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Spaces and exchanges: Does the conquest of the West was as beautiful and peaceful as in some films or painting ?

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Par   •  27 Février 2017  •  Cours  •  510 Mots (3 Pages)  •  6 042 Vues

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I'm going to talk about the notion Spaces and exchanges. First , i'll give you a definition of these terms : The different spaces of the world are nowadays more and more connected to each other. The exchanges can appear on many forms: trade, information. In Class we talked about The conquest of the West and this is linked to this notion because we will see how european people and the gouvernment from America colonized the west of America. So we will focus on the west conquest and i'll try to anwser this question : Does the conquest of the West was as beautiful and peaceful as in some films or painting ?

We could think, especially thanks to some works, that the conquest of the West has been totally beneficial for america. The painting of John Gast entitled "American Progress " and painted in 1872 show us, in my opinion a good vision of the West conquest. In this painting we can see a large and luminous feminine figure with the “star of the empire” on her face, just under her we can see settlers and travellers, they are walking from East to West and we can suppose that the large woman is leading them. As she advances, she suspends telegraph cable. We can see that she is holding a book and on this book it's written "School Book" so we can deduce that she is bringing civilization with her. We can see at the right of the painting a huge city with a bridge, boats and train. It contrast with the left of the painting, where we can see Native American fleeing. At the time nobody cared aboute native american people because most of the american believe that it was their manifest Destiny to expend west.

Gast’s painting of progress refers to modernization, to the concept of advancement and improvement in areas. We cant see any sign of violence exept the native americans, the scene is, in my opinion very peaceful and we can only see that the West conquest refers to progress and modernization.

But in class we studied on other text entitled : our western roots. This text is showing us that this vison of the West conquest is not true. The reality , at this time, was very violent. A lot of people wanted to live in the same place, but they did not have the same cultures, the sames languages and the same religion. when white americans when west they not only expected to own the land. they did not anticipate running into natives who showed opposition. They also wanted their culture to be the law of the land.

In my opinion, i think that the conquest of the west was beneficial for american in a certain way because this led to modernizied and build the united states. But this conquest had a price, a lot of natives american died and we're not respected at this time. This conquest was'nt peacefull , this was very brutal and 'white people' just impose their cultures to native american people.


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