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How Europeans Change the Native Americans Essays

Mercedes Courtenay Professor Hess ENG 241 October 4, 2012 How Europeans Change the Native Americans When Europeans first explored western Virginia in the late 1600s, they discovered few Native Americans. However, their presence, their goods, and their customs had affected many Indians. These changes had shifted the Native Americans and the Europeans in survival, resources, dominancy and rivalry. At the same time, the Europeans had a strong interest in enabling the Indians to acquire valuable new products.
Based on various reasons, the Europeans claim territories and Native Americans were forced either leave, become slaves or rebel even more. As result, many of the Europeans and Native Americans were destroyed by the constant warfare. Thus, the European brought attitude and values that reflects their personal desires; conversion, supremacy, and power that conflicted with the native’s attitude and values about their customs and belief.
The Europeans noticed the native’s lack of knowledge about the divinity of God and use that disadvantage to convert the Native Americans to Christianity to take their wealth. For instance, Christopher Columbus realized that the natives had little to no knowledge about higher beings. This gave Columbus the idea of conversion, as he stated: “Your Highness should therefore adopt the resolution of converting them to Christianity… and to Spain great riches and immense dominions, with all their inhabitants; there being, without doubt, in these countries vast quantity of gold” (145).
In order for the natives to convert to Christianity, the Europeans forced the natives to follow their deity. As in the Europeans wanted to convert the natives into Christianity; however, to convert the natives, the Europeans had to eliminate other false religion. As it stated, “the Spanish understood native religion as paganism and felt duty bound to eradicate them” (221). Though at first the Native Americans and the Europeans were semi-equal and corporative, but it changed when the European was becoming greedier.
As Don Antonio de Otamin stated, “towards the second half of the 1600s the missionaries’ zeal led them to interfere win the Indians’ private practice. They preached against the use of kiva ceremonies, and they attempt to destroy native symbolic object” (213). It continued in Hopi, excepted the Europeans were unsatisfied how the Native Americans practice; “The missionary did not like the ceremonies. He did not like the Kachinas and he destroyed he altars and the custom. He called it idol worship and burned up all the ceremonial things in the plaza” (223).
Though, most European would instead portray themselves as higher deity or possessors of super natural powers to assert dominance. In The Coming of the Spanish and the Pueblo Revolt (Hopi), ‘The Spaniards, whom they called Castilla, told the people that they had much more power than all their chiefs and a whole lot more power that the witches. The people were very much afraid of them…They were so scared that they could do nothing but allow themselves to be made slaves. Whatever they wanted done must be done” (222).
As consequence, the Europeans would punish native for not eliminating their customs or not following the Europeans’ way. Even Columbus confessed; “it would be easy matter to convert them all to Christianity… and bring into the church so many multitude, inasmuch as you have exterminated hose whose refuse to confess the Father, Son and Holy Ghost” (144). When the missionaries destroy the native’s religious temples and object, the Europeans force them to build a new temple; “It took a good many years for them to get enough beams to Shing-opovi to build the mission.
When this mission was finally built, all the people in the village had to come there to worship, and those that did not come were punished severely” (223). However, because of the Europeans’ actions, it inflicted the Native Americans to a point where the native population began to rebel against the Europeans. The fact was, as it stated in Otermin, “The situation was intolerable. As a result, the Indians…united in a well-organized, surprise attack that swept the Spaniards out of northern New Mexico” (213).
Not only did the Native Americans couldn’t tolerated the force labor the Europeans had enforce, but ,also, they could no longer idolize the European’s religious divinity and abolished their religious divinity. In that way their own religion was altogether wiped out, because they were not allowed to worship in their own way. All this trouble was a heavy burden on they thought it was on account of this that they were having a heavy drought at this time. They thought their gods had given them up because they weren’t worshiping the way they should (223).
In conclusion, as the Europeans converted the new world to Christianity for their personal desire, assert a sense on dominancy, and hierarchical power it opposed the Native’s ways, attitude and values about their customs and belief. The Europeans did not convert the Native Americans to Christianity to increase a stronger community, but to gain their resource and their manpower to fulfill the European’s needs. In order to do so, the Europeans had eliminated all of the native’s practice and enforce their practice to keep the Native Americans in line.
However, the Europeans made sure they asserted the dominance by punishing those who do not followed their traditions. The Europeans’ demands had driven the Native Americans to the prick on rebellion. In a way, by bringing the idea of dominance, power, importance of resource, and the use of religious conversion to manipulated one’s neighbor to the upmost advantage, can drastically change the way of how a civilization practiced, learned, and lived. ? Work Citations Lauter, Paul, Richard Yarborough, and John Alberti. “Don Antonia De Otermin Fl. 1680. ” The Heath Anthology of American Literature.
Sixth ed. Vol. A. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Pub. , 2009. 213. Print Lauter, Paul, Richard Yarborough, and John Alberti. “From Fournal of the First Voyage to America, 1492-1493. ” The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Sixth ed. Vol. A. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Pub. , 2009. 144, 145. Print. Lauter, Paul, Richard Yarborough, and John Alberti. “The Coming of the Spanish and the Pueblo Revolt (Hopi). ” The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Sixth ed. Vol. A. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Pub. , 2009. 221-23. Print

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