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BRYAN.BAILEY.FINAL WRITING ASSIGNMENT

BRYAN.BAILEY.FINAL WRITING ASSIGNMENT - Bryan Bailey...

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Bryan Bailey History 1302, Section 8430, Fall 2010 Written Assignment 1 What I Have Learned This Semester I must admit, when preparing to take History 1302, I was worried that I would find the subject matter boring and uninteresting. I could not have been more wrong. The material this semester has proven to be both interesting and revealing. Here is just a small excerpt of what I learned this semester in History 1302… In the first discussion board assignment we discussed why it was that we hated history and I was shocked to learn about all the changes, editing and inaccuracies that were taught to us from our history books in elementary, middle school and high school history classes. I think I always suspected that there were inaccuracies, but not to the lengths that were addressed in our course’s reading assignments. With this newfound enlightenment, I will now look at history texts from a different perspective. Also, during one of our first few discussion assignments, I was surprised to learn just how many Native Americans lived in the Americas at the time of Columbus' landing in 1492. I previously thought the Indians were savages and that they were just a small group of half naked, whooping, hollering folks that danced around the fire, constantly fighting and living in teepees. I was surprised to read just how advanced the Indians were and the structure of their homes, the order of their civilization, do I dare say they were the civilized ones, we, the Europeans, were uncivilized and savage. (Zinn, 15) Further, I felt silly and justifiably so for suggesting in one of our discussions that there were only 1,000 Native Americans in 1492, when in fact there were about 120 million at the time of Columbus' journey. (Class notes) I found it interesting that the Indian families were matrilineal, meaning the line went down through its female members. Husbands and sons joined their wives' families and
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that each family lived in "long houses." If a woman wanted a divorce, she simply placed her husband's things outside the door. (Class notes) Another point of interest for me this semester was the discussion on Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims. I was shocked to learn about the hijacking theories of the Mayflower, the "plague" wiping out 90 to 96 percent of the inhabitants of coastal New England, and the real story of Squanto, and after all we know to be true now, the censorship of speaker Frank James, selected by the Wampanoags, at the Massachusetts Department of Commerce 350 th anniversary of the Pilgrim's landing. (Lies, 70-92)
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