essay 1[1]

Essay 1[1] - Christine Van Pelt HIS 1307 05 Traditions of European Claims on the New World In Patricia Seeds Ceremonies of Possession in the

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Christine Van Pelt HIS 1307 05 Traditions of European Claims on the New World In Patricia Seed’s Ceremonies of Possession in the Europe’s Conquest of the New World: 1492-1640, there are many different methods of possession from the various groups that conquered the new world. Every action each group did, ranging from astrological maps, to artwork, to a reading of submission, established a valid claim of possession in their minds. When the English landed on America, they decided to declare their rights by building things upon the property. They built houses to set up residency, fences to enclose the property, and gardens to grow food and prosper. 1 They felt that the “houses established a legal right to the land upon which they were constructed” and “erecting a fixed dwelling place upon a territory, under English law created a virtually unassailable right to own the place”. 2 There is significant background for these practices for the English. It goes back to common law for them. In the English colonies, an official would order fences to be built because “fences and other types of boundaries had legal significance. Fences created the presumption of ownership in medieval English law; their visible presence on the landscape physically indicated actual English occupation and communicated English rights”. 3 The English took basis from biblical scriptures as well. Genesis 1:28 states, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.” English felt it was link to agriculture and land possession. They looked at the symbolism as a universal claim to the land. Their proprietorship in America was based on clear acts of building fences, hedges, and houses instead of just theories of discovery or occupation they wrote down in documents. In their minds, this was the only rational way of claiming their discovered land. The French had a much different take on possession. They were more visual when it came to claiming land. After they erected a cross on the land, they would perform multi-faceted, drawn-out ceremonies. There were many details that went into the event from the clothes that each person wore to the different actions that each person did. The French made sure the “costumes and staging were critical to such ceremonies” and “equally important were the sounds
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2012 for the course HIS 1307 taught by Professor Gawrich during the Spring '08 term at Baylor.

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Essay 1[1] - Christine Van Pelt HIS 1307 05 Traditions of European Claims on the New World In Patricia Seeds Ceremonies of Possession in the

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