How did European and Indigenous people interact in the “New” World? |American History Essay
Must be a minimum of 550 words and no more than 650 (Not including references).
Must include quotes from the supplemental readings attached in a zip file (choose one or two articles to quote from). Be sure to cite the posted supplemental articles used.
Must include an evidence of additional academic research to receive any credit, please include parenthetical citations Be sure to cite the additional articles used. (2 sources).
Supplemental Readings/Native American Contributions.pdf
__MACOSX/Supplemental Readings/._Native American Contributions.pdf
Supplemental Readings/Cultural Value Comparisons.doc
Cultural Value Comparisons
Cultural Values and Stereoty pes—Red Voices 7
Few Material Things
– Timeliness and grace of giving are virtues to be admired. Members of tribes are often suspicious of individuals who collect many material possessions. Some tribes even hold celebrations and give away most of their possessions to others as “love gifts” or “honor gifts.”
Indian people generally live each day as it comes. Plans for tomorrow are left until the future becomes the present. To be occupied with things and events too far into the future is to invite trouble and threatening influence for those future plans.
What one is going to do or have in life is not an issue in the Indian home. Tribal cohesion, tribal solidarity and tribal prosperity are ideals that all work together. There is a decided “us,” “we,” “our” orientation to possessions and to success. Indian people, however, are very competitive in sport. Sports are games. Life is not a game.
Personal actions are based upon what rewards behavior will invite. No guilt is experienced over the act of wrong-doing itself. Disciplinary practices among Indian groups often include shaming an individual, but once this is done, no guilty feeling is held by an individual, and the group forgets the transgression. The personal shame and public ridicule arising from the negative fruition of poor behavior and/or poor judgment comprises the punishment.
Time is Unimportant
Time is a very relative thing. Clocks are not watched. One does things as they need to be done. “Indian Time” means when everyone gets there. A community meeting can be set for 1:00 p.m. and people will come as near that rime as they wish. So the meeting may actually begin an hour or two later, and this bothers no one. There will always be time in which things can be done, so pressure to do things at specific times is foreign to native peoples. The concept of “wasting time” is not understood, i.e., as long as a person is breathing, living and occupying space in the physical world, that person is not “wasting time.”
Many Material Things
Wealth is measured in terms of material accumulation. Many such possessions often constitute “status symbols” and are considered highly desirable. The accumulation of possessions is directly related to the happiness of an individual both now and in the future.
Non-Indians are very concerned with the future. Such items as insurance, savings for college, plans for vacation, etc., suggest to what extent non-Indians hold this value. “I am the master of my fate and the architect of my future” is an oft-heard phrase.
What one is going to do, be or have in life is of great concern to parents. Plans for opening up the “best” doors for children are virtues. Personal and individual accomplishment are highly respected and praised. There is a marked “I,”, “me,” “my,” “mine” orientation.
After an act is committed that a non-Indian feels to be wrong, he carries inside him the knowledge of having done something wrong. This terrible feeling may make one ill mentally and physically. The offending act itself is the tragedy. Much frustration is felt within an individual because there is little direction given to that individual on how to process out these guilt feelings and redeem her/himself in her/his own eyes.
Time is Important
Time is of great importance. When a person says he will be somewhere at 10:00 a.m.. he must berbere at 10:00 a.m. Otherwise, he is felt to be a person who “steals” another’s time. The premium placed on time results in “rushes”— “rush hour traffic,” “last minute rush.” It is felt among this culture to be a virtue to use time to its fullest extent. One who is prompt is respected. There is much emphasis placed on order and organization and to have both, one must not “waste rime.” Time is among the most priceless commodities an individual possesses.□
Reprinted Irom ” The Indian Child Welfare Act” produced by The Indian Child Welfare Consortium in Escorado. CA.
Cultural Value Comparisons
Indian cultures consider many individuals to be relatives. Aunts are often considered to be mothers. Uncles are called “fathers,” and cousins are brothers and sisters of the immediate family. Clan members are also considered to be relatives.
