Clash of Cultures
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The year was 1637, the month was June. On one morning, 500 English, Mohegan, and Narragansett were led by Captain John Mason to infiltrate the colonies in Pequot. At that time, Mystic, Connecticut was the place where Pequot camp was located. Men, women, and children from Pequot were continuing with their regular lives before they were brutally assaulted. John Mason and his army approaching the hillocks were noticed by residents. The Pequot tribe were not so sure if they should or should not trust Mason and his army. As soon as reality struck, they ran for cover. The Pequot tried with everything they had to fight a good fight but were unsuccessful in their attempts. The Pequot men, women, and children ran for their lives with the slight hope of surviving from the attackers throughout the day. John Mason was an English who was appointed the commander of the colonial military at the time of the war. As the news reached him that Pequot tribe have issued threats to take out the new colonies on the Connecticut River, Mason and Underhill, another commander, led an army against them.
They were supported by some Native American Indian tribes, namely the Uncas and the Miantonomo. The original plan by Mason was to burn the Pequot’s. They succeeded in their mission, as they killed over 700 Pequot’s in a fire. Seven Pequot’s were also captured alive by Mason but they managed to devise their escape. The battle between Mason and the Pequot’s is significant due to the fact that it helped form colonial and American policies for the native people for over three centuries. It was simply a way for Mason and his troops to whip the Native American population away so that the success of the colonies could be present in the native’s areas. It seemed like the balance of power overnight had shifted from the populous but unorganized natives to the English colonies.
Henceforth [until King Philip’s War] there was no combination of Indian tribes that could seriously threaten the English. The destruction of the Pequot’s cleared away the only major obstacle to Puritan expansion. And the thoroughness of that destruction made a deep impression on the other tribes. The phrase “total war” was developed after this battle. Native American women and children failed to escape from the battlefield. The Native American villages were burnt to the ground. The surviving Pequot’s they were sold off into slavery. The next year the Treaty of Hartford was developed to draw an end to the history of the Pequot tribe. This resulted in the deprivation of the tribe’s actual name and their territory. As for Masson, his military career skyrocketed from this war. He was appointed the chief military officer for the colony, as well as a member of the Connecticut legislature.
He also worked as the Board of Commissioners of the United States Colonies. Masson died at the age of 72, following which a statue built commemorating him in 1889. This was done as a tribute to his role as the founding fathers of Connecticut. The process of dehumanization then started, disregarding which nation was involved. As Mason and his army began to dehumanize the Pequot people, the outcome and people responsible behind it were more apparent than ever before. The immoral treatment the English and Americans in enslaving and murdering Native Americans have been the topic of debates for a long time now. This practice by a handful of people was aimed at gaining more land, wealth, and power. From the beginning violence helped us acquire land, wealth and power. According to a survey of American massacres, incidents of mass extermination similar to the Pequot War portray a lot about our outlook toward violence and war, law and order.
Ultimately, these events show the true story behind the first settlers who came to America. The extermination of Indians, by massacre or flight, powered Europeans to settle in this continent, while the Indian wars are only emphasized in the first sections of our nation’s History.
Cook, B. (1975). AMERICAN JUSTIFICATIONS FOR MILITARY MASSACRES FROM THE PEQUOT WAR TO MYLAI. Peace & Change, 3(2/3), 4. Karr, R. (1998). `Why Should You Be So Furious?’: The Violence of the Pequot War. Journal Of American History, 85(3), 876-909. John Mason, c.1600–1672, American colonial military commander. (2011). Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, 1. Schultz, E. B. (2011). A War and Its Legacy. Cobblestone, 32(1), 2.