Summary Of New World By James H. Merrell

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1. James H. Merrell argues that the circumstances that the European settlers created for the Native American people led to the Native Americans living in a completely alien environment, thus forming their “New World”. He stipulates that Native Americans underwent significantly greater changes to their society than the Europeans did after traveling across an ocean. 2. The author presented various drastic changes in the lives of the Native people that occurred after white settlers arrived on their land. He provided examples of the Catawba Native Americans and how their worlds were changed by the arrival of the settlers. Europeans brought disease, which wiped out much of the Native American population, eliminating knowledge passed down from …show more content…

The author cited many specific examples of the interaction between Native Americans and European settlers. The range of languages, political systems, religion and trade that were present among Native tribes formed a society that was equally as structured as the one that Europeans left in their homeland. Salisbury noted the constant flux in demographic in the Native’s land and emphasized the extent that the colonists had to adapt to these continuous changes. One compelling example that the author presented was the relationship the Navajo and Apache tribes had with the Pueblos. Pueblos sought protection from the Navajos and Apaches when Spanish intruders threatened their land, which reinforced an alliance between these tribes. The bond between these two tribes expired when the Spanish demanded harsh tribute from the Pueblo people in the form of corn. Navajos and Apaches, now unable to acquire goods from the Pueblos, raided them, which resulted in the pueblos relying on the Spanish for …show more content…

James Merrell’s evidence largely consists of accounts given by European settlers, which shaped his argument into one that highlighted the struggles of the Native people. Neil Salisbury’s evidence is mainly composed of information from Native American towns and artifacts, which made his argument emphasize the positive aspects of the European-Native relationship. “The woods were offensive with the dead bodies of the Indians,” is a colonist’s account that Merrel references on page 19 about the damage that disease caused the Native American population. Disease was the principal thing that caused the most destruction to the Native population. It was also easy for the Europeans to recognize, which is the reason for it being mentioned in their accounts of the events. On page 30, Salisbury explains the fur trade between the northern Native Americans and the Europeans that was very profitable for both sides. He notes that Native Americans were not forced to be a part of the trade, but the beneficial aspects of it incited them to engage with the Europeans. Merrell discusses the struggles that Natives faced when colonists forced them out of their homelands. The emotional effects of having to get up and move were equally as bad as the physical challenges of having to migrate to a new home and find new hunting and gathering grounds. Salisbury presents the diverse native societies encountered by the Europeans. The circumstances created by the colonists brought different native peoples

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