The Views of Native Americans and Europeans Essay
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The Views of Native Americans and Europeans
During the 16th and 17th centuries, when the Europeans started to come over to the new world, they discovered a society of Indians that was strikingly different to their own. To understand how different, one must first compare and contrast some of the very important differences between them, such as how the Europeans considered the Indians to be extremely primitive and basic, while, considering themselves civilized. The Europeans considered that they were model societies, and they thought that the Indians society and culture should be changed to be very similar to their own.
The Europeans and the Indians had very contrasting ideas of personal wealth and ownership. The Europeans…show more content…
For Europeans, the to be a member of a family you had to be related to the eldest male in the household. This was a total opposite to the Indian society. For example, in the Iroquois society, family membership was determined by the family of the female. At the head of each family was an elder woman, followed by her daughter, their husbands and children, and finally her unmarried granddaughters and grandsons. When one of the men married, he moved to the family of his wife. This was a very sharp contrast to the Europeans, whom had for centuries, been the top of their social hierarchy. In Europe, the women had a very relatively primitive, limited role in society. They were not allowed to attend or partake in political affairs, with very few exceptions. Now, on the other hand, in Indian society there was a council of chiefs, whom was all male, but they were appointed by an elder women. Also, during their deliberation over issues, the males made the final decision, but would be expelled from the council, if they didn?t conclude to the same decision that the elder woman came to. The women's main job in Indian society, was being in charge of cultivation of, harvest of, and distribution of food. When the men left to go hunting, women were left to run society. The Europeans simply believed that the males were far superior to the family, which is why women could not have jobs, and were left to
Europeans Vs. Native Americans Essay
It is commonly accepted today that perceptions form the views of reality. Our perceptions shape our world view. "It is the gift that enables you to become acquainted with the world around you." What happens when people who perceive things differently meet? Their realities collide and conflict often results unless the gap which exists between their worlds is bridged. This has never been truer than in the case of the Native Americans. In this essay, I will not be looking specifically at the conflicts which took place between Native Americans and the Europeans, but rather looking to see what the causes of these conflicts were, in order to establish if conflict was, indeed, inevitable.
There is an abundance of reasons that explain the inevitability of the conflict, but the different philosophies that confronted each other at that time, the sudden feeling of superiority that grew on Europeans toward the Native Americans, and also the "clash of cultures" which occurred when Europeans reached America, were the ones I consider most relevant and influential to the inability of stopping "the war".
One of the fundamental differences between the two peoples' philosophies lay in the question of land ownership. "The Europeans, taking their preconceived views with them to America, believed in the concept of land ownership. They believed that a land that is not owned could be claimed, and from then on could be sold at will." The Indians, on the other hand, had a limited concept of private ownership. It would be wrong to suggest that they did not believe in the concept at all, "since often Indian chiefs would allot a piece of land to a particular family, on which they could build their home and farm with almost the same private property rights as the Europeans." The Indian viewpoint was that land is supposed to be beneficial to all of them.
This proved to be the largest cause of problems between the Native Americans and the Europeans. While the Europeans wanted to privatize every land that belonged to the different individuals, the natives "wanted to preserve their traditional way of life, sharing for the benefit of the tribe as a whole."
The first clashes between the natives and the Europeans occurred as a result of this difference, which was also well connected to the superiority that Europeans conserved as a feeling toward the Native Americans.
In order to understand the huge differences, it is not a bad idea to take a look right back to the late fifteenth century, the era in which Europe was looking to expand and found new territories because of the growing civilization within the continent. A large percent of the population could be classified just by looking at their appearance and the role of importance that the outside look had on them. When the Europeans arrived in America, the Indians were a profoundly backward people, who had made very few technological advances. Along with that "Indian men and women look upon total...
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