Before the Melting Pot by Israel Zangwill

1430 WordsJan 31, 20186 Pages
A lot of what we read today about out history, is told to us through wartime victories and tragedies, slavery, and political power. The book, Before the Melting Pot gives a great account of how much ethnicity factored into these ideas and how New York City was made into the "melting pot" of culture we see today. The book starts out in New Amsterdam, detailing the importance of The Dutch West India Company and its importance in trade; including the African slave trade. The citizens of New Amsterdam had little to no say in governmental decisions. At times, there were citizen advisory boards created, and a director-general that made decisions, but for the most part even these issues were at the mercy of the Dutch West India Company's control. More specifically, the commander and ruler named Peter Stuyvesant was the director general that made all the Dutch West India Company's decisions in New Netherland, until the English took over power. The book goes into detail about the people over the courses of their lives, more specifically, three different generations of men starting with those present at the English acquisition of New Netherland in 1664, the sons of these men who stayed in New York City, and then their grandchildren. She also discusses the French, the Jews; Dutchmen already present there, Africans, and Englishmen. The Dutch had little to no trouble getting along because the culture was already established there, and community was bound by religion, and the Dutch

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