Relationship between Native Americans and the Colonists
Relationshipbetween Native Americans and the Colonists
Thepeople who discovered and lived in America during the ancient timesare called the Native Americans or the Americans Indians.1These individuals journeyed into Alaska from Asia across Bering landbridge. This migration is estimated to have taken place late in theIce Age. The early settlers had covered nearly the entire content asearly as 1000 BC. Ancient Americans have similar physicalcharacteristics to those of the Asians from whom they descended.Light brown skin, dark eyes, and dark hair are some of the uniquetraits in resemblance with the Asians. However, despite the apparentdifferences with the colonists at the time, Indians have todaydeveloped similar customs, languages, and appearances.2This paper seeks to discuss the relationship between Native Americansand colonists, as well as analyze the cultural identity of thesecommunities after and before colonization.
It’snot very clear how the Native Americans settled in the present day’sUnited States.3According to theorists, these individuals migrated from Eurasia. Itis also estimated that the migration began at around 30,000 yearsago.4The end of the last glacial period in the last 10,000 years led tothe termination of the movement due to submergence of the land bridgeby rising sea level.5Bridge land acted as a way into America by these newcomers.
Theend of the Ice Age and the associated climatic changes inspired theIndians to practice farming.6The experimentation on arable farming was also facilitated by theincrease in the population of the ancient occupants of this region.The main crops in the 5500 BC the main crops were squash and cornwhich also formed a significant part of their diet.7Among the animals, they raised included llamas, guinea pigs, andturkeys for food. The society also hunted bison and deer for food.Communities living in the coastal regions caught fish and hunted seamammals in boats. By the end of 2000 BC, this group of people hadalready established trade routes as well states.8Boats and Rafts were used in the shipment of their goods from onetrading point to another. Llamas provided on-land transportation inSouth America. The Native Americans were also divided into tribesdepending on the area occupied, language, customs, and religiouspractices. The society valued peace among all people in this region.9
Shortlyafter the Columbus’ discovery of the “New World,” the Europeanson these early Americans began. The Europeans are associated with thebringing of diseases including measles and smallpox. Since theailments were unfamiliar to the ancient Americans, they spread fastand eliminated a large the population. The colonization was intendedto take away land from the original settlers of the region. Thedesire to create new jobs for the growing population in Europe wasalso a pressing issue. Therefore, a war emerged between the Europeansand the ancient Americans over the ownership and control of the land.The Europeans were immune to some of the diseases they transmitted tothem, and this gave them a higher ground in the conflicts. Thedevastation of the diseases was not as highly felt among theEuropeans as it was by the ancient inhibitors. For example, theconditions swept a huge number of the ancient inhabitants in 1763.The guns and horses owned by the Europeans also facilitated theirwinning in the war. These capabilities led to the overpowering of thearrows and other hand-held weapons.
Additionally,the increase in the number of the Europeans led to the outnumberingof the ancient occupants. The survivors of the war after the defeatof the Ancient Americans were gathered and moved to specific regionsin the country known as the reservations. The Indians from the formersmall kingdoms and empires were engaged as laborers and peasantsafter the war. The way of life of the Indians was threatened, and theSpanish rule brought about developments in earth-moving objects andtransportation. These advancements further made it easy profitablefor the foreigners to colonize other parts of the region.10
Thelast major war between the Ancient Americans and the Europeans wasthe King Philip’s War. These conflicts occurred between 1675 and1676. Even after the King was killed, the conflicts still continuedin the northern New England and hence necessitated the signing ofCasco Bay’s Treaty in 1678. The American Revolution made the thenproclaimed U.S. to compete for the Native American’s allegiance.The British also strived for the same at the time. However, mostindividuals who joined the struggle sided with the British. Thedecision was intended to promote the end of the colonial expansion oftheir land through defeat. Lenape was the first native community tosign a treaty with the U.S. Government. Later in 1783, British madepeace with the Americans in the Paris’ Treaty.
ThePequot massacre occurred during the war between the alliance of theEnglish colonists of Saybrook, Plymouth, and Massachusetts Bay andthe Pequot tribe. The American allies also participated in the war.These conflicts occurred between 1634 and 1638 and Pequot lost. About700 Pequot were killed and others held in captivity. The war suppliedcaptives to the slave trade leading to further suffering of thenatives.
Inthe 18th Century, the U.S. had a desire to expand, developsettlements and farming in new areas. The government also intended toeliminate land hunger among the new immigrants and settlers fromEngland. Despite the settlers’ and states’ odds with the policy,the national government resorted to purchasing the Native Americanland by use of treaties. Moreover, the U.S. policy regarding thenative settlers continually evolved after the American Revolution.According to Henry Knox and George Washington, Native Americans weresupposed to be considered as equals even though they believed thattheir society was weak. These individuals formulated laws that weremeant to bring about civilization among the Indians. For instance,Washington developed a policy for the encouragement of thecivilization process of the Indians in the nation. The impartialjustice for the Indians, regulation of the buying of their lands,punishing the violators of their rights, and promotion of commercewas among the highlights of Washington’s civilization plan. Theperception of the Native Americans by the Europeans as uncivilizedled to the facilitation of their learning programs. The 1819’sCivilization Fund Act was formulated for the provision of funds forgroups which worked towards the education of the natives. Therefore,foreign education process was among the values that were introducedto the residents through enforcement. The integration of the schoolsystems opened room for other shifts in the culture and traditionalbeliefs.
