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Before 1500s, the American continents was mainly populated by Native Indians. This was before the arrival of the European explorers on the continent. The Indians were great explorers and had lived in the region for fifty years prior to the arrival of the European explorers. Mainly the Indian communities had arrived from China. Most of these communities had trekked through the various landscapes and had employed boats to reach the American continent. The Native Indians were a resourceful people. They were able to hunt, farm and trade which augmented their sustenance.
The English, French and Spanish comprise some of the European nations that had initial contacts with the Native Indians. The decision to move to the new world was influenced by several reasons. Some of the Europeans intended to spread Christianity. Others were inclined towards the Manifest Destiny social framework (Kincheole 7). The Europeans, on meeting the Native Indians considered them to be savages. They viewed the Native Indians as objects of curiosity and not equals (Rob n.p.). The Europeans largely ignored the Native Indians on arrival in the American continent. The initial contact between Europeans and the Native Indians can be traced back to 985 A.D. At this time, the Norse were practicing hegemony over the American Arctic. This was at a time when the Europeans were also exploring the region. It is at that time that the Europeans made the first contact with the Inuit tribe of the Americas. The friendship between these communities were a consequence of the need for survival among many other economic reasons. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
Implications of the initial contact with both communities
On arrival in the American continents, Europeans regarded the native Indians as being inferior. The prevailing Indian cultures were thought to be primitive by the Europeans (Kincheole 6). In turn, the Native Indians regarded the Europeans with curiosity. They examined keenly the culture of the Europeans and the sophisticated tools they employed in overseeing their initiatives. However, it was not long before the Indians established that the Europeans held different values with regards to the flora and fauna (Wilson 12). To the Indians, nature was sacred. It had a religious significance which was revered by the Indian communities. Unlike the Indians, to the Europeans, nature was something to be conquered. This marked one of the negative implications of the European arrival in the Americas region. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
The initial contact marked the beginning of epidemics and a series of maladies for the Indian communities. Some of these diseases included influenza, chicken pox, smallpox and measles. The Native Indians did not have immunity or ways to curtail the diseases. Given that they were unaware of the diseases, the diseases quickly spread amidst them. This resulted in deaths for many of the Indian communities (Boyd 31). In some cases, the disease wiped off over three-quarters of members of a given Indian community. Unlike the Indians, Europeans had been in contact with the diseases for a long time. They had knowledge on ways to curtail the spread of the disease. Likewise, they were in conception of some of the factors that encouraged the spread of the diseases in the community. Most of them engaged the mitigation frameworks to curtail the progress of the diseases. Most of the diseases were spread through physical contact between the Europeans and the Indians (Boyd 31). The contact occurred during the trading activities between the communities.
The arrival of the Europeans reinforced the introduction and exchange of goods in the American region. European explorers arrived with products which were previously unheard of by the Native Indians. Some of these commodities comprise guns, mirrors, axes, hoes and knives. The use of these tools became a popular concept and an increased number of Native Indians traded their farm produce for the tools. Native Indian hunters traded deerskins for pieces of cloth from the Europeans (Rob n.p.). Furthermore, Warriors from the Indian communities traded their bows and arrows for the sophisticated weaponry of the Europeans. This changed the economic landscape of the Indian communities. Whereas initially they hunted mainly for food, the need to trade with Europeans inspired pervasive hunting among the Indian communities. The hunting escapades were intended to secure hides in order to trade with the Europeans.
Increased war and conflicts in the American region was a culmination of the arrival of European nations in the region. Despite the repeated engagements between each other, the Europeans mistrusted the Native Indians. They considered them to be heathens and thus set about establishing hegemony over the Native Indian communities. In order to protect their heritage, the Native Indians resisted the intrusion into their affairs. They conducted raids on European settlements and repeatedly attacked the food stores of the European Communities (Philbrick 24). Over time, the number of Europeans in the region increased immensely. Given that the Indians had poor weapons compared to the Europeans, their raids were constantly subdued. This allowed for the Europeans to practice administration over the entire region. The successes of the Europeans in war can also be attributed to the lack of cooperation among the Native Indians. Previous disputes among the Indian community worked to the Advantage of the Europeans in America.
Alternatively, initial contact between the Europeans and the Native Indians marked the beginning of slavery (Philbrick 47). Upon establishing authority over the region, the European settlers needed individuals who would work on their farms. Furthermore, slaves were needed to build settlement premises which were mainly for the European settlers. In order to secure slaves, the Europeans exchanged goods with powerful Indian tribes in the American region. The Indian tribes would capture members of an enemy Indian tribe and sell them off to the Europeans. By the year 1700, a quarter of the entire slave community in America was made up of individuals from the Indian communities (Kincheole 7). Over time, the Europeans began to organize their own raids in order to secure Indian slaves.
The slavery phenomenon led to the displacement of many Indian communities. The need for increased slaves enhanced the hostilities between warring Indian tribes. Essentially, the Indians turned against each other in order to secure slaves for the European settlers. The advent of slavery further led to the displacement of several Indian communities. Many families were separated. Slavery in the American region negatively affected the economic standing of the Indian tribes (Wilson 45). The strongest in the community were taken into slavery which stripped the subject Indian communities of the manpower needed for hunting expeditions. Therefore, in order to sustain themselves, most of these communities had to align themselves with the Europeans. They were compelled to work for the Europeans in order to survive.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
Conclusively, the initial contact between Europeans and Native Indians marked the beginning of a series of events. To begin with, the arrival of the Europeans marked the beginning of a myriad epidemics in the region. Smallpox and measles nearly wiped out the entire Indian communities. On arrival in the American region, the Europeans instituted slavery which led to the displacement of the Indian communities in America. Essentially, it is the European community that greatly from the initial contact between the two communities.
Boyd, Robert. The Coming of the Spirit of Pestilence: Introduced Infectious Diseases and Population Density Decline among Northwest Coast Indians, 1774-1874. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999.
Kincheole, John W. “Earliest American Explorers: Adventure and Survival.” Tar Heel Junior Historian 47.1 (2007): 6-8.
Philbrick, Nathaniel. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War. New York: Penguin Books, 2006.
Rob, M. When the Native American Indians First Met the European Settlers. 2010. 6 October 2016. .
Wilson, James. The Earth Shall Weep: A History of Native America. New York: Grove Press, 2000.