Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Early Pennsylvania

My source covers the early accounts of Pennsylvania and takes a look at the laws, standard of living and behaviour of the settlers that had already established themselves. Also the outlook on religion is examined too. Also there is a focus on the indigenous peoples way of living.
Firstly, it appears that the laws of the land at the time were extremely harsh "swearing, lying, bearing of false witness (since an oath is not allowed), scandal-mongering, adultery, lewdness, duelling, and stealing, are forbidden under pain of he severest punishment." This idea that swearing could be punished with the severest punishment, which we can presume is death, shows the brutality and how stern and unreasonable they were. I believe that the reason for these high levels of discipline was through the determination, that the early settlers had, to make a state of excellence and to make it an example that should be replicated by others. However, this did not deter them from treating the indigenous people with an absolute lack of humanity.
 However, in rather stark contrast they appear to have a very relaxed view when it came to religion "no one shall be disturbed in his belief or religion." This seems foreign to us now because of the persecution that religious people feel from others; not only today but throughout recent history. It shows a certain level of consciousness amongst the settlers that religion was not a matter to feel offended by even though it means a person is different. However, this is yet again contradicted by the fact that the settlers had the indecency to rip apart a whole community of indigenous people.
  The description of the indigenous people as well shows them in a very serene light. They seem very calm and satisfied with life. They mourn very heavily and their faith is very strong, so therefore would have similarities with the settlers. There appears to be no tension in their life's which shows the settlers that abused them in an even worse light. The reason for this is that it appears that there was nothing to provoke them into such violence.

This article is about the Plymouth Colony and surviving their first winter from 1620-21. William Bradford the narrator tells us how difficult it is to survive and how 100 out of 150 people died within the first winter. One thing that interests me is that the contact between the Colony and the Indians does not seem threatening in fact it shows they're in alliance with each other:

 1 That neither he nor any of his should injure or do hurt to any of their people.
2 That if any of his did any hurt to any of theirs, he should send the offender that they might punish
3 That if anything were taken away from any of theirs, he should cause it to be restored, and they
should do the like to his.
4 If any did unjustly war against him, they would aide him; if any did war against them, he should aid
5 He should send to his neighbors confederates [allies] to certify them of this, that they might not
wrong them, but might be likewise comprised [informed] in the conditions of peace.
6 That when their men came to them, they should leave their bows and arrows behind them.1

The Indians also show hospitality and show the Colony how to grow the crops as their crops are dying. It also interests me how the Indians learnt some English to communicate with the Colony which shows them willing to make a bond with the Colony.

It makes you wonder how this relationship and possibly many others break down and then the English eventually turn against them and cause genocide.

Voyage to Virginia

In 1688 Mr John Clayton wrote an account of his voyage to the state of Virginia and on the state itself. Describing to the people back in the mother land how different and similar it was. Most of his report is written from memory, as all his writing equipment fell overboard. Also he states his mind has a weakness where he can’t remember things that well, which he apologises for in in first paragraph. This does in a way make him a form of an unreliable narrator as we can’t guarantee that all his facts will be correct.
The contrast is weather is one of the first things that John mentions in his account. Here is an extract from his description 

“May and June the Heat encreases, and it is much like our Summer, being mitigated with gentle Breezes that rise about nine of the Clock, and decrease and incline as the Sun rises and falls. July and August those Breezes cease, and the Air becomes stagnant that the Heat is violent and troublesome. 

The difference in weather on a month to month basis is shown here and how vast it can be reaching both ends of the weather spectrum. In the quote above it mentions how hot the summers get and how they become “violent and troublesome” something that he finds hard to adapt to. He also states that the Indian’s may not be as civilised as what the English are, 

 “ for I look on the allowing them Horses much more dangerous than even Guns and Powder.”

 This could mean that he is calling them savages as then they would have the basic skills to run around wild and they would be able to get around faster – but at the same time is saying how uncivilised  and basic minded they are as they wouldn't be able to work out how to use the gun and gun powder.

A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, 1622

(Image found on,  "Mayflower with shallop" by William Halsall, 1882)

In 1622, the Mayflower transported 102 English pilgrims to New England. Although they did not land where they had intended, they eventually came to settle in Plymouth. The journey of the Mayflower has come to be one of the most important to the history of New England, due to the influential Mayflower Compact, which created the foundation of self-government and  democracy in America.

