Terrorism in America From the Colonial Period to John Brown Article Analysis

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Table of contents

  1. What Historical Problem is the Author Addressing
  2. What is the thesis?
  3. How is the article Structured?

What Historical Problem is the Author Addressing

In the article Terrorism in America from the colonial Period to John Brown, Matthew Jennings addresses violence and the history of terrorism through explanation of past acts of terror. Throughout history many injustices have been done unto minorities. Jennings outlines the experiences endured by a variety of individuals and groups. The classification of ‘terror’ and ‘terrorism’ are terms that remain cautiously undefined. The article explains a variety of instances in which violence was performed across North America. The struggle endured while attempting to explain the age of terror, closely lies associated with the primary sources available. Although terror was in fact a major theme, historians have been left with minimal sources. With underlying ambition to emphasise these events, the article interprets the content available to develop a strong sense of awareness within society, by acknowledging the acts of past. Jennings uses events to help develop points of similarity and difference between historical events endured by minorities within North America. The classification of terror is also tentatively explained in relation to the criticality of terror, violence and terrorism in North American history.

What is the thesis?

Matthew Jennings strives to prove that throughout history ‘violence’ has been a prominent resurfacing factor. While acknowledging the difference and variation of terror and tactics performed, Jennings emphasises that terror has been present in a variety of American historical events. He argues that only through the use of ‘terror’ European colonization would be successful. He also identifies the uses of terror by Natives prior to colonization. The controversy of violence highly impacted the ‘effectiveness’ of colonization in the assimilation of American Natives. Jennings strives to conclude that the use of violence has been a tactic used religiously throughout history.

What are the main points the historian makes to support his thesis?

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Matthew Jennings uses a variety of historical events and injustices to support his thesis. Events involving both settlers and Natives allows for the reader to acknowledge the power struggles endured. Through the use of violence both sides, in many cases, demonstrated acts of ‘terror’ in an attempt to provoke fear from the opposing side. Jennings demonstrates this through recounting the terrors endured in New Mexico. The use of fear and terror was mostly implemented through forced labour. The violent acts done unto the unfortunate individuals would have provoked an unsettling movement of fear. The graphic practices of torture were used to counterpart any acts of deviance or defiance. These acts were critical to the implementation of fear and terror amongst the culture. Similarly, other early colonization expeditions are remembered for the success and ability to cultivate society prior to colonization. Through the expedition of colonization terror was prominently used to assert fear amongst Natives, examples include kidnapping, holding hostages, and physical mutilation. In analyzing the Spanish expeditions to North America, colonization and religion were driving factors. The undertones of religion were extremely prominent in the mistreatment of Native individuals. Christianity served as an excuse for terrorism while implemented by the Spanish during the 16th century.

How is the article Structured?

The article is strategically formatted to encompass the timeline of terrorism in North America and expose the past of a nation. As expressed in the title of the article Terrorism in America from the Colonial Period to John Brown, Matthew Jennings strives to acknowledge and expose the patterns within history relating to terror. Through detailed accounts Jennings chronologically addresses the differences and similarities of terror and terrorism throughout history. Starting prior to the European settlements in America, Jennings emphasises the paradox of the Native people. He acknowledges the different perspectives, ones that may have been lost, or never accounted for. He also accounts the injustices of the colonization period, performed by both the Natives and the European settlers during the formation of America. Jennings also accounts the threat of violence in the early republic of America. Many accounts of violence were prominent in the expansion of the nation. The assimilation forced tainted beliefs and terror unto Natives of the regions. Even after the confederacy of North America was achieved, America continued to use fear tactics in war and undoubtedly abused their power. Jennings depicts this through the transitions between different generations in the article. All subsections contribute to the overall statement involving the role of violence within America and the importance of terror in the country’s overall development.

How does the author prove his points? What kind of historical details/evidence does the author provide to back up his points?

Matthew Jennings uses a variety of different instances encompassing violence to support his thesis. He actively sourced a variety of scholarly articles to recount the terror derived from different points in history. Jennings effectively explains and provides evidence for his conclusions by addressing multiple historical events with a wide lens. The focus placed on all events explained are the similarities encompassed by the use of terror and fear. Derived from the events of colonization, expansion, and internal feud all correlate with Jennings understanding of violence. By analyzing the settlements and colonization of America, factors such as claiming land and forcing lifestyles upon others can cause extreme conflict. It is important to analyze the concept of colonization in relation to the actions carried out by both European settlers and Natives of the region. In rational means historians are able to understand the frustration of Natives and why they acted so violently. On the other end of the spectrum the settlers implemented certain practices to derive fear from the Natives. The power struggle was violent but had significance is the foundational structure of modern-day America. Jennings presents this concept through explanation of events leading to and following the confederation of North America.

What, in your view, is significant about the article? What contribution does this article make to the study of American history?

This article actively demonstrates the power struggle endured within early America. Through analysis the article can be noted as unbiased and revealing to the state of terror within America. The article describes how the use of violence essentially aided European settlers and was used prior between Native groups amongst their disputes. Without the use of violence, the history of America may be very different than seen today. Although many aspects of history remain withheld, Jennings depicted the injustices done unto the Natives of the land and emphasises the wrong doings by settlers in the assimilation and forced labours of Natives. The settler’s relationships with Natives of the land created internal conflict, which continued for centuries to follow. The use of violence to provoke fear has been a reoccurring notion in the study of history. In the case of Jennings article, the use of violence was absolutely crucial to the foundation of America and their history as a Nation.

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Terrorism in America From the Colonial Period to John Brown Article Analysis. (2020, December 28). WritingBros. Retrieved May 29, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/terrorism-in-america-from-the-colonial-period-to-john-brown-article-analysis/
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Terrorism in America From the Colonial Period to John Brown Article Analysis [Internet]. WritingBros. 2020 Dec 28 [cited 2024 May 29]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/terrorism-in-america-from-the-colonial-period-to-john-brown-article-analysis/
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