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Seminar paper from the year 2006 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,3, University of Duisburg-Essen, course: A Survey of American History, language: English, abstract: Texts written during the time of the settlement in America often include descriptions of Indian tribes and Native Americans. In these descriptions the Indians are often called “Savages” because of their outer appearance and their behaviour. But were those Indians really savages, barbarians or devils? Were they as uncivilized as often dscribed or are those images the result of misunderstandings? Is it possible that they were more civilized than the White Men? To answer these question it is necessary to have a closer look on those texts, for example, the texts of John Smith and Benjamin Franklin who build up different pictures of the Native Americans and the White Men. Smith’s and Franklin’s texts have varying approaches and backgrounds but both men had close contact to the Indians. Therefore their texts are good basics to answer the questions in an objective way because their varying descriptions make it possible to carefully consider the facts and opinions. Because both texts are subjective it is also necessary to give some facts about Indian tribes and their ways of life. John Smith’s text is about the Powhatan whereas Benjamin Franklin mostly writes about the Iroquois. Therefore it is obvious to also consider facts about those tribes and not only refer to Smith and Franklin. All these backgroung information will help to clearify who “the real savages” are.
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