Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s culture is the centre of the world thus considering all other cultures as being inferior. This natural circumstance can be expected to emerge where a unity is established between different ethnic, racial or linguistic groups. The ethnocentric individual will judge other groups relative to his or her own particularized ethnic group or culture especially with concern to language, behavior, customs, and religion. These ethnic divergence and developments serve to define each ethnicity unique cultural identity. According to textbook The Health Anthology of American Literature it exemplifies the term ethnocentrism that predominated during the Early Colonial period. During the time period of 1700’s one of the most prominent examples of ethnocentrism is when the Europeans first came to America and had their first initial encounters with the Native Americans. This resulted between a cultural differences that led to frequent clashes which prevailed to destruction of land and people. These differences included religious practices and ruling practices, among others. Unfortunately, these cultural distinctions ended in blood shed during war or captivity, which ultimately forced the Native Americans to be assimilated into European culture. For instance,before the Europeans arrived the Mayas felt in harmony with their environment, and so express the Mayan perception of the result of the Spanish Conquest. In the Beginning of Sickness, the Mayas stated: there was no sickness; they had no aching bones; they had then no high fever, they had no smallpox, etc… (5). This explains that the Mayas lived a lifestyle of peace, and did not have to worry about living in fear, until there whole life changed when the Europeans arrived. When the Europeans arrived, the Mayas stated: they brought shameful things beginning of robbery and violence, the beginning of forced debts, the beginning of debts enforced by false testimony. It was...
Cited: Lauter, Paul. The Heath Anthology of American Literature.
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