American History: A New World Clash of Cultures
We look at the early history of relations between European settlers in North The first recorded meetings between Europeans and the Indians of the East and his tribe, the first European settlers in the northernmost colonies. Although the British were new to this New World, colonization of other lands was Large numbers of Native Americans died from European diseases such as. What was early contact like between Europeans and Natives? so far, how would you describe the relationship between the Europeans and the Natives?.
Companies in England needed to find people willing to settle in North America. So they offered land to anyone who would take the chance of crossing the Atlantic. For many, it was a dream come true.
It was a way to improve their lives. The land gave the European settlers a chance to become wealthy and powerful. On the other hand, the Indians believed that no one could own land.
They believed, however, that anyone could use it.
Anyone who wanted to live on a piece of land and grow crops could do so. The American Indians lived with nature. They understood the land and the environment. They did not try to change it. They might grow crops in an area for a few years.
Then they would move on. They would allow the land on which they had farmed to become wild again. They might hunt on one area of land for some time, but again they would move on.
They hunted only what they could eat, so populations of animals could continue to increase. The Indians understood nature and were at peace with it. The first Europeans to settle in the New England area of the Northeast wanted land. The Indians did not fear them. There were not many settlers and there was enough land for everyone to use and plant crops. It was easy to live together.
The Indians helped the settlers by teaching them how to plant crops and survive on the land. But the Indians did not understand that the settlers were going to keep the land.
This idea was foreign to the Indians.
American History: A New World Clash of Cultures
To them, it was like trying to own the air, or the clouds. As the years passed, more and more settlers arrived, and took more and more land. They cut down trees. 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. The Indians lived very close to nature.
Native American Clashes with European Settlers
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.
Early colonial-Indian relations were an uneasy mix of cooperation and conflict. On the one hand, there were the exemplary relations which prevailed during the first half century of Pennsylvania's existence. On the other were a long series of setbacks, skirmishes and wars, which almost invariably resulted in an Indian defeat and further loss of land.
The first of the important Indian uprisings occurred in Virginia inwhen some whites were killed, including a number of missionaries who had just recently come to Jamestown. The Pequot War followed inas local tribes tried to prevent settlement of the Connecticut River region. In Phillip, the son of the chief who had made the original peace with the Pilgrims inattempted to unite the tribes of southern New England against further European encroachment of their lands. In the struggle, however, Phillip lost his life and many Indians were sold into servitude.
Almost 5, kilometers to the west, the Pueblo Indians rose up against the Spanish missionaries five years later in the area around Taos, New Mexico. For the next dozen years the Pueblo controlled their former land again, only to see the Spanish retake it.
Some 60 years later, another Indian revolt took place when the Pima Indians clashed with the Spanish in what is now Arizona. The steady influx of settlers into the backwoods regions of the Eastern colonies disrupted Indian life. As more and more game was killed off, tribes were faced with the difficult choice of going hungry, going to war, or moving and coming into conflict with other tribes to the west.
American Indians at European Contact | NCpedia
The Iroquoiswho inhabited the area below Lakes Ontario and Erie in northern New York and Pennsylvania, were more successful in resisting European advances. The League was run by a council made up of 50 representatives from each of the five member tribes. The council dealt with matters common to all the tribes, but it had no say in how the free and equal tribes ran their day-to-day affairs. No tribe was allowed to make war by itself.