Samples Europe Europeans and Native Americans

Europeans and Native Americans

929 words 4 page(s)

The interaction between Europeans and native Americans spans decades that have yielded numerous pieces of literature in attempts to comprehend the relationship. In 1493, Columbus, a Spanish traveler wrote a letter to their King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella describing his discoveries with San Domingo’s Indians. Jacques Cartier wrote of her interaction with people of Hochelaga village in Montreal. Thomas Harriot wrote a report on his experience in New-found Land of Virginia. A Micmac Indian, essentially of Canadian origin compared the Indian and the French societies. The four readings avail unique narrations of the experiences in demystifying the interaction between the Europeans and the Native Americans.

Factors That Influenced the Interpretation
According to Christopher Columbus, the welcome that the native Indians at San Salvador accorded him made him believe that they worshiped him. The warmth with which the natives received the traveler made him believe that the former saw the Europeans as higher beings. Columbus noted that since they did not have definite forms of idolatry, the warm welcome they accorded him qualified as worship, describing them as viewing him as a celestial being. Furthermore, Columbus misconstrued the order among the leadership of the natives with poverty. Jacques also interpreted the welcome they were accorded at Hochelaga as reverence and devotion to the European race. The generosity of the natives at Hochelaga was also noted, with Jacques summing that the natives could be molded.

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In the account of Thomas Hariot, the New-Found land of Virginia’s people’s inability to use mathematical instruments, compasses and telescopes were a judgmental factor. Moreover, he observed that their religion was significantly different from the civil one. Thomas also characterized the natives’ reception of education as reverence. The Micmac Indian highlighted several factors that led to their description of the life and perceptions of the French Europeans. The reproach of the French towards the native Indians and the French’s terming of their country as paradise in comparison to the Indians’ hell influenced the interpretation of the natives. According to the Micmac Indian, the French’s abandonment of their comfort to risk their lives on voyages to come to the Indians’ world was also an interpretational factor.

Conclusions Made of Each other Based on the Early Encounters
The factors that influenced the interpretation of the each other in the early encounters between the Europeans and the Native Americans led to the formulation of conclusions that reflect each one’s belief concerning the other. The Europeans believed that the Native Americans perceived them as terrestrial beings that deserved to be revered. As noted above, the Native Americans welcomed the foreigners such as Christopher Columbus, Jacques Cartier, and Thomas Harriot so warmly that they interpreted it as worship. The treatment formed the basis of Jacques suggestion that the natives could be mold if the European wished.

Thomas observed that the native Americans had a religion, albeit not the European interpretation of it. He noted that it was possible to train them to accept the civil and European religion, stating that the one observed by the natives was far from the truth. During the early interaction between the European and the native Americans, the former realized that the latter could not use mathematical instruments and other tools. Therefore, the Europeans concluded that the natives Americans were entirely primitive.

On the other hand, the native Americans concluded that the Europeans were a troubled race. According to the Micmac Indians’ comparison of the French and the Indians’ world, they believed that the latter was more comfortable than the French in their home environments. The natives had observed that even though the French Europeans termed native Indians’ lives and homes as hell, they often troubled to the Indians’ environs despite leaving the comfort of their European world that they described as heavenly. Therefore, the native Americans concluded that the Europeans were unhappy and sought to emulate the native Indians’ happiness.

The Fate of the Expectations
The Europeans expected to mold the native Indians into whatever they wanted them to be in various aspects. For instance, they succeeded in training the native Americans in their language. Furthermore, they trained them in their Christian and Muslim religion and turned most of them away from the indigenous religion. Moreover, they taught them how to use the tools and other skills. Therefore, they expect the native Americans to forever be dependent on them for information and governance. However, there is a likelihood that the Native Americans are ingenious in their search for knowledge. As such, when they will have gathered all the necessary knowledge in developing and using the tools in addition to the incorporation of technological advancements, they revolt against the Europeans.

Thus, the expectations of the Europeans will be disappointed. Furthermore, at the moment, the Europeans are the developers of technology to shape the world. As a result, the native Americans also believe that the position of the Europeans as the leaders of the world is definite. Nevertheless, there is a likelihood that the native Americans will occupy the same role in future. Thus, the Native Americans’ expectations will also be disappointed.

Overall, the four readings provide some of the most comprehensive examples of the narration of the experiences of the interaction between the Europeans and the Native Americans. It is evident that the Europeans were condescending in their interpretation of the Native Americans while the latter was overly warm, leading to the misrepresentation of their intentions. As a result, their relationship was formed on a master-subject basis and devoid of mutual respect but rather the Native Americans’ reverence to the Europeans.

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