The Long Dead Debate On The United States Essay

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However, these findings also cast doubt on several widely held theories within the field. First, according to Blanton this extreme drought drastically reduced local corn production, beginning the year before the settlement of Jamestown. The resistance of local Native Americans to consistently trade corn with the newly arrived English, the main catalyst for hostilities, was likely an effect of this reduced harvest and not an attempt by indigenous people to drive up prices or starve out the colonists. Moreover the end of the drought in 1613 correlated with the period of temporary recovery in the colony. Blanton theorizes that the increased food production, facilitated by improved environmental conditions, reduced hostilities between the two groups. These findings shattered the long dead debate which concluded the reduction in hostilities resulted from either the severe sanctions of the Laws Divine, or the tactical marriage of John Wolfe to Powhatan’s daughter Pocahontas. This is a perfect example of how looking at non-traditional sources can create a more accurate understanding of past cultures regardless of the current status of the debate.
The extent to which individual historians employed these new methods into their research varied, but their general effect within the scholarship of seventeenth century Virginia cannot be overemphasized. Researchers in Women’s history questioned the universality of the patriarch system and developing gender roles. In turn, Native…

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