This natural circumstance can be expected to emerge where a unity is established between different ethnic, racial or linguistic groups. The ethnocentric individual will judge other groups relative to his or her own particularize ethnic group or culture especially with concern to language, behavior, customs, and religion. These ethnic divergence and politeness serve to define each ethnicity unique cultural identity.
According to textbook The Health Anthology of American Literature It exemplifies the term ethnocentrism that predominated during the Early Colonial period. During the time period of sass’s one of the most prominent examples of ethnocentrism is when the Europeans first came to America and had their first initial encounters with the Native Americans. This resulted between a cultural differences that led to frequent clashes which prevailed to destruction of land and people. These differences included elisions practices and ruling practices, among others. Unfortunately, these cultural distinctions ended in blood shed during war or captivity, which ultimately forced the Native Americans to be assimilated into European culture. For Instance,before the Europeans arrived the Mays felt in harmony with their environment, and so express the Amman perception of the result of the Spanish Conquest. In the Beginning of Sickness, the Mays stated: there was no sickness; they had no aching bones; they had then no high fever, they had no smallpox, etc… 5).
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This explains that the Mays lived a lifestyle of peace, and did not have to worry about living In fear, until there whole life changed when the Europeans arrived. When the Europeans arrived, the Mays stated: they brought shameful things beginning of robbery and violence, the beginning of forced debts, the beginning of debts enforced by false testimony. It was intrusion that forced upon the Amman culture a complete transformation. Everything the Mays believed in , every bit of their culture was destroyed in the hands of the
Europeans. Even the Mays language must have been transformed to accommodate the language of the conqueror (6). On the Other hand, another example of ethnocentrism reflected on how the Puritan’s believed that only their religion was the correct one and all others will be fulminated against. The Puritans inhabited a moral code that everyone had to obey under their authority; therefore if someone refused to follow then they must be punished. This became a major controversial issue which led to the Salem Witch Trials.
This social upheaval resulted from the growing tensions in a land-hungry community with an overabundance of unmarried women; on the other hand it represented communal Puritan doubt turned Into self-mutilation (362). Another example Is Anne Hutchinson who was persecuted and expelled as well as proving beliefs in individual grace and criticized the dual nature of religion and the government. Puritans believed that all people were equal before God but that women were inferior to men because they were tainted by Eve’s quilt (361
Therefore, the magistrates who tried Anna Hutchinson commented upon her masculine behavior as much as they commented upon her religious beliefs. Another Isles (317) when John Smith encounters with the Native Americans and held captive he describes the Native Americans as backward, barbaric, and dangerous. John Smith saw firsthand the hostile actions, different clothes, and inferior technology of the Native Americans. John Smith describes them as being, “more like a devil than a man, with some two hundred more as blacks as himself” (p. 18). The ethnocentrism of European settlers also created a disconnection between the Native Americans and the whites that created an American identity founded on the universal principles obtainable to the European settlers. In the “Creation of Whites”, the progressive power of the white man was subtlety addressed as they said, “After they had taken away the shallow box, the whites came back and told the Indians their land was very strong and fertile. So they asked the Indians to give them a portion of it that they might live on it (78).
This explains that more and more Europeans came back with ACH trip to America, each time asking for more and more resources. Upon the Native Americans support the Europeans were able to become secured people. Therefore, this little bit of help from the Indians was used against them in the continuation of settlement with no reciprocal help from the whites. Clearly, ethnocentrism has caused a problem amongst many cultural differences throughput centuries. It prevented others from understanding another,let alone taking them seriously.