How Did Europeans Affect Native Americans

Topics: United States, War, Native Americans in the United States, Diplomacy, Indigenous peoples of the Americas / Pages: 4 (798 words) / Published: Feb 14th, 2018
There is no doubt that the introduction of Europeans from overseas had a major and lasting impact on the Native American Indians throughout the Americas. Trade with the newly arrived white man affected any and all aspects of Indian life. Now introduced to new materials, tools, weapons, and pathogens things were in a whirlwind. Indians lifestyle and the way they went about their international diplomacy and warfare changed and would never be the same again.
One of the most culturally significant actions among indians was that of war and it was very prevalent in their society. Indian societies fixated on fighting especially for young men who were eager to prove manhood and display prestige. Warfare involved practices like “counting coup” which
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Wars between Indian societies utilized weapons such as bow and arrow, clubs, knives, and spears, none of which were made out of iron. The firearms and metals that the Europeans introduced in the new world changed Indians warfare and made it more dangerous than ever before. Indians traded the valuable beaver pelts in exchange for these goods and overtime it resulted in the over hunting of the beaver. With a limited number of beaver pelts available the Beaver Wars began and they started attacking other neighboring tribes to raid and steal their pelts. This put an emphasis on the need for weapons in Indian society in order to acquire these tradeable pelts. The arrows that were once tipped with sharpened stones were now tipped with metals such as iron, copper, or brass making them stronger and sharper than ever before. The odds of dying in battle skyrocketed for the natives resulting in an even higher death rate. In the middle of the 17th century the Iroquois armed themselves through trade with hundreds of firearms from the Dutch in Albany and took advantage over their less advantaged Indian enemies. The Huron, Neutral, and Khionontateronon all lost to the Iroquois unmatchable firepower. But this advantage over other Indian nations didn’t last and as time went on in the mid 17th century when muskets came into general use it was realized how slow their shots were in comparison to the traditional bow and arrow. Also the use of these muskets created a dependence on the European Americans for materials and ammunition but there was no going back to the primitive weapons and wooden armour because warfare had changed

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