北美作业代写 -Native American life before and after European settlement

北美作业代写 -Native American life before and after European settlement

The United States is a country represented by its spirit of liberalism. However, this liberty is built on the sacrifice of the liberty of native Indians in the early period. With the European colonization in the 1490s, the modern America started to take shape, and a new era of freedom was initiated. But the homeland of Native Americans had become the dreamland of these European newcomers. And the native Indians had gradually been wiped out from the river of history. This paper aims at analyzing the Native American life before and after European settlement from two points of view: the differences between Native American societies and European societies before the settlement and the changes of Native American society after the settlement.

To begin with, the main differences between Native American societies and European societies lie in the social system, with Native American societies unorganized and democratic, while European societies disciplined and hierarchal. Before the settlement, Native Americans and Europeans were living in two totally different worlds. European societies have advanced civilization and technologies, with crowded cities, extensive trade networks, a large population and convenient transportation. Due to the industrial revolution, Europeans had advanced tools, machines, weapons, and knowledge of navigation that allowed them to conquer a new continent across the sea. Also, their societies had established stable political and religious management systems, as well as clear social and religious hierarchies. Native American societies, on the contrary, were still staying in a state of wildness and backwardness. Native American societies lived separately and spoke hundreds of different languages. There were not social rules or orders in common, but there was also no centralized authority existing. Native Americans fed themselves by fishing, planting, gathering, and hunting. As Eric Foner described in his famous book, Give Me Liberty! : an American Story:”The most striking feature of Native American society at the time Europeans arrived was its sheer diversity. Each group had its own political system and a set of religious beliefs.”[1] The differences between these two social statuses and social systems explained the following colonization and the establishment of the new liberty. Though there were hundreds of different tribes living on the American continent, each tribe held its own political and religious system. This isolation allowed them to live in harmony together. Many tribes treated European colonists as simply one tribe among others when they first met European colonists. As to the European countries, they fought for more trade interests and colonial territories. Their advanced civilization taught them that in order to protect themselves, they had to be stronger. Meanwhile, Native Americans’ religious beliefs were mostly related to farming and hunting, a pray to nature for ample food. And their political system was more democratic and equal. Since they didn’t have a strong sense of wealth and property, they treated every property as the whole tribe’s, not any individual’s. For example, Native Americans saw land as the common resource of the whole tribe, not an economic commodity. Every individual had the right to use the land for the interest of the whole group, but nobody claimed ownership of the land.[2] On the other hand, European societies had a well-developed political and religious system, with strict hierarchies. These strict hierarchies stimulated people to strive more wealth and property in order to elevate their social and religious statuses. Many people participated in the navigation for wealth. To them, the New World discovered was an unparalleled opportunity for riches and wealth. It was like an opportunity to begin a new life, with wealth and glory ahead of you. This concept appealed more and more Europeans participating in the colonization activities. Moreover, these strict social and religious hierarchies forced many Europeans to flee to the New World for political and religious refuges, a place that could provide them with freedom and democracy. Furthermore, the democracy in Native American societies also represented in its gender relation. Unlike the European societies that had strict laws to endow men with the absolute control over their wives, women in Native American societies shared equal rights as men, even more rights in some matrilineal societies. In some degree, the liberty that European colonists pursued was just the liberty Native Americans enjoyed before the settlement. Native Americans took precedence of the sense of belonging and mutual obligations over the individual freedom. This was the democracy and equality that European colonists pursued in this new continent. However, when European colonists saw this democracy, they viewed it as the sign of “backwardness” and tried to dominate them in the name of giving them access to advanced civilization. European colonists were deeply influenced by the political and religious concepts of European societies, so all they had to do was put the oppression that they suffered in European societies on the innocent Native Americans. They were winning their freedom and liberty at the cost of Native Americans’ freedom and liberty. As Eric depicted in his book, “Yet the conditions that allowed colonists to enjoy such freedoms were possible by the lack of freedom of millions of others.” [3]

In addition, after the settlement, the Native American societies got access to the advanced civilization and also suffered from losing freedom, properties, and even lives. Many European colonists came to the New World for fortune and wealth. They robbed the gold and fortunes of Native Americans and shipped back to the Europe. Also, European colonists claimed ownership of land distributed by the ruler and developed plantation economy there. With this need, a lot of Native Americans were enslaved and experienced the cruelty of slavery system. Meanwhile, millions of black slaves were also exported to the New World in the slavery trade. They worked as slaves on the plantation. In this way, European colonists got the way to get rid of poverty and taste the enjoyment of life. However, those Native Americans, together with African slaves, had been deprived of the freedom as an individual. To some extent, the European colonists opened a new chapter of this continent of both freedom and slavery.[4] In spite of the personal freedom, Native Americans were also deprived of religious freedom. Many European colonists who pursued religious freedom and equality, treated the religious belief of Native Americans as devil belief. In order to perform the redemption spirit of Christian, Native Americans were forced to accept the Christian belief and abandoned their original religious belief.[5] In addition to the properties and freedom, a lot of Native Americans died after the settlement of European colonists. Some of them died in the fight of protecting their properties and treasures while many more died due to the epidemics of diseases. European colonists came to the New World, together with the germs and diseases. After the long isolation, Native Americans had no immunity to these germs and diseases, so most of Native Americans suffered a series of devastating epidemics and died, such as smallpox. In order to minimize the loss in the fight with Native Americans, European colonists used diseases as the most efficient weapon. For European colonists, this new continent was just a dreamland. They could start a new life there and forgot their miserable past. They could pursue the dream they wanted and built a social democratic system as they wished. So they invest all their hopes and dreams into this New World for a better life. However, they neglected the fact that they were achieving their dreams at the cost of others’ dreams. They destroyed the homeland of Native Americans and forced them to accept the slave system. Nevertheless, there were not all negative effects about European colonists’ arrival, after all, they brought the advanced technologies and civilization to this new continent and forced the social improvement. As Eric depicted in his book, “Over time, Indian societies had perfected techniques of farming, hunting, and fishing, developed structures of political power and religious belief, and engaged in far-reaching networks of trade and communication.”[6] These new technologies helped Native Americans to improve their working efficiencies and incorporated them better into the modern society. These European colonists broke the original peaceful lives of Native Americans and forced them to accept the modern civilization and religion they brought.

To sum up, before the settlement, Native American societies and European societies held two totally different social systems. Native American societies were unorganized and lived in an isolated state. Their societies were democratic, and people shared the equal rights. They cared less about property and wealth and viewed the interests of the group above individuals. However, European societies held a discipline social and religious system. There were strict hierarchies in European societies, and many European colonists came to the New World to get away from these hierarchies and seek freedom. Besides, after the settlement, Native American societies got access to advanced technologies and civilization. However, many of them lost their properties, personal or religious freedom, even their lives.

 



[1] FonerEricGive me liberty!: an American historyNew York: WW Norton, 2005. 12.

[2] FonerGive me liberty!, 14.

[3] FonerGive me liberty!, 3.

[4] A, Taylor. American Colonies: The Settling of North America.” The Penguin History of the United States (2002): 52.

[5] Ibid, 48.

[6] FonerGive me liberty!, 10.