Theoriginal colonies were divided into thirteen branches. The foundationof these divisions was on the Eastern Coast of today’s U.S. between1607 and 1733.11Initially, these colonies were headed by Swedish, Dutch, and English.Nonetheless, by the end of the American Revolution, all the colonieshad been transferred to the leadership of the British.12The thirteen colonies were divided into three areas including themiddle, southern, and New England colonies. The Middle colonies werecomposed of Pennsylvania and Delaware. On the other hand, Georgia andMaryland represented the Southern ones. Finally, the New Englandconsisted of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island.13All these categories were formed for various varying reasons, andthey led to the attraction of different people.
Scientistshave proven the agricultural, cultural, and population transformationhas occurred among the ancient Americans since the year 15th Century.These changes are highly attributable to the interactions with the“New World.” Before the Columbian exchange, there were widevariations between the way of life of the ancient settlers and theChristian and proto-industrial newcomers.14
Theancient communities were operated in different ways compared with thecolonists. For example, matrilineal the Indians were matrilineal. Themethods of land and other property ownerships were also differentamong members of the same groups. The ancient Americans owned landand grazing field collectively for use by the entire community. Thissharing of the natural resources promoted peace and integrationwithin the tribes which lived together. On the other hand, Europeanspracticed patriarchal cultures and emphasized on the value ofindividual ownership of property more regarding land.15It’s the differences in the cultural practices and preferences aswell as the need by the Europeans to exercise power over the Indianswhich led to the disruption of social structure, war, and politicaltensions.
Today,about 30% of the ancient Indians in American still live inreservations.16These individuals are set aside and still engages in minimalinteraction with other individuals and hence maintenance of theirtraditions and culture. The population of the group has also beenincreasing again.17The history of this relationship among the Ancient Americans andColonists helps in the interpretation of some of the situation facingsocieties today. For instance, increased efforts by the Indianleaders to fight for the rights of their people portray the strugglesof the current communities to restore lost glory.18There is a wide concern of the government and other groups over humanrights which have triggered respect of the Indian traditions andcultures.
Inconclusion, as evident in this paper, differences in the culture andtraditions between the Native Americans and colonists are a primarycause of the war. The indigenous communities lived in clans,cultivated crops, hunted, and kept livestock. Their primary food cropwas corn. On the other hand, colonists had improved knowledge-base onfarming and other innovations. While the natives expected the land tobe owned communally, the Europeans advocated for private ownership.Therefore, Europeans intended to take land from the native tribes anddistribute it to its citizens. The Europeans’ high population intheir country of origin and increased demand to acquire more wealthmotivated them to colonize the Americans. As a result of thecolonization, the natives were impoverished and forced to live inreservations. The cultural practices of the indigenous communitieswere also diluted in the process. It even led to the adoption ofChristianity by some tribes.
Acuña,R. (2015). Occupied America. TheLatino/a Condition: A Critical Reader,,61-4.
Boyer,P. S., Clark, C. E., Halttunen, K., Kett, J. F., & Salisbury, N.(2016). Theenduring vision: A history of the American people.Cengage Learning.
Carmack,R. M., Gasco, J. L., & Gossen, G. H. (Eds.). (2016). Thelegacy of Mesoamerica: history and culture of a Native Americancivilization.Routledge.
Lombaert,E., Ciosi, M., Miller, N. J., Sappington, T. W., Blin, A., &Guillemaud, T. (2017). Colonization History Of The Western CornRootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) In North America: InsightsFrom Random Forest ABC Using Microsatellite Data. bioRxiv,117424.
Raghavan,M., Steinrücken, M., Harris, K., Schiffels, S., Rasmussen, S.,DeGiorgio, M., … & Eriksson, A. (2015). Genomic evidence forthe Pleistocene and recent population history of NativeAmericans. Science, 349(6250),aab3884.
Warren,W. (2016). NewEngland Bound: Slavery and Colonization in Early America.Norton & Company.
1 Raghavan, M., Steinrücken, M., Harris, K., Schiffels, S., Rasmussen, S., DeGiorgio, M., … & Eriksson, A. (2015). Genomic evidence for the Pleistocene and recent population history of Native Americans. Science, 349(6250): 301 – 450.
2 Ibid 400-416.
3 Carmack, R. M., Gasco, J. L., & Gossen, G. H. (Eds.). (2016). The legacy of Mesoamerica: history and culture of a Native American civilization. Routledge.
4 Carmack, R. M., Gasco, J. L., & Gossen, G. H. (Eds.). (2016). The legacy of Mesoamerica: history and culture of a Native American civilization. Routledge: 223-260.
5 Ibid 234.
6 Lombaert, E., Ciosi, M., Miller, N. J., Sappington, T. W., Blin, A., & Guillemaud, T. (2017). Colonization History Of The Western Corn Rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) In North America: Insights From Random Forest ABC Using Microsatellite Data. bioRxiv, 117424: 200-390.
7 Ibid 270
8 Lombaert, E., Ciosi, M., Miller, N. J., Sappington, T. W., Blin, A., & Guillemaud, T. (2017). Colonization History Of The Western Corn Rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) In North America: Insights From Random Forest ABC Using Microsatellite Data. bioRxiv, 117424.
10 Lombaert, E., Ciosi, M., Miller, N. J., Sappington, T. W., Blin, A., & Guillemaud, T. (2017). Colonization History Of The Western Corn Rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) In North America: Insights From Random Forest ABC Using Microsatellite Data. bioRxiv, 117424: 200-390.
11 Warren, W. (2016). New England Bound: Slavery and Colonization in Early America. Norton & Company 234.
12 Ibid 300.
13 Ibid 234.
14 Ibid 244.
15 Boyer, P. S., Clark, C. E., Halttunen, K., Kett, J. F., & Salisbury, N. (2016). The enduring vision: A history of the American people. Cengage Learning: 12 – 77.
16 Ibid 34.
17 Acuña, R. (2015). Occupied America. The Latino/a Condition: A Critical Reader,, 61-104.
18 Ibid 100.
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