“Many Rivers to Cross – Age of Slavery” is one of the best videos I have watched in regards to slavery in American History, I was very happy it had subtitles. The film overall gave me a good idea of how slavery was in that period of time and the speakers throughout the film made it more powerful rather than just having one person tell the whole story. One of the points that was brought up that caught my attention was when the first slaves were starting to be freed and it was marked how freedom does not equal equality. I thought this part of the film was very powerful because that problem has been faced for many many years and it is sad to say there are still traces of this idea that some people are not as equal. Inventions like the cotton gin intensified slavery and it almost seemed like America dug itself into a hole because some people were starting to contemplate the idea of freeing their slaves but they had become too dependent on slavery. Something I really liked about the film is that it showcased character that did not have successful uprisings. Gabriel’s revolt never took place but I believe it was very important for them to include this in the film because history does not have perfect happenings and there are many times when the “good side/intentions” fail. People like Gabriel may have never had his revolt but his courage and bravery was crucial for other slaves to initiate an idea that showed them they did not have to live the way they did. Something that caught my attention was the fact that some free slaves had to buy their spouses, I can’t even imagine having to put a price on your husband/wife, these people were treated like animals and it is hard for a person like me to understand how someone could treat a human being like that. One of the parts of the film that gave me a feeling of malaise was the part where it talked about slaves being very expensive so owners would buy female slaves to potentially breed their own slaves, this was another one of those parts of the film that made me question how a person could do something like that and be able to sleep at night. I think slavery shows how insane people’s desire for power can be but at the same time in brings up the point of not knowing anything else. These slave owners were sons of slave owners who were raised with that mentality and I think that plays a big role in this part of history, the horrible tendencies that are passed down in white families at that time. Nat Turner gave me the chills, his actions screamed revenge and it made me think that slavery had to be incredibly horrible to motivate someone to made slave owners and their children. I was a bit upset that Harriet Tubman was only mentioned for a quick minute but her story was not explained whatsoever. I believe this film overall was really really good and by far the most powerful section was when they told the story of Margaret Garner and her children. Margaret’s actions really made me understand how horrifying slavery was because it had to be so bad she decided she would kill her children before they were sent back to slavery. This part made me very sad and was an eye opener. Throughout the whole film I just kept thinking how these slave owners were able to sleep at night having done these horrifying things. Films like these are very important for every American to watch because it sends such a powerful message. I very much enjoyed the film.
It is very interesting to learn abut this division between Federalists and Antifederalists. It seemed like most picked sides to their convenience, expect those who stay neutral. I left myself wondering what would be my position if I lived in that time. Based on my heritage I would probably be fighting the Spanish in Mexico but I for the sake of this scenario I will be putting myself in the shoes of a powerful man who owns many slaves. I think In this scenario I would be an antifederalists. I believe if I made a living from owning slaves and working my farm, I would want the state to hold more power because if people on more urban states would’ve gotten ideas against the way I make my living, I would feel like a had more protection because we all know some states were largely rural with farms and other largely urban and so I think I would’ve understood that I was different from the Urban people and at some point they would have revolutionary ideas I would have disagreed on. But if I’m being honest, If I was a slave owner not too involved with politics, I would just be antifederalists so that things just wouldn’t change. I think some antifederalists knew there was some changes to be made but they were satisfied way the way things were and although I think there were a lot of changes that needed to be made but a framer slave owner would not have had the mindset that I would not have, they would not understand what I understand and the other way around. I think all they knew was what they have known and since they didn’t know better, they would’ve not wanted change.
I watched all the videos on module six and it is clear they are extremely biased. I understand that the first three videos were directed towards children but wow, they really made Britain seem like an evil Stepmom. I thought the moldy and narrative was really catchy and thought it was an easy and entertaining way to get a very very general view on the American Revolution and events that happened before that. The first video made it seem like the british let the colonists make some money and when it was profitable, take all of it. Although some part of this is true, it made it seem like the King took all the money away and left everyone poor. As we learned on class, this wasn’t the case and I thought it was really selfish that the colonists had a way lower tax rate but they acted like it was the end of the world. To be honest, I felt that the taxation maybe got a bit extreme BUT iT seemed fair. If I am protecting you, and helped you out in war, you better give me some profit. I feel like the moral of the story is that there was not a villain or hero. Both sides took advantage of each other and tried to do everything in their power to get more money/power. Although I did find crashcourse to be helpful and provide some more insight on the topic!
The Jesuit Relations is a primary source from European Perspective. I decided to focus on a small portions that focused on Indians. The part that I decided to focus on was in the introduction and was titled “The Indians.” I was expecting this entry to be very biased, say horrible things about indians and just bash them. In the portion I read it was actually very informative. It didn’t feel like story but in fact just a piece of writing showcasing the observations the Europeans had about the Indians. It mentioned how the indians had many languages and although some of them were savages, it made me think the Europeans thought of them as complex humans and not wild animals. This writing somewhat contradicts what I thought Europeans thought of Indians. I always depicted Europeans at that time as people who felt superior and had no respect or empathy towards Indians but I guess it depends on who you were and the purpose you had to explore the new land. It is a very extensive piece of writing and I believe it is incredible we have these primary sources today that can help historians better understand the encounters between europeans and Indians.
Black Robe was a very entertaining but eye opening movie. I felt like the graphic scenes made these movie more realistic and added more character to the movie itself. Throughout the movie I just found it difficult to detach myself from the 2010’s mentality and try to emerge into what they were thinking and feeling based their knowledge at the time. There were some parts where the Indians were portrayed as animal like creatures but when you really learn about the history it seems like them movie depicted them as the antagonists. I think they tried to make it an entertaining story long with facts and a learning outcome but I don’t believe they did a very good job. They had to make someone the bad guy and the good guy to make it an interesting story but that took away from the actual facts which affected the learning outcome that seemed they wanted the watcher to have. I just feel like movies like these are the ones that mislead and lead people to create rumors or false information on a historical event. Overall it was an enjoyable movie and I got really invested in the love story but do not recommend for historical learning purposes.
I thought that the article “Native American vs. American Indian: Political correctness dishonors traditional chiefs of old” was interesting but If I’m being honest, it was easy to tell that it was very biased. Within the first couple of lines I could tell that the tone of the piece of writing and the writer’s small coments quickly showed the despise the author had for the use of the term Native American in the media. I believe they did not have a strong argument, it almost seemed like a rant with not much structure. The author is not specified but it comes from the news outlet Native Sun News which I guess would explain the biased element. The argument of the article revolves around the disapproval of Indians being called Native Americans by the Media. Aside from the obvious biased, I absolutely agree with opinion that if you would like to be called Indian and not Native American is up to them and them only but the article does not provide enough evidence to suggest that they were “bullied” into being called Native Americans. In my opinion this article did not make me think that they were objectively communicating their needs but instead just creating an atmosphere of negativity with not much positive encouragement nor action taking.