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#19 Thanksgiving or Thankstaking?

Purpose: To decide if Thanksgiving is worth celebrating.

Name_____________ Date______________ Per#______________

Directions: Read through the following. Complete arguments for and against celebrating Thanksgiving and then decide on your own opinion. Thanksgiving has a long and complicated history that is often unknown by many of the people that celebrate it. The history begins in the 1600s with the Puritans (Pilgrams) and their arrival in the Americas as settlers. The Puritans were a religious group that left England for a variety of reasons. Some left because they believed the English did not accept Puritanism. Some also left England because they thought the English people that were not Puritans lived too sinfully. They left to Holland, but also came to believe that the people there were not religious enough. They went back to England, and found people to sponsor them to go to the Americas and start a colony. They went on the Mayflower in 1620 and believed that God choose them to build a colony. Before they came, in 1614, another group of English people had visited Massachusetts. This group had come to trade and gave the Indigenous people smallpox. As a result, the Indigenous people of Massachusetts had lost between 1/3 and of their people. Also, there were a few people that spoke English and could communicate with the colonist. So the English met the now-famous Squanto and the Wampanoag Nation. These Pilgrims, as they called themselves, did not know how to farm, or even what crops to plant. The Wampanoag Nation followed the customs of their culture and helped the strangers. They did this the same way that they would help any strangers. In 1621, there was a festival that the English had to celebrate that they made a good harvest. The Wampanoag were not actually invited (although they did show up) and the Pilgrims did not call it Thanksgiving (or even wear black and white clothing). Over the years, more colonists came from Europe, and not every group of Indigenous people welcomed them. This led to the Pequot War in 1637 between the Pequot Indigenous people and the white colonist. In 1637, the Pequot were celebrating their Green Corn Festival. English and Dutch colonist came before dawn on one of Pequots towns and ordered the Pequot to awake and come outside. The colonist shot and killed or clubbed 700 Indigenous men, women, and children to death. Then they burned the town to the ground. They sold survivors over 14 years old into slavery. The colonist decided to declare a day of Thanksgiving for the slaughter of the savages. This was the first official Thanksgiving in America. Over the years, these victories for colonist were remembered. George Washington declared Thanksgiving a holiday during his presidency. Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday nearly a hundred years later on the same day that he ordered troops to raid the Indigenous Sioux people in Minnesota. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt made Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday of November, and it has remained this date since then.

Now come up with arguments for and against celebrating Thanksgiving. You can make these arguments in bullet points. Arguments FOR celebrating Thanksgiving:

Arguments AGAINST celebrating Thanksgiving:

Lastly, what is your own opinion? Should we celebrate Thanksgiving?

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