Elders are respected. Experience is felt to bring knowledge. The older one is, the more knowledgeable he/she is. No effort is made to conceal white hair or other signs of advancing age.
The respected member of many Indian communities is the one who shares and gives all his/ her wealth to others. As resources are available, the virtue is to share them and use them.
Role-Set and Status
Attitudes toward a person are not usually contingent upon that person’s role or stams in the community, or the fact that a person has a title or is considered by others to have power, authority or influence in a private or government organization. It is the personality of the person rather than the entity that person represents that is important in establishing rapport and cooperation.
Several people living in close quarters provides each person with a spiritual source of world security. The phenomena is akin to the sense of security experienced by a mother wolf and her pups nestled together in a small cave, or a group of Boy Scouts in their sleeping bags within a camping tent in a storm One can live both modestly and comfortably in close quarters.
Man Walks in Balance with Mother Earth
The earth and all the creatures dwelling upon it are here to respect and enjoy. If man accepts this world as it is and lives with it as she/ he should, there will be balance and harmony and an abundance of food to sustain good health.
To have much patience and to wait is considered to be a good quality. Decisions are made after much thought, contemplation, and advice and counsel from elders.
Biological family is of utmost importance. Relationships are limited within this group.
Youth is venerated. The assumption is that as one grows older, one’s productivity and usefulness diminishes. The virtue is to maintain youth as long as possible. Thousands of dollars are spent yearly for hair dyes, make-up, and other items that make older people look younger. Whole towns have sprung up in the United States which advertise youthful living and that are designed for “senior citizens.”
An individual with the quality of “thrift” is felt to have acquired a virtue worth much.
Role-Set and Status
Esteem, veneration, and respect are given to others according to their titles, roles, designation, and social standing. It is not so much the personality of the person that is reacted to, but the entity that person represents and the purposes of that entity/organization and how much influence it has that is important in establishing rapport and communication.
Several people living in close quarters is unhealthy and immoral in some instances. The larger one’s home, the more intelligent and prosperous he will look to others. Children cannot adequately develop, friends cannot easily be cultivated, and one cannot have a general sense of well being when one’s living quarters are small.
Man Controls Nature
СопйЪГ and mastery of the elements are the constant motivations for scientific research. Artificial lakes are made; natural waters are controlled; electricity is generated and controlled. Such accomplishments are looked upon with pride.
The person who is admired is the one who is decisive and quick to act. She/he gets things done rapidly and then moves on to the next thing to be done. To sit and let one’s competitor pass one by because the competitor acted more decisively and quickly is considered to be risky business.
__MACOSX/Supplemental Readings/._Cultural Value Comparisons.doc
Supplemental Readings/Native American Cultural Values Comparison.pdf
__MACOSX/Supplemental Readings/._Native American Cultural Values Comparison.pdf
Supplemental Readings/Edited Chapter 1, Howard Zinn.doc
From Howard Zinn’s A Peoples History of the United States
Chapter 1: COLUMBUS, THE INDIANS, AND HUMAN PROGRESS
Arawak (including Taino) men and women, naked, tawny, and full of wonder, emerged from their villages onto the island’s beaches and swam out to get a closer look at the strange big boat. When Columbus and his sailors came ashore, carrying swords, speaking oddly, the Arawaks ran to greet them, brought them food, water, gifts. He later wrote of this in his log:
They … brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks’ bells. They willingly traded everything they owned… . They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features…. They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane… . They would make fine servants…. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want…As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found, I took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts.
The information that Columbus wanted most was: Where is the gold? He had persuaded the king and queen of Spain to finance an expedition to the lands, the wealth, he expected would be on the other side of the Atlantic-the Indies and Asia, gold and spices. For, like other informed people of his time, he knew the world was round and he could sail west in order to get to the Far East.
