The World They Made Together Book Analysis

Powerful Essays
The two books, The Pueblo Revolt of 1680 by Knaut and The World They Made Together by Sobel are essentially the same story. The authors tell of two different sets of people in two different places and times, but the natures of the encounters are remarkably similar. The authors take care to highlight the worldviews that were mashed together in seventeenth century New Mexico and in eighteenth century Virginia, and both authors talk about how worldview affected their respective subjects and decided the nature of the interactions between peoples. These are excellent books to compare because both are stories of one group of people subjugating another, and both are encounters that helped form the present day America. I will discuss what the readings…show more content…
They both wanted to increase their wealth, and both found people to force into labor. It is a classic pattern that has happened throughout human history and probably will continue to happen. What I like about The World They Made Together is that Sobel does not create an exaggerated image of what slavery in 17th century Virginia looked like. I know that there were many truly horrid people who mistreated their laborers with unspeakable cruelty, but that was not always the case. Sobel points out that there was slavery in Africa too, and that in Virginia, white laborers were often treated the same way as blacks. There is and always has been ethnocentrism. The slavery that took place in America was no different than other forms of slavery in other places and times, and in some cases, there were really good opportunities given to black laborers. The good opportunities often came in the form of housework, because it created a different kind of relationship between blacks and whites. Whenever there is a situation in which a group of people starts to rely on the labor of another, the inevitable result is that the laborers find themselves in a position of control. Some slave owners relied on their help so much that they would have starved to death without it because they forgot how to do the work that they made other people do for them. I believe the only way this kind of master-caregiver…show more content…
The Spanish tried to accomplish this with the use of friars that acted as middlemen between the Pueblos and the Spanish, but in the end, this strategy only caused problems for the Spanish. At least the Spanish understood that space between themselves and the Pueblos was important for the continuation of their dominion. The white Virginians did not even try to keep themselves separated from their slaves. They may have said that they were better, smarter, or separate in a moral capacity, but they opened up more than just their spaces to blacks; they put their children into the hands of those who they considered to be beneath them. Eventually, white dependence on blacks wore away at the space to such an extent that blacks had freedom even while they were in the bonds of slavery. The Spanish did not let the Pueblos into their spaces in the same way, but they did interbreed, and that served to break down divisions between the two. Another important factor the built up to the Pueblo revolt was the religion of the Pueblos. They were loath to part with what their worldview told them was true, and they continued their spiritual beliefs and traditional practices even through mass false conversions to Christianity. The strength with which the Pueblo people held to their beliefs was great enough to preserve ancient practices in spite of death threats from the Spanish. Separate religions helped to keep
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