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).


At April 4, 2011 at 4:10 PM , Blogger Debbie Barnard said...

Interesting idea of comparing Indian removal to what the French did in North Africa. Be careful, though: The French didn't displace the Berbers (the Arabs had already done that). The conflict in Algeria was primarily between the French and the Arabs.

At April 5, 2011 at 7:32 AM , OpenID falloutofdaniel said...

Jonathan, I enjoyed your masterful use of terminology from the class. A great condense retelling of the strugles of the Indians, being a history major has paid off I guess. Look forward to seeing where you take this.


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