Essay about the First Thanksgiving

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What is Thanksgiving to you? When most people think of this beloved holiday, they think of having a huge feast with loved ones who are gathered at the table. Envisioning celebrating love, hope, and happiness during this day. But there were many rebellions, which led us to this point in time. In 1621, the First Thanksgiving was a feast that the Indians and Pilgrims would have together. Which as a result would make it the day it is today in American history.

Religion was a key factor underlying Thanksgiving Day. It was known to Americanize immigrants rather than it being “holy”. At first, it was a day filled with shame for the immigrants rather than a celebration. Shows the major change in how it is celebrated today because of America's transformation throughout time. As journalist Godfrey Hodgson writes, “In the late nineteenth and the twentieth centuries it was embraced by immigrants with love, not foisted on them by manipulative masters.” This shows the change of will for immigrants to be able to celebrate this tradition rather than being forgotten. Demonstrating that the Reformation brought different ideas and expansion to light. Everyone would celebrate the harvest differently by having new or old traditions. For example, Native people thought that every day was a gift of life rather than it being just one day. This period was crucial because without this we wouldn’t be where we are now. Journalist Amy Adamczyk states, “At the end of the 17th century sparked the collective memory of the pilgrim, which then flourished during the Revolutionary War.” Showing the change of the people wanting more, which resulted in a riot. We can relate to this nowadays because our way of having a voice is to protest. Back then and even today there will always be problems since you can’t make everyone happy. But the only way people thought of fixing a problem was through lots of violence. As Godfrey Hodgson states, “It has been adapted to the changing beliefs and aspirations of a society that has itself been utterly transformed, not once but a dozen times over, in almost four hundred years.” This demonstrates how not only has America changed but also the people have over time. Not everyone is going to have the same viewpoint their whole life because there are influences around them. If society had never changed then it would be a pretty sad life to live in. Not having the opportunity to discover new ideas of culture and traditions. To be stuck in one religion without having the chance to discover a different one entirely.

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Now that you know the background during this period, let's talk about the events that occurred. Since religion was sought in England, the Pilgrims decided to leave and move to Holland. Transportation had slowly advanced during this time, allowing them to sail on the Mayflower to America. During the boat ride, they were not prepared for the brutal weather that

New England brought them. But then when they got to America the Indians provided them food. As Amy Adamczyk writes, “When warm weather came they planted their first crop with the Indian’s help and after harvesting it, celebrated the first Thanksgiving.” This new idea of a loving environment was something that the Pilgrims weren’t used to back home. Demonstrating how much of a positive environment can make a huge difference in the drive of the person.

In this essay we talked about religion being a main contributor to Thanksgiving but also the Pilgrim's journey of having their first feast, which resulted in this special day. So maybe the next time when you’re surrounded by friends and loved ones cherish them. Remember to think of the Pilgrims who make this day possible while you’re eating lots of stuffed turkey and mashed potatoes.

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Essay about the First Thanksgiving. (2024, February 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from
“Essay about the First Thanksgiving.” Edubirdie, 29 Feb. 2024,
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