Thursday, September 3, 2009
Florida and the Impact Race had in it's Early Stages
Race is arguably one of the most important aspects when looking at how Florida was defined. The Europeans played a huge role in the culture and overall appearance of modern Florida, for instance the architecture. The spanish (hispanic/latino race) settlers pushed much of their culture upon the land and natives of Florida and the modern day houses one can see in Florida (the style roofing and exterior etc), though they are just replicas of what used to be. Florida could have turned out completely different if the Native American's had been the dominant race; the settlers took over and imposed their values and ways of life onto Floridian inhabitants. Those natives who lived had a European way of life forced upon them. Their views on clothing, everyday lifestyle, sexual practices, and trade/barter were completely different from those of the Europeans and they were forced to change and the "European Floridian Identity"(Murphee, 54) was set into motion. The European lifestyle would be the way in which the state would progress, and the natives no longer had a say. Yet another way in which race played a large role in how Florida was defined is the religious aspect. The European settlers believed that "Indians might be Christianized and 'that under certain circumstances, if it's God's will, one could easily instruct them, not only in humanity and virtue, but also in holiness and religion' "(54), and also forced Christianity upon natives, thus Florida ended up being a Christian society of people as opposed to an atheist, agnostic, or pagan society, once again due to race and social grouping. Although some natives remained pagan despite the Europeans best effort to convert them and save them from their barbaric rituals, their ways became less and less prominent and as one can see, Christianity became the prominent religion.