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Word Count: 672
BraxtonThe theory of social construction states that many concepts that appear naturally are really the result of human actions and choices The British constructed the myth that the American Indians were savages for their own economic benefit Because the British needed to have a legitimate and verifiable reason in order for the countrymen of Great Britain to advocate the taking of the lands of America from the Indians the British developed a scheme of developing a myth to perceive the Indians as savages and that it was the Britishs duty to beautify the lands of America and to educate the heathen Indians in the light of the Christian faith The British developed this socially constructed myth as described by M Bowden in The Invention of Native American Tradition through these four stages image formation myth creation myth taken for granted as fact and universalization The British created the image that the Indians were savage through a misleading presentation of the physical environment and culture surrounding the Indians Because the Indian women farm-worked there was no evidence of government and they were non-Christian the British easily created the image that they were the saints who were envisioned by God to civilize the Indians and the circumscribing land to justify their stealing of the land The natural landscape was described as being a Desart Wildernesse which was hideous and uncultivated In the myth creation the British accentuated the achievement of the first settlers through stating that the land appeared untouched when in reality the land was already discovered In the third stage of myth formation James Fenimore Cooper talked of the virgin forest of the Americas but in reality the Indians practiced clearing and manipulated the landscape Thus Cooper added to the social construction of the myth of the Indians In the fourth and final stage scholars mistook the primeval forest of the Indians to be the Desart Wildernesse as late as the 1900s and help the
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