Three Types Of Cultural Encounter

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Bitterli distinguishes between three types of cultural encounter which are firstly cultural contacts, secondly cultural collisions and thirdly cultural relationships. In his book “Cultures in Conflict. Encounters Between European and Non-European Cultures, 1492 – 1800” Bitterli describes all three of them using a wide range of historical examples all over the globe. All of these types can lead into another type or can change during time. Contacts can lead into relationships, relationships into collisions or back to mere contacts again – relationships can even develop out of a former collision. Cultural encounters described by Bitterli happened mainly in the time of European expansion from 1492 to 1800. Those newly discovered areas (from a…show more content…
This was the case for example in the very beginning of the discoveries of the Americas, when Columbus on his first voyage left some 40 men on Hispaniola and returned to Spain. When he came back nearly one year later, the fort was burned and all settlers killed. In the following 40 years the indigenous population of Hispaniola was completely wiped out. Not only diseases but also enslavement and deliberately hunting down and killing of the various tribes were the reasons for it. A papal bull which granted the Spanish Crown the right to colonize all the land in the west and helped to make destruction, killing and any form of cruellest warfare legal in the case, that the Taínos resisted the Spanish supremacy or the teaching of the Christian faith. In the proceeding 16th century a number of laws tried to lessen the Spanish influence and cruelty to the Taínos and other North American tribes but it was too…show more content…
This is the most elaborated form of cultural encounter and is described in different grades. Trade is the most obvious form of a relationship between two or more cultures. Hence trading relationships were established everywhere, where both sides could offer commodities the other side lacked. A good example for this is the fur trade between the native tribes of North America with the French and the British and even earlier the slave trade between European (often Portuguese) shippers and West African slave traders. European goods made of iron or brandy where beloved commodities. These relationships seemed to be on eye level to each other. In fact, the European shippers were dependent of the local rulers’ goodwill to complete their trading

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