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American Savages Essay

1300 words - 5 pages

Benjamin Franklin wrote “Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America” to show that it was not the Native Americans that were “savages”, in fact it was the Americans that acted like savages towards the Native Americans because they were not accustom the their culture. Americans considered Native Americans to be “savages” because they had very different customs and lifestyle. Responsibilities that were considered important to Americans at that time were not important to the Indians. “Our laborious manner of life, compared with theirs, they esteem slavish and base and the learning, on which we value ourselves they regard as frivolous and useless” ( 226). Americans consider things such as graduating high school and college and getting a job to support themselves and their families to be very important achievements and a huge responsibility. To the Native Americans being a good hunter and becoming a man are far more important to them. Although it was hard for Americans to accept that Native Americans believe those things are more important than graduating college, it does not by any means give them a reason to be considered “savages.” If anyone should be considered a “savage” it should be the Americans because of the way they reacted to the Native Americans when they showed them their culture.
Boys in the Native American culture are pushed to be good runners, skilled hunters, and good warriors. When they achieve this they are considered men in their society. When they become too old to do all of this they become counselors of the village. Women are expected to raise children, make food, and take care of the children for a lifetime. There is no police force, government, or punishment in their culture. They do not need it. These responsibilities are very important to them and their way of living their life to the fullest. When the Treaty of Lancaster was established, the commissioner of Virginia gave the 6 Nations a very generous offer. He said that the Indian youth could attend Williamsburg College. If they could get half a dozen to attend the government would ensure they were taken care of and treated equally. To an American this would be a dream come true to provide this kind of opportunity for his or her child, but the Indians did not see it that way. Never the less, they thanked the commissioner for the offer and kindly declined it. They explained to him that they needed men in their tribes, they understood why this opportunity was offered to them, but they were not interested. Many Americans took the Indians reply to the commissioner as an insult, when in fact it was not at all. The Americans did not understand why they would not take advantage of this opportunity, but the Indians explained that if they did send their youth to college they would not be able to survive in their world when they returned. They would not be good hunters or good warriors, so they would not be able to provide for their families or help protect their homes. They...

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