The Paradigm Shift:
Europeans, Americans, and North American Indians
October 15, 2013¬¬¬¬
The North American continent has seen endless bloodshed and war between its own people as well as those from far and distant lands. There were the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and the Civil War, to name a few, and that is all before the twentieth century. When most people think of war they think of these wars that have, admittedly been integral in forming modern society and the culture today. However no one ever even contemplates the war between the early settlers and the first nations that staked a claim in the lands of America. But this battle took a major role in the formation of the United States of America. With these encounters a majority of the Midwest was won, an area that is massive in population. Whether this war was named or not it holds an important role in the creation of this country. However an important part of the war for America often gets over looked. When studying treaties it is common to look at what is won or lost or briefly how long it took or who was there to sign it. It is not very common to see a study of the method of how the two parties come to make agreements upon the proper way to go about making a treaty. Throughout the formation of the country and the settlement of the Americas there were many treaties signed between Indians and different countries. Unlike writing a paper during the settlement of the Americas there was no formant on how to make a treaty and therefore each country had their own way of writing a treaty. Most of the European countries had a similar method after having fought and reconciled and fought again with each other for hundreds of years. However the Native Americans had their own ways they had perfected amongst themselves over the centuries of their isolated inhabitation of the Americas. When these two cultures clashed head on a new format for how to come to terms to draw up a treaty had to be found. As if that wasn’t enough with the end of the American Revolution a new country blossomed in the Americas and for years was a small relatively harmless uncoordinated mass of colonies. When they did manage to pull together and form a single cohesive country their appetite for new land was insatiable. And with this meant conflict with the Indians for their land and with this conflict came treaties. However just as the formation of America had been a paradigm shifting event the interactions with the Natives Americans also saw many grate changes in the treatment of their people and how they were expected to settle on making new treaties. When Henry Hudson discovered the Hudson River he returned to Brittan instead of Amsterdam where he had set out and was imprisoned. However his discoveries of natives and the treasures they had managed to leak out in the form of his captain’s log, notes, and personal accounts. “What the merchants learned was that when Hudson had anchored the Half Moon below the River’s mouth, the ship had been visited by Indians clad in ‘deer skins,’ ‘Mantles of feathers,’ and ‘good furs’”1 With this news of Indians with objects of interest to the Europeans and who were willing to trade for “…’trifles…beads, knives ,and hatchets’”2 there was soon a large amount of people looking to move to the new world to establish trade with these new people. With such opportunity to go to this New World and harvest the furs of this rich new land soon many countries were sending people to colonize and cultivate the new land. The British already had their settlement in Jamestown but soon they, the French, and the Spanish among others would all begin to establish colonies to begin trading with the natives. Soon the Great Lakes area was the focal point of a vast trade network with many tribes in the area vying for the attention of the Europeans. With this much trade so many resources and so much wealth...
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