American History: A New World Clash of Cultures
European settlers often had disputes with Native Americans over land. The Native Americans, with their swords, knives, and bows and arrows, were no match for. The French enjoyed much better relations with Native Americans than other European groups when they first came to American shores. Here are the reasons why. They also did not compete with the Natives for land. When the French first . How did Native Americans' view of land use differ from that of the Europeans? This tension between Native American and European views of land use and the interactions between Europeans and Native Americans affect the Europeans ?.
They built fences to keep people and animals out. They demanded that the Indians stay off their land.
Another problem between the settlers and the Indians involved religion. The settlers in New England thought Christianity was the one true faith, and that all people should believe in it. They soon learned that the Indians were satisfied with their own spiritual beliefs and were not interested in changing them.
As a result, many settlers came to believe that the Native Americans could not be trusted because they were not Christians. They began to fear the Indians and think of them as evil. The European settlers failed to understand that the Indians were an extremely spiritual people with a strong belief in unseen powers.
American Indians at European Contact | NCpedia
The Indians lived very close to nature. They believed that all things in the universe depend on each other. All native tribes had ceremonies that honored a creator of nature. They recognized the creator's work in their everyday lives. Other events also led to serious problems between the Native Americans and the newcomers. One problem was disease. For example, some of the settlers carried the bacteria that caused smallpox, although they themselves did not get sick. Smallpox had caused deadly epidemics in Europe, but it was unknown to the Indians.
Their immune systems had developed no protection against the disease. It killed whole tribes.
And smallpox was only one disease brought from Europe. There were others that also infected the Indians. The first meetings between settlers and Native Americans would follow the same course in almost every European settlement along the East Coast.
The two groups would meet as friends. They would begin by trading for food and other goods. In time, however, something would happen to cause a crisis.
Perhaps a settler would demand that an Indian stay off the settler's land. Perhaps someone was killed. Fear would replace friendship. One side or the other would react to what they believed was an attack. A good example of this was the conflict known as King Philip's War. Metacom, also known as Metacomet, was a leader of the Wampanoag tribe. He was the son of Chief Massasoit. Without the help of Massasoit and his tribe, the first European settlers in the northernmost colonies might not have survived their first winter.
The Wampanoag Indians provided them with food. They taught the settlers how to plant corn and other crops. The two groups were very friendly for several years. Massasoit and his court attended the first harvest feast, which became known as Thanksgiving.
As the years passed, however, fear and mistrust replaced friendliness. Metacom 's brother died of a European disease. Metacom, who was known to the English as King Philip, blamed the colonists.
He also saw how the increasing numbers of settlers were changing the land. He believed they were destroying it. One small crisis after another finally led to the killing of a Christian Indian who lived with the settlers. The settlers retaliated by killing three Indians. It began in sixteen seventy-five and continued for almost two years.
Men, women and children on both sides were killed. Historians say as many as three thousand Native Americans died in the violence. More than six hundred settlers are believed to have been killed.
Historians say the tribe of Indians called the Narraganset were innocent victims of King Philip's War. The Narraganset were not involved in the war.
They did not support one group or the other. However, the settlers had come to fear all Indians and killed almost all the members of the Narraganset tribe. This fear and the failure to compromise were not unusual. They would strongly influence relations between the European settlers and the American Indians in all areas of the new country.
These clashes of cultures would continue as more and more Europeans arrived. The Puritans from England landed in Massachusetts. The Dutch settled what would become New York State. And the Quakers, unwelcome in England, settled in Pennsylvania.
That will be our story next week. You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and pictures at voaspecialenglish.
They journeyed from Asia on foot or by boat. Their explorations took them through icy landscapes and along the coastlines.
American History: A New World Clash of Cultures
Eventually these earliest American explorers spread out over the entire continent. Over time, their lives changed as they adapted to different environments. American Indians were creative. They found ways to live in deserts, in forests, along the oceans, and on the grassy prairies. Native peoples were great hunters and productive farmers.
They built towns and traded over large distances with other tribes. These were the people the European explorers met when their ships landed in America. Europeans carried a hidden enemy to the Indians: Native peoples of America had no immunity to the diseases that European explorers and colonists brought with them.
Diseases such as smallpoxinfluenzameaslesand even chicken pox proved deadly to American Indians. Europeans were used to these diseases, but Indian people had no resistance to them.Illegal Immigration? We Asked Native Americans About It
Sometimes the illnesses spread through direct contact with colonists. Other times, they were transmitted as Indians traded with one another. The result of this contact with European germs was horrible. Sometimes whole villages perished in a short time. As early asEnglish explorer Thomas Harriot observed how European visits to the small villages of coastal North Carolina Indians killed the Natives. The disease was also so strange that they neither knew what it was nor how to cure it.
The introduction of European diseases to American Indians was an accident that no one expected. Neither the colonists nor the Indians had a good understanding of why this affected the Native people so badly. The great impact of disease on the Native population of America is an important part of the story of European exploration. Experts believe that as much as 90 percent of the American Indian population may have died from illnesses introduced to America by Europeans.
This means that only one in ten Natives survived this hidden enemy. Their descendants are the 2. New trade goods represented another big change that European explorers and colonists brought to American Indians.
Native American Relations
Soon after meeting their European visitors, Indians became very interested in things that the colonists could provide. In a short time, the Indians began using these new materials and products in their everyday lives.
Native hunters were eager to trade prepared deer hides and other pelts for lengths of colored cloth. Metal tools such as axes, hoes, and knives became valuable new resources. Soon American Indian men put aside their bows and arrows for European firearmspowder, and lead shot.
Trade items like metal pots often were cut up and remade into new tools or weapons. The desire to get European goods changed ancient trading patterns. The tradition of simple hunting for food began to become less important than getting animal hides to trade. Soon American Indians depended on European items for daily needs. Colonial traders also brought rumand this drink caused many problems for some tribes. New trade goods brought from across the Atlantic Ocean changed American Indian lives forever.
A third big change connected to this new trade was slavery.