The World Turned Upside Down

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When the Europeans established colonies in the New World, they sought

to convert the Indians way of civilization. Their obsession was to

spread Christianity and their culture throughout all of the colonies

including the Indian villages. Some Indian people accepted these

traditions because they felt as if they had no where else to turn. When

the settlers invaded the new land they brought with them many diseases

which wiped out many Indian villages and tribes. The Indians also had a

hard time excepting the invasions on new territories, which led to many

wars. This resulted in a large decrease of the Indian population, so

some Indians turned to Cristianity and other European traditions. On

the otherhand, many Indians insisted that European beliefs should exist

only amongst themselves. They had no business trying to introduce a new

religion when the Indian's traditions have been practiced for years.

The Indians during this time were forced to accept the Europeans

establishing new territories, even if they did not belong to them. As

the Indian populations continued to decrease, some Indians intermarried

with the Europeans and even the Africans to try and boost the population

once again. This of course produced mixed children who were confused

and could not decide which culture they would accept. This mix of

people changed the ways of living for the Native Americans as well as

the Europeans throughout early America.

It is obvious to me that land was the largest reason for war among the

Indians and the Europeans. It was simple: the Indians did not want to

give up their land that they had claimed for so many years to a bunch of

irrogant settlers who take what ever they want. The English felt that

God had granted them the land and the Indians should be removed.

However, the Native Americans also wanted something from the new

colonists, trade. The American Indians were great hunters who collected

many furs that were valuable trade products. After time some Indian

tribes grew in debt with the settlers and the only way they could pay

their debts is by giving them land. That is where the Europeans and the

Indian's attitudes differ over land. The Indians were willing to

sometimes negotiate about certain territories, where most of the

Europeans were going to take the land whether the Indians were going to

cooperate or not. Battles often broke out when larger Indian tribes

felt they could fight for their land. Sometimes they were able to

defeat the English in battles, but most of the time they were out

numbered. During this time the English were very greety. The King was

giving away land that did not even belong to him, and did not care that

he was dimininshing the population of the American Indians in the

process.

Native American speeches, letters, and opinions have given historians a

very good understanding of what life was like when the colonists were

establishing new land. Many of the Indian's letters were agreements to

land parcels (deeds) in exchange for goods. This supports the ideas I

stated earlier about the importance of trade with the Europeans.

In different Indian communities trade became a necessity and actually

destablized their ability to fend for themselves. The Indians turned to

the English for guns and ammunition to kill their deer and buffalo.

Some also turned to alcohol, hoping that it would erase some of their

problems. The leaders of certain tribes would place blame on the white

people for making them unstable. Through speeches, letters, and opinions

historians are able to unravel the truth and determine what, when, and

why the colonists did what they did to the American Indians. For United

States history in general, these sources of information show us the

importance of the land. To establish a successful colony, one must have...
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