The Indian and The Servant
"The entire man is, so to speak, to be seen in the cradle of the child."
"The growth of nations presents something analogous to this; they all bear some marks of their origin. The circumstances that accompanied their birth and contributed to their development affected the whole term of their being."
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835
Separation and contact, hostility and cooperation, miscegenation and marriage, confronting and gaming, riots and counterrevolts: a history of continuous and seemingly repetitious opposites characterizes the nature of race behavior in American society. Like the colors of black and white, the interaction between the two major races in the United States has been marked by polarities. Living together/apart reflects the social order which has been an integral part of the culture from the earliest contact between the African and English. What was past remains consistently present; what was then affects us now.
Opposites also characterize the motivations of those who migrated to the eastern seaboard in the seventeenth century. For many years Europeans viewed the unexplored lands in the Western Hemisphere with enormous expectations and imagined dangers. Within the sparsely settled territory was the opportunity to escape from structure, restrictions and withholding ideas. Conversely, within the sparsely settled territory was the chance to replant traditional structures, institutions, and ideas. Freedom and fear, purpose and the gamble were feelings and motives which crisscrossed and contradicted each other.
Complex and diverse communities reflected the variety of personal commitments and backgrounds in the colonial period. Communities were not monolithic but relatively open and dynamic. The English "had moved farther along than any other Western power toward conceiving of colonies, not as exploitative bands of transient men, but as permanent, self-sustaining communities," wrote Lawrence Cremin in his authoritative work on