Relationship Between Native Americans And European Settlers

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Risky Relations: A closer look at the relationships between Native Americans and European settlers during the seventeenth century

At the start of the seventeenth century, Native Americans greeted European settlers with much excitement. They regarded settlers as strange, but were interested to learn about the new tools and weapons Europeans brought with them. The native people were more than accommodating to the settlers, but as time passed, Europeans took advantage of their generosity. “Once these newcomers disembarked and began to feel their way across the continent, they forever altered the course and pace of native development.” Native Americans and Europeans faced many conflicts due to their vast differences in language, religion and culture. European settlers’ inability to understand and respect Native Americans lead to many struggles that would eventually erupt into violent warfare. Many natives thought the armed Europeans would be able to protect them from their more powerful native enemies. In many cases, Europeans did help natives in warfare. Samuel de Champlain, a critical figure in the establishment of the New France colony, aided the Montganais, Algonkaian and Hurons in
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They would trade their goods with other native tribes. Native Americans hoped to incorporate Europeans into this system. For a while, natives did trade skins and hides, receiving wampum, sacred blue and white shell beads, in exchange from the settlers. “Exchange is meant not only the trading of material goods but also exchanges across community lines of marriage partners, resources, labor, ideas, techniques and religious practices.” Natives generously shared their belongings, supplies, food, and the skills necessary for survival in the New World with the settlers. In exchange, settlers gave Natives disease, death and robbed them of their

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