Summary Of Chapter 4 Of Beyond 1492 By Axtell

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History in The Making After reading chapter 4 of Beyond 1492 by James Axtell, one can infer that Axtell’s central argument is that the Natives were “virtually absent a century ago whereas today they are at the center of attention” (Axtell 97). At fine point, what Axtell is saying at the time that he wrote this book, is that over a century ago (1892) the Native Americans were practically nonexistent in the history of Columbus and his discovery of America. Compared to today (1992) where Indians are now being “rediscovered” thanks in part to a series of movements arising in the late 1960s. (Axtell 97). The Natives were “allegedly inarticulate,” unable to express themselves clearly, and supposing left little traces in written records. Though evidence …show more content…

The Europeans were the ones to initiate the human encounter seeing that Columbus accidently stumbled upon America. To the natives, the Europeans were strangers, invaders that they saw as threats, causing them to go into a defensive state. The Natives responded in multiple ways based on factors such as: “perceived nature, power and stance of the European challengers” (Axtell 100). In order to maintain the status quo ante, the natives attempted at using five strategies: incorporating the Europeans, beating them, joining them, copying their ways, and avoiding them altogether. The Europeans were seen as “equal or superior” in the native’s eyes “powerful and potentially dangerous “persons,” animated “souls” like their own, or “gods,” “spirits” from the heavens (Axtell 101). As a result, the Natives tried to merge the Europeans as honorary Indians, hoping to harness or neutralize their powers. When that didn’t work, the natives tried to beat the …show more content…

history Textbook, does not make a direct argument about the Natives, his content of information would have fit perfectly with Axtell’s claim. Meaning both Axtell and Davidson had similar ideas, but Axtell did not support his side well. All throughout chapter three of the textbook, Native Americans are mentioned a limited amount of times. Unlike Axtell’s main focus being the Natives reaction to the invasion of America and contribution to the success of the Europeans, the main focus in the textbook is on the Europeans quest for power and prosperity through economics. Davidson continues to talk about Mercantilism and its importance as it “enriched the nation by fostering a favorable balance of trade” (Davidson 42). As economics begins to grow, indentured servitude began to take place and natives were sold to work for companies. One of the first few mistakes that the English did was build their fort on a swampy peninsula which was full of diseases. Another mistake they made was not educating themselves on growing crops which left them with no food. This led them to stealing food from the natives. While Davidson mentions the mass death of Europeans due to diseases and malnutrition, Axtell touches on how the Europeans spread diseases that the natives had never been introduced to, killing a lot of natives. Davidson continuous to touch points on major events for the Europeans and their economy only to switch things up and talk

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