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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

If You Were Me and Lived in...Colonial America

If You Were Me and Lived in...Colonial America is Carole Roman's next addition to the history collection

If you were a settler of Colonial America, you would have left England in the early years of the 17th century. You would have most likely been a Protestant, and possibly even a Puritan. You would have braved a lot to come to this new world in order to live life the way you wanted, including disease, famine, and even death. Your family would have built your house from absolute scratch, as would have your whole village. Crops had to be grown from nothing, so these were a few years in coming. You had no new clothes for quite some time -- after all, where would you get the wool for the fabric? Life was hard the first few years in the settlement of America.

So we all remember the Mayflower from our days in history, right? But do you remember the Speedwell? Yeah, so, in my mid-30's I am finally learning that the Mayflower was NOT the only ship to bring over settlers to America the first go-round. You would think that someone would have told us that in US History at some point, right? Nope.

There were other very interesting pieces of information in here that I can't say I remember from days in school. The story of the first Thanksgiving, and the relationship between the colonists and the Native Americans is a bit whitewashed, and while I understand that sitting down with a seven year old and describing the intricacies of small pox may not be high on your to-do list this Wednesday afternoon, there is a level at which you can discuss the commandeering of land that doesn't belong to you and the systematic killing off of those viewed as "savages." This is my one big complaint with this book; I wish it had treated this relationship as less a meeting of the minds and more of the supplanting of colonial culture in a land that wasn't the Brits to begin with.

Otherwise, I did learn some things I didn't know before. There was the Speedwell, obviously, but I also didn't know that there were 32 kids on the Mayflower. While not a surprise -- clearly people brought over their families -- I am not sure I ever knew the actual number. 

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