American Indians and European Colonists

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In the early seventeenth century, relations between American Indians and European colonists were often characterized as much by collaboration and cooperation as by competition. However by the mid to late seventeenth century, brutal wars between Indians and colonists broke out in nearly every colonial region, from New England down to New Spain. While nearly all colonial regions endured worsening relations between the Indians and Europeans, the disputes occurred due to different reasons depending on the colonial region. In New Spain for instance, harsh treatment, enslavement, and the spread of pandemic disease among the Indians were the primary reasons for conflict between Indians and Spanish colonists. Yet in New France, the major reason of conflict between the Indians and French colonists were due to trade disputes and alliances. In English and Dutch regions of colonization war broke out between the Indians and Europeans due to Jurisdiction, Land, and Labor issues. Although different reasons contributed to the breakdown of relations between native populations and Europeans depending on region, there were also some problems which made relations between Natives and Europeans much more difficult, these problems occurred throughout the entire continent regardless of region. Such problems included language barriers, culture clashes, and general distrust towards opposing factions.

In New Spain corruption among local administrations and weak links to imperial officials back in Spain, only made it harder for the Spanish colonizers to defend massive territorial claims across North America (Jones, 78). During the period of Spanish colonization in New Mexico and Florida, dissent spread among Indian populations due to harsh treatment by Spanish colonists. Pandemic diseases that were associated with Spanish contact also contributed to resentment towards the Spanish (Jones, 79). This triggered several Indian rebellions across Spanish colonies. The Pueblo Revolt in New...
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