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Thanksgiving Day, A Remembrance of Genocide?

Uploaded by m_livy101 on Nov 24, 2021

Thanksgiving is a federal holiday which is observed across the US for its historical significance in a mutually beneficial relationship with the pilgrims and natives. Or we are told to believe. The common theory of the day is taught in school districts in mostly every state, and usually it portrays an image of acceptance and prosperous relationship between the two. The truth however is far removed from this fabled story.
The story taught to kids begins with the Plymouth Colony, an English colony created by John Smith in 1620. The colony was made up of ~500-1000 puritans, a protestant group that believed in the reformation of the church but were persecuted for their different beliefs. On the other side of the story were the Wampanoag Nation, a group of Native American peoples that lived in the New England area for long before the settlers arrived. Massasoit, the leader of the nation, endorsed friendly relations with the colonists. The Natives helped the colonists find their way around an unfamiliar area and food gathering strategies (in both hunting and harvesting). This agreement was well found, as both groups were able to secure their own safety from one another.
In honor of this alliance, a feast was to be called in celebration. In autumn, they shared a feast where both sides exchanged food in creating a stronger relationship in the future. While historians are unsure of what foods were present at the time, the modern culture of Thanksgiving has rooted with turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy (along with many others). 2021 marks the 400-year anniversary of this event, a tradition that millions of Americans still celebrate to this day. But Thanksgiving hides with it many loops and developments from there can very much change the perspective entirely.
The first major issue was that the Native Americans were never actually invited. The feast, many times falsely assumed to be a binding one between groups, was not meant for the Native Americans. Instead, it was an annual feast celebrated by the colonists which the Wampanoag walked into and joined. Second, there were many feasts in relation to the colonists, and not all were friendly. According to insider.com, “Others pinpoint 1637 as the true origin of Thanksgiving, since the Massachusetts Bay Colony's governor, John Winthrop, declared a day to celebrate colonial soldiers who had just slaughtered hundreds of Pequot men, women, and children”.
The “peaceful” relationship...

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Uploaded by:   m_livy101

Date:   11/24/2021

Category:   American History

Length:   3 pages (598 words)

Views:   240

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