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“US: A Narrative History” by James West Davidson Essay

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Updated: Apr 21st, 2021

There is so much I have learned from the first six chapters of the book. The chapters touch on a number of interesting topics, which I enjoyed. Culture is one such topic that stood out for me as I read the first six chapters. It is interesting to know how American society embraced diversity way before the discovery of the continent. Culture has also taken different forms over the years, from the time the Indians first crossed the Bering Land Bridge.

Chapter 1 tells us how these indigenous groups used to speak various languages. They also had well established political systems and economies. This is the one thing that I found surprising because I did not think that such a kind of social organization would be in existence as early as the ice age period. It made me realize that there is nothing new that the explorers and European settlers brought to the region.

All the first six chapters build on each other with regards to the topic of culture and diversity. Chapter one presents the richness of culture that was evident in early America. Most of the inhabitants used to engage in hunting and gathering, while others practiced agriculture. Chapter two present the interaction between European explorers and the indigenous people living in the Americas. It was through this interaction that both groups exchanged various aspects of their culture. They also lived together with each group independently practicing their own culture. Chapter three speaks about society in the colonies and the unique cultural aspects of these colonies. Chapters four, five, and six further discuss how life in the colonies shaped up before independence.

If I were to make a movie set in the time period of the first six chapters, I would center it on the topic of culture. It would be interesting to present how culture has evolved over the years since the ice age period. The characters would mainly be the indigenous Americans, the European explorers, the white settlers, rulers in Europe, and slaves.

The time span covered in the six is more than 15000 years. It begins with the period before 1400 AD and ends in 1750 AD. The beginning and end of this span of time relate to specific events that the author uses to build the story. Through this period, one can easily follow the story of how America started and became what it was just before independence.

The six chapters are hard to understand in relation to culture because the culture is very broad. The chapters have limited themselves to a few aspects of culture. At the same time, some of the cultural issues talked about are based on archeological findings, which may not necessarily be true. In addition, the readings can cause emotional reactions of some people, especially Africans and Asians, because of how white settlers undermined their way of life.

Chapter three has a great sense of what America has become today. The chapter speaks about how settlers from different European countries inhabited America. America today is full of immigrants who settled in the country from the beginning of the 15th century (Davidson, 51). This is one aspect that makes the country to be the most culturally diverse.

If I were to feature in any of the first six chapters, I would choose chapter six. I am sure I could have been part of the force that fought for the independence of the country as an army general. In this way, I would have made my contribution to the history of America.

Works Cited

Davidson, James West. US: A Narrative History, Volume 1: To 1877. New York: McGraw Hill, 2008. Print.

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