Revenge and Retaliation: Settling America

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, New Mexico, United States Pages: 4 (1185 words) Published: June 19, 2013
Revenge and Retaliation:
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Settling America|

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The readings provide insight into the feud that took place between the colonists and the Native Americans. The Jesuit Relations by Paul Le Jeune and Jerome Lalemant tells of the religious encounters with the natives in . Le Jeune and Lalemant were French missionaries in 1640 with good intentions on understand the people and building a relationship with them. However, as with most experiences, the two cultures collided. A contrasting essay is the Letter from New Mexico by Juan de Onate from 1599, which showed ill intention from the beginning to the end. Onate’s entire purpose was to acquire land for his king, and he was not to be stopped, not by orders and definitely not by his own morals. In the 1623 An Indentured Servant’s Letter Home by Richard Frethorne he complains of his work and living conditions as a crop servant in the new land. Frethorne’s experience in America could have been better had a good relationship between his village and the natives been established.

Ultimately, the differences in religions, customs, and standards lead to a long and painful relationship between the colonists and natives. Colonists proved themselves to be aggressive in pushing their values and religions onto the natives. And the settlers’ hostile way of acquiring land forced the natives to reciprocate the colonists’ actions. Also, the lack of evidence of peaceful trading did not help to mend the broken relationship of the two cultures. The ongoing feud between the colonists, of any culture, and the natives were kept alive through acts of retaliation and revenge of both parties. The religion of the colonists urged them to change and convert the natives, which ultimately led to rebellion. In The Jesuit Relations the natives were initially very receptive to converting. The missionaries would force their religion onto their native patients, making them say prayers and recite catechism. It seemed that the natives...

Cited: Le Jeune, Paul, and Jerome Lalemant. "The Jesuit Relations." For the Record: A Documentary History of America. 4th ed. Vol. 1. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2010. 10-14. Print.
Frethorne, Richard. “An Indentured Servant’s Letter Home.” For the Record: A Documentary History of America. 4th ed. Vol. 1. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2010. 19-21. Print
De Onate, Juan. “Letter from New Mexico.” For the Record: A Documentary History of America. 4th ed. Vol. 1. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2010. 6-8. Print.
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