Asdfghjkl: Native Americans in the United States and Natives Essay

Submitted By SPG921
Words: 691
Pages: 3

AP History Essay 1 Back in the 1600’s, Europeans had never come in contact with natives in Europe because obviously, they were the natives to their homeland. On the contrary, when the Europeans colonists settled in America, they had to face the challenge of dealing with the Native Americans. Although this task was new to the majority of settlers, some of the colonists handled these relationships better than others. The clear and distinct actions taken by both the American Indians and the European colonists had a colossal effect on the shaping of relationships of both sides for years to come. Concerning the Indian relationships with the English settlers, there were two totally different situations. There was the relationship at Jamestown where the colonists were hostile toward the Indians and basically wanted nothing to do with them. The Jamestown colonists stole food, raided villages, and even kicked the natives out of their land. As you can imagine, this did not go over well with the Indians, creating a feeling of tension and distaste between the two sides. On the other hand, the English settlers of the Chesapeake had a quite different relationship. These colonists tried being friendly and working together with the Indians to create harmony. Still, trying to impose their lifestyles on each other did not leave either side very happy. The English dominance in these relationships unveils the fact that the colonists tried to respect the natives but in the end they realized that they could not get along, so they did whatever they wanted to the Indians. Similar but very different to the English relations with the natives were the Spanish. In the Spanish southwestern area, the colonists knew immediately that they were the stronger force, and could basically bully the Indians out of anything they needed. A more fitting term than “bullying” to describe the Spanish treatment to the natives would be “dehumanizing”. The Spanish seized their opportunity by capturing the American Indians and forcing them into slavery-like situations. The Spaniards would take the natives away from their families from 8 months to a year at times just to pay the Indian one half of a gold peso. Put into reality, a years-worth of work could earn them no more than a comb, a small mirror, and a string of necklace beads. To make matters worse, the starving Indians would venture back home to find their homes in ruins or their family dead or gone. This other one-sided relationship reflects the true meaning of dehumanization and how badly it can affect people. And last but certainly not least,