Tuesday, January 20, 2015

More Information = More Fun

After today's lesson in English 11, I had so many questions! They were about society during the current reading. This makes my teacher heart happy. Today we read and discussed Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford and I was blown away by the questions surrounding the narrative.

What are Mariners?
Why didn't they go back to England?
Why didn't the all people treat the Indians like they did?
Why should we believe William Bradford?

We also got side tracked and talked about one of my favorite short stories of all time, "Desiree's Baby" by Kate Chopin. Not sure how that ties into this lesson, but why not?

So here is some more information class:

The Plymouth Colony
The Mayflower an image of the ship
Mayflower Passengers
Pilgrims vs. Puritans

Cool fact about Capt. John Smith and the Pilgrims:
Before leaving England, the Separatist leaders went to talk with Capt. John Smith, who had been to the New World and had made some extensive surveys of the New England area. Capt. Smith would have been willing to sail with them on the Mayflower as an adviser. However, the Pilgrim Fathers did not have the money to pay for his service. Instead, they purchased his book, which included a detailed map of the New England region.
Payment and Mutiny:
Even before Mayflower anchored off the tip of Cape Cod, there was a near mutiny. The passengers had hired themselves out as indentured servants, promising to work for seven years to pay for their passage. Some of these passengers thought they could do as they pleased since they were outside the bounds of English law. So they threatened to take their freedom as soon as they got on land. 
The Pilgrim leaders knew it would take a lot of hard work to survive that first winter. They would have to cut down trees and haul logs and thatch to build houses. They knew they would need all the help they could get. 
To solve the problem, the Pilgrims wrote the Mayflower Compact. The Compact was an agreement signed by all the men on board-including the indentured servants-promising to abide by laws that would be drawn up and agreed upon by all male members of the community. The women were not allowed to participate in the governing process. 
The Compact states that they would choose their own leaders and make their own laws. It also stated there was to be equal justice for all. This Compact became the constitution of the Plymouth Colony. It was the first document of American democracy to establish "government of the people, by the people, for the people."
Indian and Pilgrim Peace
The peaceful relations between the Pilgrims and Indians had lasted 54 years, during the lifetimes of the Massasoit and the original members of Plymouth Colony.
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