This account is by Edward Winslow, with the addition of William Bradford. It discusses of how the pilgrims came to settle in New England, exploring the land, and meeting the natives. It was written between November 1620 and November 1621, providing information of the first year of the settlers.

One line which stood out for me in this journal was, "And sure it was God's good providence that we found this corn, for else we know not how we should have done, for we knew not how we should find or meet with any Indians, except it be to do us a mischief." This suggests to me that the settlers were happy to live off of the provisions of the natives, and were thankful to find some food, but were less than willing to actually meet and interact with the Indians. They seem to believe that the Indians will bring 'mischief', perhaps this is because they view them as uncivilised savages, or because they know that they are taking over native land. 
At a later point in the journal, an encounter with the Indians is described, "They thought it best to defend it, lest the enemy should take it and our stuff, and so have the more vantage against us." Here, they have proclaimed the native Indians as the enemy, and are protective of their weaponry, worried that should the natives get hold of it, they then have the upper hand. This suggests to me that the settlers think that they have the upper hand in keeping the natives in their place, and worry that this role could very easily be reversed. 



In December 1606, three ships left England to establish a Virginia Colony. Amongst the men was George Percy, a previous colony's governor. They eventually arrived in April 1607, where they discovered "faire meddowes and goodly tall trees, with such fresh-waters running through the woods".

After spending the day, they experienced their first negative encounter with native peoples (Savages), which could have potentially been an obstacle in their plans to build on 'already-inhabited land'.

However the captain's leadership proved successful in their next encounter with the 'savages'. Where the captain offered a sign of friendship by laying his heart on his hand. "upon that they laid down their Bows and Arrowes, and came very boldly towards us, making signes to come a shoare to their towne". They were entertained by them, fed and shown their culture. "Dancing about him, shouting, howling and stamping against the ground, with many Antic tricks and faces, making noise like so many wolves or Devils."

I think the last quote emphasises the ignorance of the settlers, comparing them to creatures. The English are still prepared to build on land that is already inhabited. Potential Genocide came from all race's, all the time.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

French View of American Cinema

  The source that I have chosen discusses France's view on American cinema and how it can affect theirs. Ultimately, it assesses the French's determination and stubbornness to not let American characteristics filter itself through into their culture. The article is not solely based on the different film traits between the two countries but instead how the cinema is a reflection and highlights the difference between the two countries societies and cultures, rather than their view on cinema.

  I believe the aspect, that the article highlights, that is most distinguishing between the two countries is the idea of masculine and feminine culture that is demonstrated in their films. American films are masculine and, as a result, involve assertiveness, strength and bravery. The French, on the other hand, live in a feminine culture and are therefore more focused on relationships and as a result are rather more contemplative. I believe that because of this difference the French and particularly determined to avoid American films and culture because of the overwhelming contrast. This can be related to both countries view on war. The French are well known for being passive and the use of cinema has been blamed for that. America, however, is overtly aggressive when it comes to war because of their emphasis on masculinity in cinema.

This map shows global opinions on how different countries view America. Those who give a favourable opinion on America can be quite surprising such as Mexico, which even surprises Americans themselves, as even with tension on the border due to mass immigration which causes lots of resentment among Americans and even with drug trafficking they give a general positive opinion.

Greece's Opinion on America

This article details the changing opinion on America from Greece, as becoming less negative, and abandoning a long-standing anti-American feeling.
The article says that in 2010 only 12.2% of Greeks favoured America. This hugely increases to 35% in 2012, and 39% in 2013, which is more than 3x as many who favoured America in 2010. I found this information on a global attitudes website (, and obtained this graph from there.
The article also goes on to say how Greeks were very favourable towards Barack Obama, and gave him a 66.8% favourable rating. This is higher than his own country, which was 57% in 2013, and only 25.5% had a negative view on him. This could be an indication as to why the public opinion has changed towards America, perhaps the Greek feel more at ease and favourable of America with Obama in charge. However, the article goes on to say that although this may be the case, the Greek are still largely against American foreign policy, with only 27.6% having a favourable opinion on the matter. 
Generally, the Greek have a very favourable opinion towards American culture, 88.6% have a positive view of American universities, and 85.6% have a positive view on American products and technology. 61.3% of Greeks have a positive opinion towards American people. 
Overall, the Greek opinion towards America is warming, it has gone from being quite harsh and judgemental, to an acceptance of culture, and the hope of Obama, despite the fact that still a high number of Greeks are critical of American foreign policies. 