Spain was recently unified, one of the new modern nation-states, like France, England, and Portugal. Its population, mostly poor peasants, worked for the nobility, who were 2 percent of the population and owned 95 percent of the land. Spain had tied itself to the Catholic Church, expelled all the Jews, driven out the Moors. Like other states of the modern world, Spain sought gold, which was becoming the new mark of wealth, more useful than land because it could buy anything.
There was gold in Asia, it was thought, and certainly silks and spices, for Marco Polo and others had brought back marvelous things from their overland expeditions centuries before. Now that the Turks had conquered Constantinople and the eastern Mediterranean, and controlled the land routes to Asia, a sea route was needed. Portuguese sailors were working their way around the southern tip of Africa. Spain decided to gamble on a long sail across an unknown ocean.
In return for bringing back gold and spices, they promised Columbus 10 percent of the profits, governorship over new-found lands, and the fame that would go with a new title: Admiral of the Ocean Sea. He was a merchant’s clerk from the Italian city of Genoa, part-time weaver (the son of a skilled weaver), and expert sailor. He set out with three sailing ships, the largest of which was the Santa Maria, perhaps 100 feet long, and thirty-nine crew members.
Columbus would never have made it to Asia, which was thousands of miles farther away than he had calculated, imagining a smaller world. He would have been doomed by that great expanse of sea. But he was lucky. One-fourth of the way there he came upon an unknown, uncharted land that lay between Europe and Asia-the Americas. It was early October 1492, and thirty-three days since he and his crew had left the Canary Islands, off the Atlantic coast of Africa. Now they saw branches and sticks floating in the water. They saw flocks of birds.
These were signs of land. Then, on October 12, a sailor called Rodrigo saw the early morning moon shining on white sands, and cried out. It was an island in the Bahamas, the Caribbean sea. The first man to sight land was supposed to get a yearly pension of 10,000 maravedis for life, but Rodrigo never got it. Columbus claimed he had seen a light the evening before. He got the reward.
So, approaching land, they were met by the Arawak Indians, who swam out to greet them. The Arawaks lived in village communes, had a developed agriculture of corn, yams, cassava. They could spin and weave, but they had no horses or work animals. They had no iron, but they wore tiny gold ornaments in their ears.
This was to have enormous consequences: it led Columbus to take some of them aboard ship as prisoners because he insisted that they guide him to the source of the gold. He then sailed to what is now Cuba, then to Hispaniola (the island which today consists of Haiti and the Dominican Republic). There, bits of visible gold in the rivers, and a gold mask presented to Columbus by a local Indian chief, led to wild visions of gold fields.
On Hispaniola, out of timbers from the Santa Maria, which had run aground, Columbus built a fort, the first European military base in the Western Hemisphere. He called it Navidad (Christmas) and left thirty-nine crewmembers there, with instructions to find and store the gold. He took more Indian prisoners and put them aboard his two remaining ships. At one part of the island he got into a fight with Indians who refused to trade as many bows and arrows as he and his men wanted. Two were run through with swords and bled to death. Then the Nina and the Pinta set sail for the Azores and Spain. When the weather turned cold, the Indian prisoners began to die.
Columbus’s report to the Court in Madrid was extravagant. He insisted he had reached Asia (it was Cuba) and an island off the coast of China (Hispaniola). His descriptions were part fact, part fiction:
Hispaniola is a miracle. Mountains and hills, plains and pastures, are both fertile and beautiful … the harbors are unbelievably good and there are many wide rivers of which the majority contain gold. . . . There are many spices, and great mines of gold and other metals….
The Indians, Columbus reported, “are so naive and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would believe it. When you ask for something they have, they never say no. To the contrary, they offer to share with anyone….” He concluded his report by asking for a little help from their Majesties, and in return he would bring them from his next voyage “as much gold as they need … and as many slaves as they ask.” He was full of religious talk: “Thus the eternal God, our Lord, gives victory to those who follow His way over apparent impossibilities.”
