Friday, October 22, 2010

Pequot War

     There are several instances in United States history that are considered stains on the American psyche.  From the onset of colonization by European explorers up until present day, natives of the western hemisphere have been met by unbridled hostility.  The first official "war" of hostility for British America was the Pequot War (1636-1638).
     The Pequot tribe inhabited what today is Connecticut.  The first British settlements that were established in Connecticut were by Puritans in 1633.  Tension between the Pequots and the Puritans began almost immediately, leading to a raid and massacre of an English vessel's crew.  The Puritans blamed this massacre on warriors of the Pequot tribe and retaliated.  As seen in history, the extent of British retaliation was not equal but greater.  By today's standards, the Puritans retaliatory actions were genocidal with the indiscriminate killing of Pequot women and children along with Pequot warriors.  The end of the Pequot war was the signing of the Treaty of Hartford in 1638.  A lesson of history shows itself here whereby the winners of wars are the ones to dictate the terms.  The Puritans were bent on trying to wipe out the Pequot name whenever and wherever possible.
     What I find most disconcerting about the Pequot War is hypocrisy of the Puritans.  The Puritans fled Britain to get away from the religious persecution they were facing.  Their hostility towards the Pequot is a clear example of the persecuted becoming the persecutor.  The Pequot War would become the first in a wave of hostility toward North American native tribes throughout American history.

Source of picture: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b8/Pequot_war.jpg
Source of information: The Intellectual Devotional: American History by Kidder and Oppenheim, pg. 2

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