Native and European Relations in Early America

Topics: Plymouth Colony, King Philip's War, Spanish colonization of the Americas Pages: 4 (1410 words) Published: February 22, 2011
From the very first interaction, the social and political relations between the Native Americans and the Europeans had begun with much tension. Many Europeans came to the Americas with the intention of discovery. However, when it became apparent that these new lands were inhibited the motives changed, and then the natives were colonized, abused, and in many cases killed. From then and throughout the impending periods of time, the relations between the natives and the Europeans had a few points of mutual peacefulness, but were overall negative.

Many of the very first interactions between the natives and Europeans lead to the natives becoming brutally murdered or enslaved. The account from Bartolomé De Las Casas depicts the mistreatment of the natives. He begins by stating how the Spanish entered the villages of the natives, took more food than was given to them, and mistreated the women and children. They attacked towns and spared absolutely no one. “They attacked the towns and spared neither the children nor the aged nor pregnant nor women in childbed, not only stabbing them and dismembering them but cutting them to pieces as if dealing with sheep in a slaughter house” (Casas 37). The natives attempted to fight back, but their weapons were nearly harmless in comparison to those of the Spanish. They were overpowered and their government was destroyed when the Spanish made a point to kill off all of the nobles. Casas states “…the Indians justifiably killed some Christians, the Spaniards made a rule among themselves that for every Christian slain by the Indians, they would slay a hundred Indians” (Casas 35). The situation was indeed grim for the natives and only continued to decline as the remaining survivors were forced into slavery. Once enslaved, the natives were separated from their families and stuffed into ships leading to lands in which they would be expected to perform grueling labor with no pay and little or no food. Most importantly, the...
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