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The Development of Indian-EuroAmerican Relations from Contact to Removal - Essay Example

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The Development of Indian-EuroAmerican Relations from Contact to Removal Student ID: Course: Professor: The history of the United States of America is often considered in terms of the victors, the white Europeans who transformed the landscape of America after their own desires to form a white male democracy…
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The Development of Indian-EuroAmerican Relations from Contact to Removal
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"The Development of Indian-EuroAmerican Relations from Contact to Removal"

Download file to see previous pages This relationship has consistently been marred by violence, broken promises and mistrust, and remains a key part of the American history. Early Indian-EuroAmerican relations were an ever-changing and involving area, where perceptions on both sides were not static. Indians had the ability to play different European powers off against each other, and, likewise, the Europeans did this with different Indian tribes. At this time, the two groups existed in a continually revolving relationship. Some tribes became nomadic, taking advantage of the newly introduced horses, while others settled down into permanent villages and made use of agriculture supplemented by hunting and gathering. Even before the first contact with the Europeans, Indians represented a diverse set of tribes that had their own interests, waged their own wars and formed their own alliances. Once the contact had occurred, Indians often welcomed alliances with the Europeans, or bought weapons and goods that made their lives easier (Howe 26-28). Relations between Indians and Europeans were marred by a significant effect that the Europeans had on their population. As the Europeans came in contact with Indians, they often passed on diseases which they (Europeans) had resistance to, but the Indians did not. In general, this transference was not intentional, and in most cases the Europeans were probably not aware that they had the diseases, as their immune systems fought against the effects. These diseases resulted in a high number of fatalities (Howe 28). At this point in Indian-EuroAmerican relations, there was a strong focus on integrating the two cultural groups by ‘westernizing’ the Indians. Many Indian tribes adopted aspects of the European culture and often chose which components of the new culture to accept and which to ignore. For example, the Navajo tribe moved from being nomads to weavers, sheepherders and silversmiths. Many other tribes or individuals converted to Christianity while others maintained their traditional religious beliefs. Some believed that they should unify with the Europeans, creating a peaceful coexistence throughout the United States. Others felt that Indian tribes should unify with one another against the Europeans (Howe 27). Some tribes created alliances and treaties with the Europeans to secure their own tribal rights and to work on the creation of a unified culture. One example of this is the Muskogee tribe, known to the Europeans as the Creek Indians. The tribe negotiated with George Washington’s administration to create a treaty, and developed a legal written code and national council. However, the influence of the Europeans on this tribe was not uniform, and a dissident faction called “Red Stick” arose, which resented the influence that Europeans were having on their culture. The uprising was not successful and resulted in a significant amount of bloodshed (Howe 28-29). The war between the United States and Britain in 1812 also had a significant impact on Indian-EuroAmerican relations. Despite the fact that some tribes attempted to choose neutrality in the war, most were compelled to choose to support one side or another. This resulted in many Indians fighting alongside either Americans or Europeans against Indian families or friends (Howe 29). This was an important factor after the war too, because many Indians fought on the losing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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