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was colonial culture uniquely american - Dani Nguyen

AP US History
Mr. Meloni
1st hour
Student: Dani Nguyen
Was Colonial Culture Uniquely American?
YES: Gary B. Nash, from Jack Greene and J.R. Pole, eds, Colonial British America:
Essays in the New History of the Early Modern Era (The Johns Hopkins University Press.
NO: David Hackett Fischer, from Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America
(Oxford University Press, 1989)
Professor Gary B. Nash repeatedly states that a unique triracial society has been created
by the combination of Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans. However, David
Hackett Fischer argues that Colonial America and United States cultural tradition were
derived from English folk lines transported in the British Isles by migrants from four
distinct areas. In my opinion, I agree with Nash 's thesis.
First, Mr. Nash describes the effect on building a new American culture that the
native Americans had. He says those who have not been killed by disease, murder, or
sold into slavery have been wrapped up in European society. As a result, we can
assume that some indigenous Americans had to participate in mixing the indigenous
American and European races. I think this is the first time two major cultures have
ever really combined, either through marriage, slave rape, or adultery. The creating of a
third race is unique. Mr. Nash continues to speak to us and their tribute to the new
culture about the African Americans. He says "they have developed the greatest ability
to change the culture." The Africans sold as slaves, eventually lost their cultural roots
and grew more European. It can not be said, however, that they were totally and
unquestionably European. Therefore, it is entirely conceivable to say that, with the
exception of the Native Americans, the African Americans were the first real
Americans. Finally, Gary talks briefly about the impact that women had on the culture.
I don't know how it actually fits into the essay, but it has to be semi- or very
I can see no real evidence that the presence of females had any profound
effect on the new culture. Long before Europeans had set foot on the New World,
women had always been around, and the culture of the New World could not have
affected it. Granted, the status of women has definitely changed over the years, and I
assume it had done the same in colonial America.
In conclusion, with the reasons mentioned above, I believe that colonial culture was
exclusive to the Americans. That culture in which we live today I believe is just a
branch of the three original cultures that this essay mentions.