From Pontiac, Speeches (1762 and 1763)
In Give Me Liberty’s Voices of Freedom, From Pontiac Speeches is the inspiration of a religious vision stimulating the revolt against English rule. The information needed prior to reading the document is that, “The abrupt departure of the French in the aftermath of the Seven Years’ War eliminated the balance-of-power diplomacy that had enabled groups to maintain a significant degree of autonomy,” (Give Me Liberty, 166). While Indians had helped and fought both sides of the war, they mainly sided with the French, and with their parting the English celebrated their triumph of freedom which threatened the Indians’ security of their own liberty. The author is primarily the Master of Life instructing Neolin (a Delaware religious prophet), “That his people must reject European technology, free themselves from commercial ties with whites and dependence on alcohol, clothe themselves in the garb of their ancestors, and drive away the British from their territory,” (Give Me Liberty, 167). The Master of Life defends that He has put all these lakes and mountains and land there for them, and He loves them so the Indians must do as he says in protecting their land and living as their wise ancestors did. “Wipe them from the face of the earth, and then you will win my favor back again, and once more be happy and prosperous,” (Give Me Liberty, 169). The significance of this speech from the Master of Life is that a religious vision was the inspiration that lead the Pontiac Rebellion. If Neolin were to dream of the Master of Life telling him to do as the English wished, would they have? It is interesting how religion and faith can lead a group to powerful and important ideas and happenings.
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