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Shannons America - Book Report/Review Example

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In the second and third chapters, Shannon demonstrates the fact that the institutions like the church heavily regulated the way the society was run. With use of examples from significant scholars and historians like Gilberto Freyre and Frank Tannennbaum, he brings to the fore the fact that the church had separate norms for dealing with the slaves. Further, there are notes on how American slavery was crueler as compared to slavery in Britain or Latin America. In this context, it may be seen that the church had an important and significant role to play in the characterization of the nature of slavery in America. The salves were usually Southerners and Indians, who were not offered any other kind of work. Further, the church played down their plight by focusing on the industrial and societal conflicts at that time, until recently. (Shannon, 2003; Pp 26 to 41)
These chapters also have a more chronological approach to the matter. He discusses slavery in context of the civil war and the reconstruction that took place later. He demonstrates the fact that the reconstruction brought about a renewed importance for the Southerners, who by and by, began to associate themselves with industrial work and the building of entire industrial cities. This book has quantifiable evidence in the form of timelines and the use of other sociological theories. (Shannon, 2003) Instead of formal institutions like that of the Church, Shannon draws on concepts like capitalism. In this regard, the basic theme of this paper is a discussion of how Mary Jemison was transformed into an adopted member of her Seneca family instead of being the captive she initially was. This paper will also play upon the role of sacrifice as carried out by Father Isaac Jouges. (Shannon, 2003; Pp 26 to 41)
Shannon, in his book, uses sociological theories as evidence to show the factors that contributed to the build up towards the eruption of the transformation within Jemison. As a captive, she learns how the use of bureaucracy and the Laissez Faire form of governance contributed to the fact that the slaves or the downtrodden societies like the French and Shawnees who captured her in 1758, had little or no say in their won lives and actions. (Shannon, 2003; Pp 26 to 41) The slow development of democracy and its complementary ideals until the civil war, show that these societies had little scope to exercise any right to freedom. In these chapters, the author has managed to bring out the mentally strenuous character of such existence through a focus on the complete neglect of the needs of slaves as far as civic and other amenities were concerned. (Shannon, 2003; Pp 26 to 41)
The account of Jemison and Jouges has portrayed captives as mere objects that were victims of acute oppression. The form and extent of oppression and trauma would depend on the gender and age of the captive. This has given them a strong character and acknowledged the fact that they had needs and were willing to fight for it. Shannon's well chronicled version of the time spent in captive shows the factors that finally led to the civil war and rise of democracy in the country. His work is more logical and has the backing of strong evidence that uses the support of sociological and socio cultural theories. In his book, there is a strong focus on the ...Show more


Timothy Shannon's book titled Atlantic Lives: A Comparative Approach to Early America is based on a society determined to rise out of the dredges of the disadvantages of diversity so as to achieve unity in all its quarters as it strives to retain its right to be different…
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