Europeans learned so much from Indians. In fact, Indians taught the Europeans the tactics of survival in general. Ideally, the Native Americans went ahead to show the Europeans the art of hunting, gathering, fishing and also planting and taking care of crops. In general, the Europeans were taught how to live in harmony with nature. According to Ońate (1916), Europeans had come from an environment that was less natural and more industrialized, making it hard for them to understand how to live in a place full of green vegetation, fresh air, and clean water. The Europeans learned various things from the Indians. Even though the Europeans were reluctant in adopting the ways of the Native Americans, they were forced by circumstances to eat their food, take their medicine and learn their ways in general. Because the Europeans were not quite familiar with the land they had just occupied, they used the Native Americans to show them how everything worked on the land.
Native Americans were people who loved peace and tranquility. In fact, Indians valued the institution of family, the need to pray together as a family and the need to be creative. Powhatan (1841) explains that unlike the Europeans, Native Americans found great importance in appreciating nature by taking care of the environment in a respectful manner. The notion that God provided the environment to take care of them triggered the need for them to protect the environment from any harm. On the other hand, the Europeans were more involved in work and creating more wealth for themselves that they did not get involved in what the Indians were doing. Because they were not the original settlers of the land, the Europeans did not care if they protected the land from harm or not. All the Europeans cared about was becoming powerful and commanding respect from the other colonies.
After some years of learning, the Europeans began feeling that they did not need the Native Americans in their lives. The Europeans gradually terminated their close relationship with the Indians. Nathaniel (n.d.) asserts that the Europeans started cutting ties from the Indians to show that their country, cultures, and race were superior compared to that of the Native Americans. Also, the Europeans had to remain rude and unfriendly to the Indians so that they could keep maintaining power over the Natives. After close cutting ties with the Native Americans, they started grabbing more land and power from the Indians. During this time, the Governments of the Europeans were not willing to support them in any way. Also, the Indians had become adamant in giving up all their land. He further explains that war rose between the Native Americans and the Europeans, because of the land and power, making some Indians take the side of the Europeans as others refused to surrender. It was blood and sweat for both sides.
For instance, Planter Nathaniel Bacon focused so much hate and anger on the Indians, because the Indians were not ready to forfeit their land easily to the Europeans. For that reason, Bacon rose in war and slaughtered all the Native Americans that lived nearby. According to National Humanities Center Resource Toolbox (n.d.), a huge number of Native Americans took the side of the Europeans while a significantly small number of Native Americans chose to take the side of the colonialists. Different European powers fought to maintain power among their fellow Imperial forces. That made the Indians stay undecided on who to support and who not to support. Even so, most Native Americans took the side of the colonialist. Additionally, the Indians went ahead to offer their assistance concerning fighting for the side they had chosen. In fact, the Indians started growing and taking care of food for the people they had taken sides. Taking the side of the various colonies meant that they did whatever they were asked to do by the Europeans. It also meant that they had to act like slaves. It is clear that many Indian American slaves existed at the time when African American slaves were dominant.
The Indian American territory that was being fought for by the Europeans reached a point of nativism. That meant that the Indian people went through emotional and physical torture. The constant fighting and mistreatment made many Indians feel unworthy and helpless. Ideally, the Indians felt that the Europeans had betrayed their trust and their welcoming hearts. For that reason, the Native Americans had to adjust to individual lifestyles. The battles that the Indians, among them the fight to maintain their religion and stop the oppression from the Europeans overwhelmed them. The introduction of Europeans to America caused several problems for the Native Americans. The Indians started catching the White man’s disease. Also, the Indians began engaging themselves in the trade with the Europeans. For instance, the Europeans started buying farming tools and also war tools from the Europeans. That is the reason why most Indian American chose to join the Europeans for various reasons like reinforcement in times of war. According to Champlain (1609), some Native Americans who did not back down and bow to the European rule and way of life survives diseases, slavery, the war and the difference in culture to rise and maintain their Indian culture that remains active today. Native Americans still exist in America today and preserve their cultures and way of life. Even though most f them live to the standards of a third world country, they still get credit for contributing to the creation of the European colonies.
- Champlain, Samuel de . “Samuel de Champlain’s Voyages.” The Journal of Samuel de Champlain, 1609.
- Nathaniel, Bacon. “Bacon’s Rebellion: The Declaration (1676).” History Matters. n.d. http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5800 (accessed November 8, 2016).
- National Humanities Center Resource Toolbox. “Seventeenth Century Competition in North America.” The British & American Colonial Perspective: A Sampling, 1699-1763 , n.d.
- Ońate, Juan de. “Letter Written by Don Juan de Ońate from New Mexico.” In Spanish Exploration in the Southwest, 1542-1706, by Herbert Eugene Bolton, 199-222. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1916.
- Powhatan, Chief . “Remarks by Chief Powhatan to John Smith, (c. 1609).” In Biography and History of the Indians of North America, by Samuel Drake, 353. Boston: BiblioLife , 1841.