Mayflower Short Essay - Answer Key

Nathaniel Philbrick
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Short Essay Questions Key

1. Why, according to the author, do we like to know how it was "in the beginning"?

We like to know how it was "in the beginning," because we yearn to travel back to that distant time when everything was new and full of promise. With this knowledge, perhaps sense can be made of the mess that the world is in today.

2. Why does the author state that the story about the Pilgrims changes from the story we know to the story that we need to know?

The story about the Pilgrims changes from the story we know to the story that we need to know when we realize that fifty years of peace with the Native Americans suddenly erupted into one of the deadliest wars ever fought on American soil. The history of Plymouth Colony then becomes new, rich, troubling, and complex, and a story that we need to learn.

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