Christopher Columbus Geographical Misunderstanding Essay

873 Words4 Pages

In 1492, Christopher Columbus set out on an expedition to find riches in a new land and ended up on the coast of America. Initially, he thought he had finally discovered a new world, when in reality the land had been inhabited by civilization that had crossed the Berling Strait from Asia into America. They had occupied America for tens of thousands of years before Columbus arrived. However, Columbus believed that he had reached the East Indies, so he referred to the inhabitants as Indians. Due to Columbus’ geographical misunderstanding, the inhabitants were wrongfully named, “Indians,” instead they are Native Americans. Columbus’ arrival on land that was already occupied by Native Americans affected the spiritual beliefs and cultural practices …show more content…

However, many aspects of their religion were altered to include the arrival of the Europeans. For example, Natives used storytelling to explain creation. The believed in Mother Earth and Father Sky as the creators of the Native peoples. These Creation Stories were revised to say that Mother Earth had also created different colored people rather than just those native to America. This revision was a precursor of what was to come when it came to Native American religion. Slowly but surely, Europeans had worked to change the way Natives viewed their religion so that it would mimic the beliefs in Christianity. Europeans arrived in America to act as missionaries. Many Natives were told that by converting to christianity, they would ‘gain respectability, recognition from powerful whites and a good education.’ However, by doing this, Europeans were able to dominate culture, and eliminate Native American …show more content…

Any Native they viewed as a problem was exposed to a genocide. Europeans wanted to prevent the Natives from gaining power to overthrow them and take their land back. Anyone that survived the atrocity was forced to live on a small section of land called a reservation. These reservations had very little natural resources which made it harder for the Natives to survive. Europeans also purposely introduced diseases that they knew Natives did not have immunity to because they hadn’t been exposed to them. The Europeans brought livestock that was not Native to America which meant the Natives could not have had an immunity to the diseases the livestock

Open Document