Because of Columbus’s exaggerated report and promises, his second expedition was given seventeen ships and more than twelve hundred men. The aim was clear: slaves and gold. They went from island to island in the Caribbean, taking Indians as captives. But as word spread of the Europeans’ intent they found more and more empty villages. On Haiti, they found that the sailors left behind at Fort Navidad had been killed in a battle with the Indians, after they had roamed the island in gangs looking for gold, taking women and children as slaves for sex and labor.
Now, from his base on Haiti, Columbus sent expedition after expedition into the interior. They found no gold fields, but had to fill up the ships returning to Spain with some kind of dividend. In the year 1495, they went on a great slave raid, rounded up fifteen hundred Arawak men, women, and children, put them in pens guarded by Spaniards and dogs, then picked the five hundred best specimens to load onto ships. Of those five hundred, two hundred died en route. The rest arrived alive in Spain and were put up for sale by the archdeacon of the town, who reported that, although the slaves were “naked as the day they were born,” they showed “no more embarrassment than animals.” Columbus later wrote: “Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold.”
But too many of the slaves died in captivity. And so Columbus, desperate to pay back dividends to those who had invested, had to make good his promise to fill the ships with gold. In the province of Cicao on Haiti, where he and his men imagined huge gold fields to exist, they ordered all persons fourteen years or older to collect a certain quantity of gold every three months. When they brought it, they were given copper tokens to hang around their necks. Indians found without a copper token had their hands cut off and bled to death.
The Indians had been given an impossible task. The only gold around was bits of dust garnered from the streams. So they fled, were hunted down with dogs, and were killed.
Trying to put together an army of resistance, the Arawaks faced Spaniards who had armor, muskets, swords, horses. When the Spaniards took prisoners they hanged them or burned them to death. Among the Arawaks, mass suicides began, with cassava poison. Infants were killed to save them from the Spaniards. In two years, through murder, mutilation, or suicide, half of the 250,000 Indians on Haiti were dead.
When it became clear that there was no gold left, the Indians were taken as slave labor on huge estates, known later as encomiendas. They were worked at a ferocious pace, and died by the thousands. By the year 1515, there were perhaps fifty thousand Indians left. By 1550, there were five hundred. A report of the year 1650 shows none of the original Arawaks or their descendants left on the island.
The chief source-and, on many matters the only source-of information about what happened on the islands after Columbus came is Bartolome de las Casas, who, as a young priest, participated in the conquest of Cuba. For a time he owned a plantation on which Indian slaves worked, but he gave that up and became a vehement critic of Spanish cruelty. Las Casas transcribed Columbus’s journal and, in his fifties, began a multivolume History of the Indies. In it, he describes the Indians. They are agile, he says, and can swim long distances, especially the women. They are not completely peaceful, because they do battle from time to time with other tribes, but their casualties seem small, and they fight when they are individually moved to do so because of some grievance, not on the orders of captains or kings…
In Book Two of his History of the Indies, Las Casas (who at first urged replacing Indians by black slaves, thinking they were stronger and would survive, but later relented when he saw the effects on blacks) tells about the treatment of the Indians by the Spaniards. It is a unique account and deserves to be quoted at length:
Endless testimonies . .. prove the mild and pacific temperament of the natives…. But our work was to exasperate, ravage, kill, mangle and destroy; small wonder, then, if they tried to kill one of us now and then…. The admiral, it is true, was blind as those who came after him, and he was so anxious to please the King that he committed irreparable crimes against the Indians….
Las Casas tells how the Spaniards “grew more conceited every day” and after a while refused to walk any distance. They “rode the backs of Indians if they were in a hurry” or were carried on hammocks by Indians running in relays. “In this case they also had Indians carry large leaves to shade them from the sun and others to fan them with goose wings.”
Total control led to total cruelty. The Spaniards “thought nothing of knifing Indians by tens and twenties and of cutting slices off them to test the sharpness of their blades.” Las Casas tells how “two of these so-called Christians met two Indian boys one day, each carrying a parrot; they took the parrots and for fun beheaded the boys.”
