The New World: Indians vs. Europeans

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Shelby Bradley
The idea of a brand new world across the ocean sparked interest in many Europeans. They saw it as an opportunity to get rich quick and benefit immensely. The issue they didn’t see was the presence of the Native Americans who were already on the land. The Europeans sailed into North America and immediately started excluding the Indians and taking their land. This caused many conflicts between the two groups, especially in the New England and Spanish Southwest region and during the 1600’s.

In 1620, the first New England settlement was founded. It was at a site called Plymouth Rock and was the location of the Mayflower Compact. At first the colonists had lots of trouble figuring out how to grow crops and hunt and basically survive in this new world. The local Native Americans showed them how to farm and hunt and soon the colony prospered. It’s hard to understand why so many conflicts occurred when clearly the Native Americans weren’t fighting our arrival. The colony was doing so well that other people from Europe saw opportunity and starting moving to New England. Soon the colony was overcrowded and the colonists started taking the Indians’ land. They also hunted too much, spread their diseases to the Indians, and also tried to convert them to Christianity. The Indians did not take this lightly. They started to fight back. For example, they killed Anne Hutchinson and her family. The Europeans’ greed was the root of these conflicts and the Native American’s response didn’t help their relationship either.

Meanwhile there were also problems in the Spanish Southwest. By the 1600’s most of South and Central America were occupied by Europeans, so the Spanish started heading north. The Spanish immediately killed and enslaved any Indians that they ran into. By the time they reached New Mexico, slavery was in full swing and they were trying to convert the Indians to Christianity as well.
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