Enlightenment Effects On American Imperialism

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Fee and Gunew describe in their interview, From Discomfort to Enlightenment: An Interview with Lee Maracle, “there’s very few of us left [...] that have any kind of a foundation in the culture, [...] you have only one knowledge system [...] the Western knowledge system” (211). What this means is that since colonization began, there has been a disconnection between indigenous people and their own culture; the cause of this is because of the takeover of Western thought during the colonization of North America. It was considered the “right” and only way that a culture could act. Although the Enlightenment is portrayed as a necessity to the colonization and formation of the Americas, it has been discovered that this action had a cost: the cost of individuality between indigenous cultures. As a result of the Enlightenment, European imperialism ran rampant, beginning the processes of colonization, which inevitably led to the destruction of individual cultures. This includes things such as language, education, and the way that interactions occur between different nations today. Therefore, the Enlightenment had a positive effect on Europe but had increasingly negative effects on the indigenous peoples of North America.
The Enlightenment was one of the main causes
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The concepts behind the idea of assimilation are ones of supremacy and attempting to benefit the indigenous peoples of North America, when in fact assimilationist actions and colonization were extremely detrimental to the Native Americans. In the 18th century, the settler was preparing for the inevitable takeover of indigenous society, but, nevertheless, so were the Native Americans. Assimilationist techniques were especially common during the time of the Enlightenment; they made their way into the 21st century. These ideologies bled through the history of North America and are seemingly relevant to the discovery and conquering of indigenous
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