The Varied Value of Land

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, United States, Thirteen Colonies Pages: 3 (846 words) Published: June 22, 2013
Land represents a quintessential issue between Native Americans and Europeans. This has been true since Columbus’ discovery and the era of Spanish exploration, invasion, and settlement. During the latter periods of Native American history we observe how English colonization and then the birth and growth of the United States affects the Indian Nations. During this period we mark how two divergent societies value land differently and the disparities resulting in conflict and Indian subjugation. The English Colonial Settlements initially viewed the land similarly as the aboriginal Indian inhabitants in a particular way. The land was the provider of sustenance to both. The early English Colonies sought refuge in the land, which was unlike the early Spanish whose North American invasions sought to pillage riches through lands traversed in the name of religious virtue. The original English Colonies had fled their own religious persecution and instead settle lands to build their society within its borders. The initial contention between Indians and the English Colonies grew from the fundamental differences in each civilization’s ideal of a settlement and territory. Whether an Indian Nations included permanent towns or not the Tribe’s Bands where predominately hunter-gatherers throughout its territory. Furthermore and unlike Europeans these Indian People shared cosmology that identified them as being one with the land. The European view of land was that of property and possession. As English Colonies and the later Americans further coveted Indian land to satisfy expansionism and economic enterprise we observe an unending encroachment on Indian resources. At first there was an aggressive unfettered Indian land grab and then ongoing assaults on natural resources residing on the ever-dwindling Indian lands. The stereotypes of American Indians as inferior beings with limited intellect, or bloodthirsty warriors, or lacking acceptable morals initially justified Colonial...
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