Describe the settlement of the Western Hemisphere from the perspective of a Native American.

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, Europe, United States Pages: 3 (739 words) Published: January 18, 2005
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 determined through one parent." (Divine, 9) Women owned the planting fields and houses and they maintained tribal customs. And the men owned the hunting grounds that the family needed to survive. So this all changed when the Europeans came. Indeed, the first time Indians had contact with the Europeans was in the Caribbean islands. . The Spanish tried to convert the Indians to European ways. When the Indians refused, the Spanish were very harsh with them. For instance, villages were burned, hundreds of Indian men, women and children were kidnapped and shipped to Europe to be sold as slaves. Furthermore, the conquerors brought with them many diseases such as measles, small pox, and influenza. In fact, these were diseases that the Indians were not immune to them.

Later on when the English arrived in Virginia, the Indians had mixed feelings about them. They felt hostile due to their past experiences they had with the Spanish explorers. So they ended up attacking one of the English ships that landed there. Eventually after the British were able to settle in Jamestown, Virginia, they found themselves living in territory controlled by one of the most powerful Indian leaders, Powhatan. Powhatan helped them through the winters. He was hospitable toward them and he provided them with...
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