Comparing European and Native American cultures (video) | Khan Academy
What was early contact like between Europeans and Natives? Columbus ' found' a land with around two million inhabitants. After initial friendly relations, fighting broke out with the Native Americans when they refused demands for food . Land has been at the center of virtually every significant interaction between Natives and non-Natives since the earliest days of European. As we will see in this article, many Native Americans present similar understandings. has been debate over the nature of the Native American's relationship to the land, . 'Traditional American Indian and Western European attitudes towards.
As early asEnglish explorer Thomas Harriot observed how European visits to the small villages of coastal North Carolina Indians killed the Natives. The disease was also so strange that they neither knew what it was nor how to cure it. The introduction of European diseases to American Indians was an accident that no one expected.
Neither the colonists nor the Indians had a good understanding of why this affected the Native people so badly. The great impact of disease on the Native population of America is an important part of the story of European exploration.
Experts believe that as much as 90 percent of the American Indian population may have died from illnesses introduced to America by Europeans.
This means that only one in ten Natives survived this hidden enemy. Their descendants are the 2.
Native North Americans - The National Archives
New trade goods represented another big change that European explorers and colonists brought to American Indians. Soon after meeting their European visitors, Indians became very interested in things that the colonists could provide.
In a short time, the Indians began using these new materials and products in their everyday lives.
Native hunters were eager to trade prepared deer hides and other pelts for lengths of colored cloth. Metal tools such as axes, hoes, and knives became valuable new resources. Soon American Indian men put aside their bows and arrows for European firearmspowder, and lead shot. Trade items like metal pots often were cut up and remade into new tools or weapons. The desire to get European goods changed ancient trading patterns. The tradition of simple hunting for food began to become less important than getting animal hides to trade.
Soon American Indians depended on European items for daily needs.
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Colonial traders also brought rumand this drink caused many problems for some tribes. New trade goods brought from across the Atlantic Ocean changed American Indian lives forever. A third big change connected to this new trade was slavery. Europeans needed workers to help build houses and clear fields. They soon realized that they could offer trade goods like tools and weapons to certain American Indian tribes that would bring them other Indians captured in tribal wars. These captured Indians were bought and sold as slaves.
You might think that Africans brought to America were the only enslaved people. It is surprising to learn that before in the Carolinas, one-fourth of all enslaved people were American Indian men, women, and children. Before the port city of Charleston shipped out many Native slaves to work in the Caribbean or to be sold in northern cities like Boston. Slavery led to warfare among tribes and to much hardship. Many tribes had to move to escape the slave trade, which destroyed some tribes completely.
In time, the practice of enslaving Native peoples ended. However, it had greatly affected American Indians of the South and the Southwest. Many big changes happened to the first Americans soon after Europeans met them. But Indian people survived diseases, huge shifts in their cultures, and even the destructive slave trade. North Carolina recognizes eight proud and enduring tribes today: They are now greatly outnumbered by the descendants of the European colonists, but their strong presence honors their distant ancestors—those earliest of American explorers.
Tales and Trails of Betrayal.
North Carolina Civic Education Consortium. Archaeological Institute of America. In European societies, men were the heads of household and they were in charge of outdoor labor.
American History: A New World Clash of Cultures
Women took care of the home but they also have relatively few rights. They couldn't participate politically, own property, or get divorced.
In Native American societies, men hunted and fished and conducted warfare which often meant that they were away from home for weeks or months. Consequently, women did the farming since they were home to tend the crops.
Native women also had a lot more freedom than European women. They could get divorced, they could give political advice to councils. Many Native American societies were matrilineal so children belonged to their mother's family rather than their father's and when a couple got married, the man moved in with his wife's family, not the other way around.
To Europeans, gender roles in Native society almost seemed like they were flipped upside down and they took this as evidence that Native people were uncivilized. To Native Americans, it looked like Europeans could barely care for themselves. They had to be taught how to farm, how to fish, even how to hunt effectively in the new world.
Finally, Native and European religious practices differ, at least, on the surface. Native Americans tended to believe that one great creator had made the world and that nature was imbued with spirits who would reward or punish them based on how well they took care of the land.
In fact, this actually wasn't that much different from the Catholicism of Europeans who believed in a single god but also many helpful saints.
But where they differed was in exclusivity. When Europeans introduced them to Jesus and Mary and the saints, many Native Americans were happy to include them in their pantheon of helpful spirits.
But this angered Europeans who insisted on exclusive worship of the Christian god. All of this differences lead to fraught interactions between Europeans and Native Americans. But despite these differences, they also adopted many useful aspects of each other's culture over time especially in terms of trade.
Native Americans were keen to get their hands on the metal implements for cooking and farming and hunting that Europeans possessed as well as guns and horses which were great for transportation and also for making war. Europeans were also willing to take part in the social rituals and trading rituals of Native Americans, sometimes even marrying into Native American families so they could get access to furs hunted by Native Americans and to Native Americans as allies in their wars against rival European powers and the Americas.
So as we wrap up, I encourage you to take a closer look at this chart. Is there anything you find particularly surprising about these differences?
Where do you think that Europeans and Native Americans were most likely to find common ground between them? And lastly, which of these cultural aspects do you think was the most significant difference between Europeans and Native Americans and why?