The Indians’ attempts to defend themselves failed. And when they ran off into the hills they were found and killed. So, Las Casas reports, “they suffered and died in the mines and other labors in desperate silence, knowing not a soul in the world to whom they could turn for help…”
When he arrived on Hispaniola in 1508, Las Casas says, “there were 60,000 people living on this island, including the Indians; so that from 1494 to 1508, over three million people had perished from war, slavery, and the mines. Who in future generations will believe this? I myself writing it as a knowledgeable eyewitness can hardly believe it….”
Thus began the history, five hundred years ago, of the European invasion of the Indian settlements in the Americas. That beginning, when you read Las Casas-even if his figures are exaggerations (were there 3 million Indians to begin with, as he says, or less than a million, as some historians have calculated, or 8 million as others now believe?)-is conquest, slavery, death. When we read the history books given to children in the United States, it all starts with heroic adventure-there is no bloodshed-and Columbus Day is a celebration.
Past the elementary and high schools, there are only occasional hints of something else. Samuel Eliot Morison, the Harvard historian, was the most distinguished writer on Columbus, the author of a multivolume biography, and was himself a sailor who retraced Columbus’s route across the Atlantic. In his popular book Christopher Columbus, Mariner, written in 1954, he tells about the enslavement and the killing: “The cruel policy initiated by Columbus and pursued by his successors resulted in complete genocide.”
That is on one page, buried halfway into the telling of a grand romance. In the book’s last paragraph, Morison sums up his view of Columbus:
He had his faults and his defects, but they were largely the defects of the qualities that made him great-his indomitable will, his superb faith in God and in his own mission as the Christ-bearer to lands beyond the seas, his stubborn persistence despite neglect, poverty and discouragement. But there was no flaw, no dark side to the most outstanding and essential of all his qualities-his seamanship.
One can lie outright about the past. Or one can omit facts which might lead to unacceptable conclusions. Morison does neither. He refuses to lie about Columbus. He does not omit the story of mass murder; indeed he describes it with the harshest word one can use: genocide…
To emphasize the heroism of Columbus and his successors as navigators and discoverers, and to de-emphasize their genocide, is not a technical necessity but an ideological choice. It serves- unwittingly-to justify what was done. My point is not that we must, in telling history, accuse, judge, condemn Columbus in absentia. It is too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality. But the easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress …
The treatment of heroes (Columbus) and their victims (the Arawaks)-the quiet acceptance of conquest and murder in the name of progress-is only one aspect of a certain approach to history, in which the past is told from the point of view of governments, conquerors, diplomats, leaders…
My viewpoint, in telling the history of the United States, is different…it is the job of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, not to be on the side of the executioners.
Thus, in that inevitable taking of sides which comes from selection and emphasis in history, I prefer to try to tell the story of the discovery of America from the viewpoint of the Arawaks…
My point is not to grieve for the victims and denounce the executioners. Those tears, that anger, cast into the past, deplete our moral energy for the present. And the lines are not always clear. In the long run, the oppressor is also a victim. In the short run (and so far, human history has consisted only of short runs), the victims, themselves desperate and tainted with the culture that oppresses them, turn on other victims.
What Columbus did to the Arawaks of the Bahamas, Cortes did to the Aztecs of Mexico, Pizarro to the Incas of Peru, and the English settlers of Virginia and Massachusetts to the Powhatans and the Pequots…
__MACOSX/Supplemental Readings/._Edited Chapter 1, Howard Zinn.doc
Supplemental Readings/Native Ameican Contributions.doc
SOME AREAS OF NATIVE AMERICAN ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN THE RECORD OF WORLD CIVILISATIONS
NOTE: “Native Americans” is a term that describes the human inhabitants of the New World before the arrival of Columbus. The range and diversity of the Pre-Columbian societies was enormous and the impact that these people had on world culture has yet, in my opinion, to be fully recognized.
__MACOSX/Supplemental Readings/._Native Ameican Contributions.doc
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