Describe The Settlement Of The Western Hemisphere From The Perspective Of A Native American

829 words - 4 pages

Describe the settlement of the Western Hemisphere from the perspective of a Native American.By most Europeans accounts the settlement of the western Hemisphere brought civilization to an uncivilized people. What they failed to understand was that the Indians had their own beliefs and ways of life that benefited their native population. The Native Americans for example were skilled hunters, farmers and used everything in their environment for survival or for essential necessities. They shared the land together and moved about freely in search of food. According to historian James Axtell, "the basic unit of social membership in all tribes was the exogamous clan, a lineal descent group ...view middle of the document...

He was hospitable toward them and he provided them with food. He was disappointed that the English did not return his hospitality. He also felt that the English were invading his people and they were trying to possess his country. Moreover, since the colonists were dependent on the Indians for food, Captain Smith decided to establish trade with the Indians for food. But when negotiations failed, he decided to take what he wanted by force. Therefore, the good relations between them did not last and Powhatan was force to fight the English. Unfortunately, it ended up in a complete destruction of the Powhatan Empire.As a large number of white men and women continued arriving in North America, it altered Indian cultures. For instance, the conquest strained traditional ways of life so native people had to find new ways to survive. According to Historian James Merrell," The Indians found themselves living in a world that from their perspective was just as "new "as that which greeted the European invaders" (Divine 9).Indian communities felt the need to develop different strategies for dealing with the European settlers. Some chose to resist, some fled their homelands, and some didn't compromise. "Cultural misunderstandings and intolerance plagued Indian-European relations, hampering negotiations and sometimes leading to violent confrontations."(AmericanPassages).For example, the Indians learned that by resisting the...

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