Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Committee Chair

Christine Eisel

Committee Member

Chrystal Goudsouzian


Seventeenth-century colonial America was an incredibly violent place. When English settlers came to the New World, hostilities occurred between them and Native American groups as they all sought to control land and resources. Puritans came out of what Susan Juster calls "the apex of human savagery": specifically, religious wars that took the lives of thousands of English men and women. The New World was equally violent but Native Americans used violence for different purposes and in different ways. Both European and Native American strategies in violence were grounded in religion and shared similar characteristics. Dismemberments, flaying's, scalping's, and beheadings were common features on both English and Indian fronts. In this paper, I argue that English colonists who immigrated to New England in the seventeenth-century brought certain perceptions of violence, which were shaped by Puritan ideologies and beliefs, that were put to use in the New World on Native American bodies in order to secure dominance over them.


Undergraduate Honor's Thesis

Library Comment

Honors thesis originally submitted to the Local University of Memphis Honor’s Thesis Repository.