European Explorers' Influence on Native Americans

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European Explorers’ Influence on Native Americans
As a whole, European settlers and Native Americans were constantly clashing over ‘ownership’ of land, as well as simple quarrelling in general. Between the spread of disease and multiple wars involving the foreigners and natives, the Native American population in the 17th and 18th centuries was on a decline. Additionally, there was a major loss in Native American culture due to the Christianization of the Indians by European missionaries and an increase in trade. European explorers and settlers had a negative impact on American Indians because of the massive loss of life, whether because of war or disease, and a loss of culture amongst the people. The first Anglo-Powhatan war arose in 1610 when an Indian chief’s wife and child were murdered, and brutal warfare ensued. Peace was restored between the two groups in 1614 with the marriage of an Englishman and an Indian: John Rolfe and Pocahontas. Even in times of peace, tensions were still high across all tribes and settlements, and the second Anglo-Powhatan war broke out in Jamestown from 1622-1646. The events that went on during the war in Jamestown is the perfect example of just how hostile, aggressive, and brutal the settlers could be to the Native Americans, especially when considering the fact that most Indian tribes welcomed the travelers at first. Some battles were extremely bloody. For instance, the Native Americans killed one third of the settlers at Jamestown in one, single attack. In spite of this, the English invited the natives in to discuss peace talks, but instead the settlers poisoned the Indian’s wine, and shot and killed them as they lay sick on the ground. Fatalities relating to disease were also common. Most deaths pertaining to sickness were purely accidental, however, in Georgia, some settlers purposefully gave Indians blankets laced with small pox. Other infections, such as measles and malaria, were also carried into the Americas by the...
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