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The Core Curriculum

“Pocahontas,” Introductory Sequence, dir. Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg, Disney 1995.

“In the beginning,” Locke writes in the Second Treatise, “all the world was America.” He meant by this that the world was inhabited by peaceful savages, living in harmony with nature and with one another. While Europe had, mainly through the invention of money, left the state of nature,America remained there. In this clip, taken from the movie “Pocahontas,” we can see that this image of early America remains with us. The directors portray America the way Locke must have imagined it: a land of peace and cooperation, without industry or money. It was surely to be admired, but also ripe for colonialism insofar as the natives were not properly developing the land.