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Was Colonial Culture Uniquely American? Refers To A Section In The Book "Taking Sides" By Gary B. Nash

857 words - 3 pages

After reading the section entitled 'Was Colonial Culture Uniquely American' in the book Taking Sides, I came to the conclusion that colonial culture was uniquely American. Professor Gary B. Nash states time and time again that the combination of the Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans created a unique triracial society. Although other reasons do comply with my choice, they all basically come back to this statement.First, Mr. Nash describes the effect the Native Americans had on the building of a new American culture. He says that the ones who were not killed by either disease, murder, or sold into slavery, were enveloped into the European society. As a result, we can assume that some Native Americans had to have taken part in the mixing of the Native American and European races. I believe this to be the first time that two major cultures had ever actually combined, either by marriage, slave rape, or adultery. This alone, the creating of a third race, is unique.Mr. Nash goes on to tell us of the African Americans, and their tribute to the new culture. He states that 'they developed the greatest capacity for cultural change.' The Africans brought over to be sold as slaves, would eventually lose their cultural roots and become more European. However it cannot be said that they were completely and without doubt European. Therefore, it is entirely conceivable to say that, with the exception of the Native Americans, the African Americans were the first real Americans.Finally, Gary, (can I call him Gary?) talks briefly about the impact that women had on the culture. How this really fits into the essay, I don't know, but its there so it must be semi- if not really important. I can see no real evidence that the presence of females had any profound effect on the new culture. Women had been around long before Europeans had ever set foot upon the ground of the New World, and so could not have effected the culture of it. Granted, the status of women has definitely changed over the years, and I assume it had done the same in colonial America. Yet I can still see no dramatic change that is entirely devoted to women.All of these reasons have led me to believe that, yes, colonial culture was uniquely American. I think that this culture that we live in today, is only a branch of each of the three original cultures mentioned in this essay. After reading the argument, I tend to side more with Gary B. Nash.Was Colonial...

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