Historical Narratives and “Of Plymouth Plantation” by William Bradford Historical Narratives • If you wanted to know what life was like for someone 400 years ago, where could you get the information? – History books? – Autobiography? – Biography? – Diaries? Historical Narratives • Definition: accounts of real-life historical experiences, written by either a person who experienced those events or someone who studied or observed them. • In many cases, historical narratives become important documents. Primary Sources • Materials written by people who were either participants in or observers of the events written about. – Letters, diaries, journals, speeches, autobiographies, and histories. Strategies for Reading Primary Sources • Determine a document’s origin • Try to understand the perspective and motives of the writer • Note sensory details that depict people, places, and events • Identify customs, values, or conditions of the culture or time period. Secondary Sources • Records of events written by people who were not directly involved in the events – Biographies and histories Identifying Sources • Are the following Primary or Secondary Sources? – The handwritten will of a European settler in Virginia, dated 1610 – An encyclopedia article entitled “Puritans” – The Mayflower Compact, an agreement written and signed by passengers on the Mayflower in 1620 – A book entitled Massachusetts Before the Pilgrims, written in 1975 – A record of births and deaths kept by the residents of a village in colonial Virginia Tips for Reading Primary Sources Cont. • • • • • • • Reread and paraphrase unfamiliar ideas Restate the main idea in your own words Visualize what the author describes Predict what will happen next Connect the narrative to what you know Ask questions about the narrative Make a timeline of the events described Puritan Beliefs • Puritanism covered a period from the1550s to about 1700 • Originally developed in England to “purify” the Anglican church (or the Church of England) of the trappings of Catholicism Lasting Effects of Puritans • Emphasis on Simplicity in Worship • Public Education • High Moral Standards • Democratic Political Principles • Puritan Ethic – Believed good was accomplished through hard work, self-reliance, and self-discipline. Influenced industrialism and efficiency. Harvard University A Separatist movement developed within the Puritans. They had given up on “purifying” the church deciding that only a separate movement could succeed. Plymouth Colony William Bradford,Governor of the Plymouth Colony Moving first to Holland in 1607, fear of assimilation and lack of religious fervor led them to leave for a new land “devoyd of all civill inhabitants” in 1620. These people we call “Pilgrims.” William Bradford • Elected governor after the first leader died – Reelected fifteen times • Helped create positive Indian relations and democratictown hall meetings • Began writing his narrative Of Plymouth Plantation in 1630, but it was not published until 1856 • Used “Puritan Plain Style” Style of Puritan literature: • Simple—plain writing style with a clear statement. There is no use of pathos or emotion to sway the reader. • Straightforward—unembellished direct statements, with little figurative language, although there are frequent Biblical allusions. • Spiritual—intended as either personal reflection or group edification Of Plymouth Plantation • Non-Fiction Narrative Account – Tell the story of real-life events. Can be first-hand or written by someone that researched the events. • Considered the most complete authority on the Puritans and a primary document on the time period.