North Korea and the USA

When reading the article about why North Korea has such strong negative feeling towards the USA it to me becomes apparent that there are multiple factors that are involved. One is the history of how the country was formed and ruled - as it is a communist country it is bound to have clashes with the USA as it is a leading country in Capitalism, bringing back opposition of similar ideas to what was in the "Cold War". Also the USA's close links to South Korea seems to push the two countries apart not to mention the fact most of North Korea's media and internet is monitored and suited so that its people inherit the negative ideology of the USA; amongst other things like: Military Power, Global Politics, Culture Influences and more.  

China's opinion of the United States of America

By reading this article written about the attitudes of the Chinese towards America, I believe that China believes the United States to be a threat, especially since China is a rising power. According to the chart below, most of the Chinese population believe that America is unfavourable as opposed to the minority, which believe otherwise. Although the relationship between the Chinese and America is not as bad as other countries, it could still be viewed as, not particularly great. The Chinese see western culture, particularly American culture as "militaristic, offense-minded, expansionist, and selfish". 
The view of the Chinese could be justified by America's overwhelming military power, political influence and economic stability. 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

I like this creative map of the different images that are from each state as it shows the wonderful landscape that the US has and the diversity in it. It also shows us that each state has something different to offer and so the each experience is different. It also reminds us how vast and different the landscape is compared to us.
Why has everybody not posted yet?

I believe that this image perfectly demonstrates the variety of cultures and nationalities in America, as it shows each county's most dominant ancestry. People from all over the world have looked for settlement there and as a result, this has made America an incredibly multicultural nation. It proves how rich America is with opportunities and a better life for many, because if this wasn't the case, we wouldn't see the range of nationalities that we see in this image. It too, justifies the assumption made by many Americans, that their country is the epicentre of the world, as so many foreign citizens have wanted to travel and live there. Although it's mainly dominated by German, Mexican, American and African descendants, it would be tough to argue that we would see this much variety in any other country.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

World Famous Brands In America

I found this map of America interesting as it represents the states which most consumes the largest brands. I was surprised to learn that the state which dominates Apple, was California. Because, stereotypically, I would have thought it to be New York. Some States, I was not surprised at. For example, Washington D.C., the largest buyer of Starbucks and Florida, being the main supplier of Hooters, due to the state's buzzing tourist attractions. I think, that by looking at the brands that different states are buying into, can actually help with understanding a little about each of them.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Grandparents As Caregivers


This demographic map took my interest as it surprised me as to how concentrated the higher percentage of grandparents as caregivers is in the southern states. Southern states such as Texas, New Mexico and Mississippi have the highest percentage of grandparents who live with and care for their grandchildren, Mississippi especially with 3.15% of grandparents responsible as caregivers to grandchildren. Although mostly concentrated in the south, there are a few hotspots in the North of America where this occurs, particularly South Dakota and Montana, where total percentage of caregivers is roughly 1.2%.

This concentration of caregivers in the south may be evident due to cultural norms, such as within African-American families, where a nuclear family set up may not be the typical way of life, beanpole families may be more present, where grandparents are heavily involved in the upbringing of a child. This may be due to separation of parents or parents working, making grandparents are reliable source of baby-sitting, and may even end up becoming the primary carer for their grandchildren.

I think it is also interesting to notice that Alaska has a high percentage of grandparents looking after grandchildren, with 1.66% doing so, which is roughly 5500 people of the population. This again may be due to a different way of life and cultural norms in Alaska. Similarly, although it may not look it on the map, Hawaii has a percentage of 2%, which is roughly 15,000 grandparents as caregivers. I feel this is a remarkably large number for such a small state.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Connected States of America

This is a map of the USA has been created by US residents internet signals using the social network Facebook, lines between two points on the map are to correspond with the number of contacts between the two places making it clear to reflect just how strong the social connections between two cities highlighting how connected and united the USA on a social aspect actually is. There is a heavy population density in the Eastern half of the USA which is shown by the stronger more consitant glow by more people are using the social network connections, which you would expect as most  of the population, bigger cities, more developed areas are in fact in that region.  You can also locate major Western cities such as: Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco as these are some of the few strong hot spots as these are also heavily populated.   

Hi Folks
As I am away in America this week I can't meet on Thursday. I'd like to meet on MONDAY instead at 12.15. OK?