Sunday, November 15, 2009
View of Florida after research project
Before I was enlightened by this research project, I never imagined Florida had such a dark and violent past. Before I had researched on Florida, I imagined Florida to be a place in which the natives were tolerated by the Spanish, English and French. This was before I had read Constructing Floridians, that is. I had always imagined that the natives were treated with fairness, were tolerated and accepted by the Europeans. But I was wrong. I never imagined the cruelty in which the Europeans labeled the natives as savages, enslaved them, and disrespected them, even when the natives were on the side of the Europeans. The very nature of Christianity was abused in the name of the Crown. I now view Florida as a lost land, a place that used to be untouched and beautifully preserved by the native tribes such as the Calusa. I understand that the moment the Europeans settled in Florida, the beauty of Florida was destroyed and expelled forever from the land. No longer was Florida a natural place as the Europeans cut down trees in order to build towns and fortresses where the once beautiful Florida used to thrive, within the hands of respectful tribes as the Calusa, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, and Timucuan tribes. Because I was taught early on in life that the Native American tribes got along with the Europeans, I assumed that both sides got along after the invasion. It was naïve of me to assume such things, because when I read Constructing Floridians by Daniel Murphree, I learned very important things about Florida I did not know in the past. I did know that the Europeans struggled with the natives at first, but I did not know of the troubles afterward. I was shocked to learn that the natives were treated as animals, called savages, and even mistrusted as thieves by some nations. I knew Flo0ridian natives were indentured servants and slaves, however, I never knew the pain they suffered by the Europeans, nor the blackest discrimination.