyping a group of people based on the actions of a few) into the minds of the natives by usurping their land and rights of negotiation. President Jackson proclaimed, “I have long viewed the treaties with the Indians as absurdity not to be reconciled to the principles of our government.”[1] Jackson uses alterity (excluding a certain group of people through terminology such as “them” or “other”) by excluding the Native Americans from his terminology of “our” and believed that the negotiated treaties provided futile from a subordinate people.
            Many Native Americans accepted the authority of their usurper because of their dominant and tyrannical actions that left the natives with no choice but to either fight or submit. Through a hundred years of being looked down upon as subordinate and inferior to the white settlers, many Native Americans started to internalize the inculcated negative stereotypes as truth. This can be seen by the fact that many Native Americans moved west in acceptance of their inability to assimilate and alleviate the cultural differences. Thousands of Native Americans moved west before Jackson signed the Removal Act of 1829. This internal authoritative understanding on the part of the colonized initiates the beginning stage of colonizer based revolution. This remains an example of the first step of colonizer based revolution in American history.

[1] Dr. Katherine Osburn, Indian Removal: Policy Issues and Enactment, handout in HIST 4440 class (11 November, 2010).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

First Step

I recently returned from a trip from the third-world-country of Morocco where I studied ideologies surrounding diffusionism (defined as exogenous invention or material effect that emerged from a foreign country) and colonization (defined as the usurpation and settlement from a dominant and rapacious country into a specific land in which inhabitants already dwell). Colonization began in northern Africa during the middle of the 19th century in the third round of global empire. In the area within the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania, and the disputed Western Sahara), colonization came from the French Empire. In studying the specific aspect of the inevitable revolution as the writer Albert Memmi stated in his book, The Colonizer, the Colonized, as the result of colonization, one must identify the participating factors, in other words, the usurper and the conquered subordinate.
            The colonizer, as identified as the usurper, derived from a direct result of the Métropole (the French mother land in Europe) ideology of civilizing abroad in order to civilize at home (the Métropole). Imperialism from the French perspective allowed for national pride through conquest and the Enlightenment concept of la mission civilisatrice. This ideology comes from “The White Man’s Burden,” a supposition entailing the white man’s place in the world. Rudyard Kipling authored the writings entitled “The White Man’s Burden,” in which he detailed that the civilized, white man shoulders an obligation to civilize the heathen world, in this case, Africa. The colonizer believed he possessed a right to colonize even at the expense of becoming a usurper because of the civilizing mission as Paul Leroy-Beaulieu wrote that colonization brings the substandard civilizations to maturity and grow into a productive member of the world society. Leroy-Beaulieu compared the idea to a parent raising a child. Albert Memmi portrayed the colonizer as a hegemonic (defined as domination of one group over another: politically, culturally, economically, or socially) colonial that accepted himself as a usurper of privilege by putting his own laws in a land that was not his own.
            The colonized, as identified as the conquered subordinate, emanated from a more tribal environment and while constructing a semblance of urbanization and government the tribal community’s loyalty lay with the village authorities. The colonized maintained a technologically inferior civilization in the means of war and in so much that the colonizer tenaciously dominated the native population which commenced the mentality of internalizing the effigy of the colonizer from the view of the colonized. The authority of the colonizer remained essential because if the colonized believed in the colonizer they may start to inculcate the colonizers’ negative ideologies of the colonized and accept it as the truth. This internal authoritative understanding on the part of the colonized initiates the beginning stage of colonized revolution.