Assignment1: Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America
Franklinand Red Jacket both defend and support the Native Americans. RedJacket was a Native American himself, while Franklin believed in theneed to view cultures from different nations with impartiality, forthen we would realize we are all human beings. The two authors havesome arguments in common. To begin with, both are for the belief thatNative Americans are very cautious when giving feedback. Franklinsays a major Indian rule to signify civility is “notto answer a public proposition the same day that it was made, sincethey (theNative Americans) thinkit would be treating it as a light matter”(Baym & Levine, 2012b). Similarly, Red Jacket, together with theIndian Council, takes time before issuing feedback to Jacob Cram themissionary.
Secondly,both authors support the idea that Native Americans are a civilizedpeople. This is not explicitly stated, rather, it is inferred. RedJacket informs the missionary that the Native Americans do not fightover religion as it was given to them by the ‘Great Spirit` (Baym &Levine, 2012). Other Americans, who consider themselves civilized,are usually engaged in conflicts which explain the differentdenominations within Christianity. Franklin supports this argument bysaying that “.. . there is no prison there are no force, no officers to compelobedience or inflict punishment”(Baym & Levine, 2012b). This system of conduct is quite ironic ina group of people who are considered primitive and backward.
Lastbut not least, both authors agree on the view that the ‘whites’were notorious for cheating the Native American Indians. According toCanassatego (Baym & Levine, 2012a), going to church does notchange the white man in any way, because he always contrives to trickIndians in the price of beaver. Red Jacket, in his reply to JacobCram regarding his religion, says “.. . If we find it (thereligion) doesthem (whitepeople)good, makes them more honest . . .to cheat Indians, we will thenconsider again of what you have said”(Baym & Levine, 2012a).
Thetwo authors were prompted differently to write their arguments. RedJacket wrote his argument as a reply to Jacob Cram, a missionary,upon a request to establish Christianity in the locality. Franklin,on the other hand, was simply prompted by the need for equality amongdifferent nations despite any differences. I find both authorsreliable in the sense that, in presenting their arguments, they do soobjectively. They do not take sides. Red Jacket, while defending thereligion of his people, is not quick to dismiss the white man’sreligion, rather, he promises to comply provided he notices thereligion’s positive influence on his white neighbors. Franklin, onthe other hand, infers that we should not call a group of peoplesavages simply because their culture is different from our own asthis would seem far-fetched and flimsy.
Assignment2: From Common Sense
ThomasPaine’s Common Sense is an argumentative essay of remarkableproportions. Paine, in the article, argues for independence from theBritish rule in America. The writer has structured his argument insuch a way that it begins with general reflections on religion andthe government, then delves deeper into the bare essentials ofcolonial leadership.
Painebegins by giving his understanding of a government. According toPaine, the “governmentis ideally an institution whose primary purpose is to protect thelife, liberty, and property of its constituents”(Baym & Levine, 2012c). This understanding, of course, iscontrary to the tenets holding a colonial government together.
Inresponse to the assertion that America has made tremendous gainsunder British rule and should thus remain loyal to the King. Painequips that America has now evolved and no longer needs British help(Baym & Levine, 2012c). The writer argues that instead ofprotecting America, the colonial government has exploited the colonyfor its selfish economic well-being. Paine claims that if America isto revolt at this moment, she can still use the large expanse of theunchartered land in the west, to settle any debts it may incur.However, the most persuasive argument is included in the followingexcerpt “anotherevil which attends hereditary succession is that the throne issubject to be possessed by a minor at any age. . . acting under coverof a king”(Baym & Levine, 2012c).
Personally,I believe it would be questionable to trust a system of governancewhich would support children leaders. How then, would you expect amere child to make informed decisions about international relationsand what-not. The illogicality of this system is not to beoverlooked, what with its many loopholes? This argument, in itself,is quite strong against the British Colonial power of the time.
Baym,N. & Levine, R. (2012a). Reply to the Missionary Jacob Cram.TheNorton Anthology, American Literature,(Shorter 8thEdition., pp. 245-247). New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co.
Baym,N. & Levine, R. (2012b). Remarks Concerning the Savages ofNorth America. TheNorton Anthology, American Literature,(Shorter 8thEdition., pp. 245-247). New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co.
Baym,N. & Levine, R. (2012c). From Common Sense. TheNorton Anthology, American Literature,(Shorter 8thEdition., pp. 324-340). New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co.