Native American Slave Trade

Europeans brought with them more than just disease and warfare during their invasion of North America, they also brought with them African slaves. Although Native Americans had a slave type of system pre-Europeans there was a difference from the Europeans the Native American slave systems. For example, Native American slaves were, in essence, captives from wars and were not treated as a type of inhuman or subhuman property, like the Europeans did with the African slaves.[1]

A Shift in Government. The Cherokee Constitution.

The Cherokee Constitution was a reflection of the European influence upon Native American society.  When the Native Americans were first encountered by the Europeans, their cultures were misidentified based upon European conceptions. For example, “Indian societies, which were bound by kinship, clan, and village rather than by a larger tribal alliance”[1] was mislabeled as a tribal government system.

Land Ownership? A Different View.

Treaty of Fort Stanwix

One of the reoccurring themes in relation to conflicts between European settlers and Native Americans was the idea of land ownership. The European idea of land ownership was that of a titled deed or another official paper document. Furthermore, the European concept of individuals owning land was a foreign concept to that of the Native American communal living practices. Europeans also claimed land “they found in North America is theirs by “right of discovery”.[1]

Settling on Stolen Land [Essay]

Based on the paper titled ‘Settling on Stolen Land” by Misty Smith. Originally published on Nov. 26, 2017, for HIST 314 at Southern New Hampshire University College of Online and Continuing Education.

Settling on Stolen Land

Native Americans were thrust into a new world by their European invaders in which they did not desire or in many instances understand. In most instances, the interaction of the Native Americans with the Europeans depended greatly upon the geographical location. Some tribes greeted the newcomers as friends with the idea of expanding trade to be in their favor. Many other encounters between the Native Americans were misunderstood due to cultural differences between the Native Americans and their European counterparts, who only knew of their own cultural traditions. For the Europeans who were settling the new lands, they often planned their entire settlements around geographical areas in which trade access would be optimum, or where food and water would be easily accessible to the new settlements. However, the success or failure of their colonies was often at the hands of the Native Americans, in which lands they were trespassing and attempting to steal from their Native occupants.

Finding Middle Ground.

Finding middle ground can have a different meaning depending upon the interest of those involved. For example, one could have a mutual understanding, animosity, or tolerance. Native Americans and their European invaders seemed to have a mix of tolerances involving medical practices and military alliances, each finding the middle ground that best suited their interests in a what was more often a take what you can or have nothing at all situation.

The Pristine Myth

When the European settlers arrived in America they saw a landscape that was anything like they were used to. Before their eyes, they saw an abundance of wildlife, forests, and vegetation that was foreign to them. Their discoveries were then romanticized as reports of the pristine land, a ‘New World’designed to draw in settlers from the onset.[1] For example, Swedish naturalist Peter Kalm wrote in 1748, “I found that I was now come into a new world. Whenever I looked to the ground I found everywhere such plants as I had never seen before.”[2] Furthermore, the settlers viewed the Native American populations as primitive and prime for conversion to their standards of life, therefore, for the settlers they viewed the ‘New World’ as a Wilderness for their taking.[3]