In the late 1400's, conquistadors started their first voyages to the “New World”. They sought gold, resources, and to convert any indigenous peoples they came across. The Spanish, the conquistadors were heroes for spreading Catholicism and returning new resources. Yet, from the point of view of the natives and Bartholome de Las Casas, they were villains. The conquistadors massacred the natives; enslaving those who escaped. The conquistadors were no heroes. By the early 1500’s, the Spanish were already conquering more land by killing more natives for gold and greed.
In the Non-fiction book, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus, Charles Mann aims to debunk an array of beliefs about Native Americans that most scholars once insisted were true. Mann’s research suggests that the native people of the Americas are more intelligent and sophisticated than previously predicted, live in higher numbers and greatly impact the natural landscape. The book is split into three parts: Numbers from Nowhere, Very Old Bones, and Landscapes with Figures. These parts focus on the population, culture, origins and the environment. Mann builds his arguments by reassessing a myriad of pre-existing views about the Americas prior to 1492. He then uses his new findings to prove his theories. This informative read provides
Upon the uncovering of the of the America’s by the European super powers, most of the native American tribes were quickly captured. The question arises as to why the Europeans conquered the Americans and not the other way around. Europe was able to prosper and grow while the indigenous groups of the Americas stayed in the past. European success over American tribes was attributed to the fact that the Europeans possessed more advanced technologies and skills that could be used against natives, Europeans were literate and could record knowledge and events easily, and the European diseases brought over were devastating to the unprepared indian populations.
Historians who practice historiography agree that the writings from the beginning of what is now known as the United States of America can be translated various ways. In James H. Merrell’s “The Indians’ New World,” the initial encounters and relationships between various Native American tribes and Europeans and their African American slaves are explained; based on Merrell’s argument that after the arrival of Europeans to North America in 1492, not only would the Europeans’ lives drastically change, but a new world would be created for the Native Americans’ as their communities and lifestyles slowly intertwined for better or worse. Examples of these changes include: “deadly bacteria, material riches, and [invading] alien people.” (Merrell 53)
In the 16th Century, Spain became one of the European forces to reckon with. To expand even further globally, Spanish conquistadors were sent abroad to discover lands, riches, and North America and its civilizations. When the Spanish and Native American groups met one another, they judged each other, as they were both unfamiliar with the people that stood before them. The Native American and Spanish views and opinions of one another are more similar than different because when meeting and getting to know each other, neither the Spaniards nor the Native Americans saw the other group of people as human. Both groups of people thought of one another as barbaric monsters and were confused and amazed by each other’s cultures. But, even though both
“Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress”, chapter one of “A People’s History of the United States”, written by professor and historian Howard Zinn, concentrates on a different perspective of major events in American history. It begins with the native Bahamian tribe of Arawaks welcoming the Spanish to their shores with gifts and kindness, only then for the reader to be disturbed by a log from Columbus himself – “They willingly traded everything they owned… They would make fine servants… With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.” (Zinn pg.1) In the work, Zinn continues explaining the unnecessary evils Columbus and his men committed unto the unsuspecting natives. The argument that seems to be made (how Columbus
Two scholars, Erikson and William Balée believe that almost all aspects of Native American life have been perceived wrong. Although some refuse to believe this, it has been proven to be the truth. Throughout Charles C. Mann’s article from The Atlantic, “1491”, he discusses three main points: how many things that are viewed as facts about the natives are actually not true, the dispute between the high and low counters, and the importance of the role disease played in the history of the Americas. When the term “Native American” is heard, the average person tends to often relate that to a savage hunter who tries to minimize their impact on their surrounding environment. For the most part, this is not the case. In reality,
Horace Miner, a American Anthropologist wrote an academic essay titled “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema.” In this article Miner described some of the bizarre rituals and practices of the “Nacirema” which the reader comes to find out that he is talking about North Americans. The way Miner goes into detail about how these people live makes them seem foreign. Thus making the norm for an American lifestyle seem odd because the certain type of lingo Miner uses to make this “tribe” more exotic then the actually are. His point in doing this is to show the reader how obnoxious anthropologist can be when they are explain a different culture. As a western civilization we are guilty of making other cultures seem strange and unrelatable by describing their culture in an exuberant way. However, Miner does an excellent job at executing the description of the “Nacirema” as foreign individuals with him being a American himself. This essay is told from an
The Iroquois creation story is a renowned Native American myth written by a Tuscarora historian, David Cusick. He is also the author of David Cusick’s Sketches of Ancient History of the Six Nations, which is known to be the first Indian-written history printed in the English language (Radus). The Iroquois creation myth exists in twenty-five other versions. It describes how the world was created from the Native American perspective. It begins with a sky woman who falls down into the dark world. She is pregnant with twins. Sky woman lands on a turtles back, which ends up growing and becomes a part of island with time. The sky woman gives birth to twin boys, the good mind, and the bad mind. She dies when the bad mind decides to come out of her
Although Native Americans are characterized as both civilized and uncivilized in module one readings, their lifestyles and culture are observed to be civilized more often than not. The separate and distinct duties of men and women (Sigard, 1632) reveal a society that has defined roles and expectations based on gender. There are customs related to courtship (Le Clercq, 1691) that are similar to European cultures. Marriage was a recognized union amongst Native Americans, although not necessarily viewed as a serious, lifelong commitment like the Europeans (Heckewelder, 1819).
The relationships between the three major settlers and the Native Americans differed in many ways. All the evidence needed is in the seven documents shown. Each of the documents provides insight to one of the three nationalities. It is fair to assume that the English were focused more on friendship, the Spanish set their eyes on the gold, and the French were insistent on converting the Native Americans to Christianity.
Thesis: The English were a prideful group, entangled in ethnocentrism, that caused a condescending and harsh treatment of the Native Americans, while the Native Americans were actually a dynamic and superior society, which led to the resentment and strife between the groups.
Native American literature and Latin American literature are like two pieces of the same pie, they may be different in appearance, but deep down, they share similar roots and characteristics. Both Junot Diaz and Sherman Alexie come from a modest minority family but have used their intelligence and knack for writing to make it and live a life in the United States, thriving. “How to Date a Browngirl,” by Junot Diaz is told in second person point of view, as a list for the reader on how to handle a date with a girl. The speaker provides many tips and steps on how to have a good time and look good for a girl as the story progresses. In “How to Fight Monsters,” by Sherman Alexie, Junior faces a whole different set of problems, instead of having
Written between 1585 and 1613, Inca chronicler Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala’s The First New Chronicle and Good Government: On the History of the World and the Incas Up to 1615 details the history, culture, and lives of the Incas before and after the Spanish conquest. After the Spanish colonized the Andes, the Incas became subject to the Spaniards’ exploitation and abuse. The Incas were forced to labor, especially in the silver mines. The Spanish also imposed their religion and economics on the indigenous people. Through this chronicle, Guaman Poma provides an Inca perspective to colonial life under Spanish rule. The chronicle initially communicates the Incas’ tolerance for Spanish supremacy and adoption of Spanish culture; however, Guaman Poma
Summary: Prior to the arrival of the European settlers, the indigenous people of the Americas were varied in culture and tradition and their population was around fifty million. However, once the Europeans arrived in 1492 with Christopher Columbus, the lives of the indigenous people were changed remarkably. The Europeans took advantage of the indigenous and used them as laborers to work cattle ranches, sugar plantations, and silver mines. The physical condition of the indigenous peoples worsened as they were fatigued from the labor and had little resistance to the diseases brought by the Europeans. As a result, they experienced a drastic decrease in population and prompted several Europeans to criticize the abusive encomienda system.