In the last post we considered a few of the major myths created to guide people toward living a purposeful life in Western Civilization. In this post we’re going to consider a volume of myths of what is now the United States. They took us in the darker direction and have an effect on our civilization through the earliest days to the current time.
Karen Armstrong in the book, A Brief History of Myth, stated that “we need myths that can help us perceive all our fellow beings, not alone with individuals who belong to our ethnic, national, or ideological tribe. We need myths that assist us to venerate the world as sacred yet again, as opposed to merely with it as a resource.” Such lofty ideals usually are not always appreciated, such as principles discussed by our Founding Fathers (no mothers included.) Instead the main objective was on wealthy male landowners.
One unfortunate myth inside North was the preoccupation with witches, paralleling hysteria about witchcraft in Europe. The Reverend Parris, a trader inside the Caribbean, brought home with him a slave couple. The wife finished up spending a great amount of time together with the Parris girls, often devoted to stories in the islands including those involving Voodoo lore and practices.
The remaining story is just not entirely clear. It appears that the women started telling fortunes inside them for hours “fits.” Suspected witches were brought before the women. If the presence in the suspects was followed be the women having fits, this became taken as being a sure sign that this suspects were witches. Although pretty much everything appeared to begin with child’s play, it took a deadly use the point that one hundred forty one “witches” were arrested and nineteen hanged.
In the nineteenth century, President James Polk championed the speculation (myth) of Manifest Destiny. This belief or doctrine held “which the expansion with the United States through the American Continent was both justifiable and inevitable” based on the compendium, Oxford Languages.
Long prior to the term Manifest Destiny was invented, early northern European settlers viewed that which was to became America as ripe for the taking despite centuries of civilization on the part with the native peoples have been living here well before Europeans even knew this land existed. The history from the United States includes pushing the native people out from the way. Although there was some tries to negotiate using them, in most cases these people were described as obstacle plus an inconvenience. They first were pushed towards the western areas from the continent and in the end confined to reservations. Even then, reservations were consolidated and reservation land was minimized because the lands these folks were given came into existence seen as ripe for development or appropriating natural resources. Manifest destiny was thought to apply and then “white” citizens. Manifest destiny obviously was a myth to justify expansion during the entire land. There was no legal or moral justification for doing this but like a self serving “truth.”
Although the concept of white supremacy looks like it’s of our making, or imagining, it absolutely was alive and well in Europe prior to first Northern European settlers reached America. They viewed the American territories as intended for them as superior people for the exclusion of Irish, Italian, Asian or African people, unless we were holding brought in as servants and slaves. Slavery existed through the early days of America. It was considered in our Constitution to help make southern states feel relaxed being part from the American experiment.
Slavery inside of it was not a myth but instead a stark practice associated while using myth of white superiority. Struggles on the institution of slavery continued during the entire early days individuals nation, ending ultimately within the Civil War which banned slavery but wouldn’t end racism which is constantly on the divide us even now. Racism isn’t in itself a myth either nevertheless depends on racial superiority due to the justification. People kidnapped and taken to this country were considered as having forget about rights than livestock. The most equality Blacks from the South made it possible to manage up towards the Civil War ended up being have each counted as three fifths of an person which benefitted Southern White landowners into their representation in Congress but would not benefit Black people in any respect. There were free black people from the North. When I visited Charleston, I found there were some free Black slave owners.
Black people following the civil war started making some progress throughout the years of reconstruction which eventually came to a close, giving way to your Jim Crow era, the remnants which linger until today. Great strides are actually made toward racial equality on the years, but significant pockets of racism still pervade our society in accordance with all the myth of white superiority. Educational and occupations, housing opportunities and police protection for example are still additional readily available to whites instead of people of color including Native American people, Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians and also anyone else not considered white enough thrown in the less desirable basket.
One final myth remains for being discussed which now threatens the actual existence of the democracy, that relating to Trumpism. We will address this inside next post.