Europeans vs. Native Americans

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One huge shift in history happened around the late 1400's when a slightly well known man by the name of Christopher Columbus came across what is now known as North America. Columbus actually thought he had found a new and shorter route to the West Indies. When this was announced, the news spread like wildfire and it was not soon after that, other countries began to send their own explorers. It was a bright and positive time when leaders wanted to claim new land for their country. But, what of the people that were already settled in America where Columbus had been so quick to claim for Spain? These people were the real settlers of America, the Native Americans as they would be called later on in history.

For a long time in America's history and even up until I was in Elementary School, it was being taught that Christopher Columbus was in fact the discoverer of America. The truth, as we all know is that he could not have possibly discovered it when there was already people there! Instead, it is possible to say that he "laid claim" to it for Spain. There were many other famous explorers other than Columbus. Some of them include Lief Ericson who discovered Newfoundland, Amerigo Vespucci who discovered South America and the West Indies, Vasco de Balboa who discovered the Pacific Ocean, Hernando Cortez who discovered Mexico and consequently wiped out an entire civilization known as the Aztecs. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo discovered California while Samuel de Champlain found the Great Lakes and Quebec. The Hudson Bay was named after Henry Hudson after he discovered it. Also, Ferdinand Magellan was the first man to sail completely around the world.

At first, the Native Americans welcomed the European Explorers and were curious about them and their motives in their land. The natives introduced the Europeans to gold, silver, potatoes, corn, beans, vanilla, chocolate, many other vegetables and most importantly, tobacco. Europeans did introduce the natives to a few good...
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