Colonial House Questions

Colonial House Questions
Colonial House Questions to consider for the entire series.

1. What are the plus and minus factors of participatory observation?
How do they apply to Colonial House?

2. How much was an issue of temporocentrism in the series of
Colonial House? (Temporocentrism meaning using current morals
and values to judge the past)

3. All colonies within the British Empire existed solely for the
purpose of the mother country, England. This was known as
mercantilism. Was England justified in enforcing the economic
doctrine of mercantilism? Was this another form of imperialism?
Was imperialism justified? Do you think that the experimental
colony in Colonial House was an economic success for England?

4. What were some of the issues of life and death that faced the
colonists from the voyage beginning in England to the
establishment of the colonies? Why was death a constant
companion to the colonists?

5. In general, why do people believe in a religion? Why did the
colonists believe so intensely in religion and God? Do you believe
in the absolute sovereignty of God today? Why was the Sabbath
observed in colonial times? Why does it appear that today the
Sabbath does not appear to be observed? Should it be?

6. The colonists lived in a theocracy whereby church and state were
intertwined. The US Constitution states that Congress shall pass
no law respecting the establishment of religion. The US
Constitution says nothing about the separation of church and state.
Why do we today believe in the concept of the separation of church
and state? Why is it forbidden to display the Judeo-Christian
commandments in public buildings like a court house? Why is any
prayer forbidden in schools? Why is popular national talk show host
Dr Laura Schlesinger either loved or hated? What is it about religion
today that seems to bother people?

7. Profanity was forbidden in the colonies. How do you think the
colonists would have defined profanity? How do you define profanity
today? How do you define obscenity? Former Supreme Court
Justice Potter Stewart said he could not define obscenity but knows
it when he sees it. Do you agree? Why was the flashing of Janet
Jackson’s breast such a “horrendous” event at the 20004 Super
bowl? Is Howard Stern obscene? What about the statue of David in
Delaware Park in Buffalo? (Ahh..David has no clothes on) European
cities are much more open with nudity that we in the United States.

8. What is justice? What if Scott Peterson could have an operation
to change his genetic structure so that he would be a really nice guy
with a social conscience like Mother Theresa. Would you allow this
operation or sentence Scott to life imprisonment or death? If you
want death, is justice then simply revenge? Remember, the
colonists would kill a person for adultery and sew the lips of those
accused of profanity.

9. The colonists were very intolerant of some issues. What were
they? Are we as intolerant of any issues today? Identify them and
how do we deal with them?

10. Why was social hierarchy so important in colonial times?

11. Why and how was slavery and indentured servitude justified?

12. Life was very tenuous in colonial days. Do we live in a world
today that approximates the colonial world. We live longer but have
to deal with terrorism and nuclear war. Imagine what it is like to live
in the Middle East today.

13. It took a lot of physical endurance and creativity to survive in
colonial America. Do we possess those qualities today?

14. What do you think it meant to be powerless in colonial society?
Who are the powerless today? How do you define power today?

15. How do you define democracy? Should democracy be a world-
wide aspiration?

16. Why were women’s right so curtailed in colonial society? What
are the rights of women today in the United States and in the world?

17. In order to survive in colonial society, one had to think of the
concept of group survival not individual rights. Do we today think
more of individual rights rather can societal good? Why?

18. Compare the diet of colonial America with the diet of many
Americans in 2005.

19. Work was very hard in colonial America. What do you think were
the most difficult jobs? In his work Working, Studs Terkel
researched 600 different working people in the United States and
found that 70 percent of those interviewed, disliked their jobs. Why
do you think so many people dislike their work?

20. How did the colonists cope with loneliness and isolation? How
do we cope with these issues today?

21. Colonists had to deal with the issue of unexpected arrivals and
they were at time disconcerted. How do we deal with unexpected
events in life?

22. What kind of leadership style did Gov Don Heinz subscribe to?
How would you evaluate him?

23. Some of the colonists in the Colonial House refused to attend
church on the Sabbath. Hoe do you enforce 17th century morality on
21st century people?

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