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Process Paper

With this years NHD theme of Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange I looked for an
interesting topic that touched every aspect of the theme. I chose the Puritans and Native
Americans exchange of beliefs because it was a topic which I previously had little knowledge of.
The interplay between these two very different peoples interested me greatly. This topic afforded
me the opportunity to learn about our countrys young but rich history. Utilizing a Website
allowed me the greatest freedom to express all the knowledge that I have acquired on the topic.
My previous experience with Weebly gave me an edge in allowing me to complete the project in
the best and most unique form possible.
Most of the information on the founding of America I have sifted through concerns the
fact that Christopher Columbus never set foot in America despite being given credit as the
founder of America. I changed the scope of my research to the exchange of beliefs between
puritans and Native Americans due to the fact that the information regarding Christopher
Columbus had less to do with this years stated theme of NHD. This in turn led to my research
on prayer towns. These towns allowed the Puritans to convert many Native Americans and then
use them in the war against King Phillip, even though the Puritans barely trusted the natives.
By placing the Native Americans in these strongholds of Puritan culture the Puritans
accomplished getting the Native Americans to imitate the Puritans due to proximity and the
natural process of adapting to ones surroundings. Fines and punishments accelerated the rate at
which the Native Americans abandoned their previous culture and habits. I found many great
primary and secondary sources on prayer towns including documents, paintings, and hand drawn
pictures.

Sorting through so much relevant and interesting information made it difficult to decide
what to cut and what to keep in this particular NHD project. I wanted to explain Christopher
Colombus story and the Puritans story but had to restrict it to the Puritans. Otherwise this topic
would have encompassed too much. For instance, I would like to have gone into more detail
regarding why the Quakers and Puritans came to America as well as the Indian Wars.
Near the end of the project I found a few interesting videos that I would have added but
the length of the videos exceeded the criteria of the website rules. I also located a few interesting
documents about the Peqout War. These unique primary sources, written in the 1630s proved
difficult to read, but I felt worthwhile adding to the site.
In conclusion the meeting between the Puritans and Native Americans led to an important
exchange of techniques, goods, and even disease. This makes the meeting instrumental in the
development of our current culture. The exchange of cultural practices and spiritual of beliefs
impacted the US for centuries to come.