Final Exam Essay

Final Exam Essay - At different moments between first...

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At different moments between first contact and the present, what, if anything, did people living in the (future) United States fear? Did all people fear certain things, or just some? Why did they fear these things at these moments? What caused any changes over time in the thing or things people most feared? Why might something have been feared during one period but not in another, possibly just a few years removed? Fear in America From the first discovery of America to the modern days of the 21 st Century, Americans have feared many things; things ranging from the first settlers and their struggles, slavery, fighting for independence, and terrorist attacks. Each and every American has fears of their own, and in different ways, overcome them. In this essay, I will start from the very beginning and end at the present time now, and depict what fears invaded the lives of people living in the United States. From the very beginning, 1492, when Columbus settled into what we call America today, there were many struggles, challenges, and conflicts that turned into fear for the American people. While the New World often witnessed tragic violence and systematic betrayal, it allowed ordinary people of three different races and many different ethnic identities opportunities to shape their own lives as best they could. 1 Africans and Native Americans feared European exploitation 2 , and did things the way their own culture did. The migrants of different races and backgrounds both had fears of diseases such as tuberculosis, smallpox, and measles; smallpox and measles being the deadliest. 3 When the Native Americans first came into contact with Europeans and Africans, they had no defense against the great killers of the Early Modern world. 4 They also had to adjust economically. Food, Climate, and culture were considered their environmental challenge. They 1 Robert A. Divine, et al , The American Story (New York: Penguin Academics, 2005), second edition, 2. 2 Divine, 2. 3 Divine, 3. 4 Divine, 3.
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developed new food sources, at first smaller mammals and fish, nuts and berries, and then about one hundred years later, they discovered how to cultivate certain plants. 5 Over the course of the seventeenth century, men and women both had followed leaders such as Baltimore, Smith, Winthrop, Bradford, Penn, and Berkeley to the New World in hope of creating a successful new society. 6 Some people had religious visions, and others had dreams of being an entrepreneur. The results of their efforts, and the struggles to survive in a very hostile environment and fears that invaded their lives “yielded a spectrum of settlements along the Atlantic coast.” 7 From a specific point of view, for the Witherspoon family, a family who moved from Great Britain to South Carolina, life was more than difficult. The Witherspoons’ initial reaction to the New World was that of despondence. 8
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Final Exam Essay - At different moments between first...

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