Diplomacy Between Jamestown And Pamunkeys

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Communications and diplomacy is essential to the success of two societies that come to interact, especially when the peoples are so different as the Pamunkeys and the English colonies of Jamestown were. When societies share knowledge, resources, and goodwill, they build not only a better present but also a stable future. However, when they try to take advantage of each other by force, they bring instability to their people and those around them. A poignant lesson of this is seen in the interactions between the English and the Pamunkey people in the early 17th century. The English assumed that because they were from a large and powerful society, they could assert dominance over the Pamunkeys and their allies and use it to their own gain. They also believed that inevitably their relationship with the Pamunkeys would turn to violence, and so, alongside their assumptions, they committed violent…show more content…
Although it was preceded by the Pumunkeys experience with aggressive Spanish conquistadors and traders, the actions of the English were a decisive factor in the escalation of the conflict. Had the English colonists not attempted to assert dominance and expected war, the Pumunkeys may not have retaliated with such brutal force. Had the Pumunkeys not sought to expand their influence over other indigenous peoples, they might have recognized the threat the English posed over them and not aided them to the extent that they did. Ultimately, though, the burden of the conflict falls on the more aggressive which was certainly the leaders of the English colonist such as Captain Smith and those who succeeded him. If the English had not assumed that they would be able to easily dominate all of the natives, and instead tried to maintain meaningful and lasting good ties with the Pumunkeys and their allies, both societies could have avoided a devastating war and forged an alliance that would have strengthened them
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