Colonial History of Canada: Two Viewpoints on Amerindian-European Cultures

Throughout the years, numerous researchers and historians have studied the colonial period in the history of Canada. Most importantly, the center of the studies was the Amerindian culture. Many renowned experts have investigated the relations between the Native Americans and the French and have expressed their opinions on certain aspects of the events. This essay particularly discusses the differences and similarities between the two articles by Peter Moogk1 and Jan Noel2 on European perceptions of Aboriginal societies.

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The differences in the two works are prevalent, although, if taken metaphorically, many similarities can be found. The differences comprise of the authors having different main ideas, claiming two opposite positions that the subjects of the research were placed onto, exploring unique features of the lives of two incompatible civilizations. On the other hand, the similarities include both authors investigating the colonial history, having two similar tribes as their subjects, point out the importance of the language at that particular time in history, and mentioning the fur trade.

Essentially, the authors study a similar environment and time in history. Moogk, in his article, mainly emphasizes the difference in religion and appearance between two different cultures: “…Amerindians were often more intolerant of physical and cultural differences than the whites.”3

Noel explores the distinction between gender roles in the mentioned societies using a similar approach. “As female voices lost authority on both sides of the early modern Atlantic, the New York–Canada borderlands were home to three cultures in which women continued to speak up.”4. As an example, both authors have chosen two Native American tribes as their subjects of research. Moogk has dedicated most of his article to the once very powerful tribe of Hurons, and Noel has chosen the Iroquois tribe. Similarly, both articles mention fur trade but in a different way. Moogk briefly uncovers the fact that “they [the fur traders] were accepted as the customary hostages who secured alliances.”5

Noel makes a statement, declaring that native women of that time were able to control assets, such as fur, engage in dealing with men, and even trade contraband.6 Moreover, the two authors highlight the importance of knowing the language and what advantages it had brought before. “Once priests had learned the Huron tongue, they could converse with the Hurons’ distant trading partners.”7. “Another important advantage [for the female fur traders] was their ability to speak Haudenosaunee fluently”.8

Alternatively, the authors’ main ideas differ, as they take a different route in exploring the lives of both Europeans and Native Americans of that time. Moogk sheds light on how different people from entirely different societies perceived each other. Furthermore, according to his research, Moogk states that: “the intruders believed in the superiority of European culture, and their confidence in Christianity was clearly unshaken despite their encounter with the Native Americans.”9.

Noel’s central idea was to put out contrast on how the women’s role differed in Europe and Canada. Unfortunately, there were no words from the author, indicating that European women somehow knew that they had less power than the women possessed in colonies. And lastly, authors take different positions regarding the circumstances both the Native Americans and women were placed into. Noel states that the society of that period deemed women to be inferior to men: “Abigail Adams had difficulty influencing policy in a culture where to be ladylike rather than “whorish” required staying out of the public arena and guarding one’s tongue.”10

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Referring to the views of Moogk, the Europeans similarly, had a way of imposing their mindsets and traditions on the Native American people. Here the similarities end because, despite all that, according to Moogk: “The aboriginal peoples were seen as intellectual equals and as potential Frenchmen; their cultural traits evoked both disgust and admiration.”11 The women, on the contrary, in Europe, were not seen as equals at that time.

In conclusion, Moogk and Noel have done researches in what seemingly looks like different points placed in a similar setting. Noel examined the idea of the gender inequality and contrast between two civilizations.12 Moogk studied every possible aspect of the Native Americans’ and the Europeans’ interaction, including religion, customs, trade, diseases, and marriages. However, the reader can already recognize a similarity in what both titles of the articles suggest: inequality and “otherness”. The authors raised several questions, and having read both articles, the reader might pose several of their own too.

For instance, the most crucial issue is why the 15th-16th century society has viewed the Native Americans as “Others” and how the people perceived the women to be “different than men” and consequently lead to them having no rights? Are there any parallels between the two issues that the authors address? The debates have gone on for many years. This topic will remain noteworthy for those who are interested in history and will be relevant to this day.

Works Cited

Moogk, Peter. “The ‘Others’ Who Never Were: Eastern Woodlands Amerindians and Europeans in the Seventeenth Century.” French Colonial History, vol. 1, no. 1, 2002, pp. 77–100. Web.

Noel, J. “‘Fertile with Fine Talk’: Ungoverned Tongues among Haudenosaunee Women and Their Neighbors.” Ethnohistory, vol. 57, no. 2. 2010, pp. 201–223. Web.

Footnotes

  1. Moogk, Peter. “The ‘Others’ Who Never Were: Eastern Woodlands Amerindians and Europeans in the Seventeenth Century.” French Colonial History, vol. 1, no. 1, 2002, pp. 77–100. Web.
  2. Noel, J. “‘Fertile with Fine Talk’: Ungoverned Tongues among Haudenosaunee Women and Their Neighbors.” Ethnohistory, vol. 57, no. 2. 2010, pp. 201–223. Web.
  3. Moogk, Peter. “The ‘Others’ Who Never Were: Eastern Woodlands Amerindians and Europeans in the Seventeenth Century.” French Colonial History, vol. 1, no. 1, 2002, p. 79.
  4. Noel, J. “‘Fertile with Fine Talk’: Ungoverned Tongues among Haudenosaunee Women and Their Neighbors.” Ethnohistory, vol. 57, no. 2. 2010, p. 217.
  5. Moogk, Peter. “The ‘Others’ Who Never Were: Eastern Woodlands Amerindians and Europeans in the Seventeenth Century.” French Colonial History, vol. 1, no. 1, 2002, p. 88.
  6. Noel examined the idea of the gender inequality and contrast between two civilizations. Moogk studied every possible aspect of the Native Americans’ and the Europeans’ interaction, including religion, customs, trade, diseases, and marriages. However, the reader can already recognize a similarity in what both titles of the articles suggest: inequality and “otherness”.
  7. Moogk, Peter. “The ‘Others’ Who Never Were: Eastern Woodlands Amerindians and Europeans in the Seventeenth Century.” French Colonial History, vol. 1, no. 1, 2002, p. 88.
  8. Noel, J. “‘Fertile with Fine Talk’: Ungoverned Tongues among Haudenosaunee Women and Their Neighbors.” Ethnohistory, vol. 57, no. 2. 2010.
  9. Moogk, Peter. “The ‘Others’ Who Never Were: Eastern Woodlands Amerindians and Europeans in the Seventeenth Century.” French Colonial History, vol. 1, no. 1, 2002, p. 80.
  10. Noel, J. “‘Fertile with Fine Talk’: Ungoverned Tongues among Haudenosaunee Women and Their Neighbors.” Ethnohistory, vol. 57, no. 2. 2010.
  11. Moogk, Peter. “The ‘Others’ Who Never Were: Eastern Woodlands Amerindians and Europeans in the Seventeenth Century.” French Colonial History, vol. 1, no. 1, 2002.
  12. Noel, J. “‘Fertile with Fine Talk’: Ungoverned Tongues among Haudenosaunee Women and Their Neighbors.” Ethnohistory, vol. 57, no. 2. 2010, pp. 201–223. Web.
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"Colonial History of Canada: Two Viewpoints on Amerindian-European Cultures." StudyCorgi, 20 June 2021, studycorgi.com/colonial-history-of-canada-two-viewpoints-on-amerindian-european-cultures/.

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StudyCorgi. "Colonial History of Canada: Two Viewpoints on Amerindian-European Cultures." June 20, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/colonial-history-of-canada-two-viewpoints-on-amerindian-european-cultures/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Colonial History of Canada: Two Viewpoints on Amerindian-European Cultures." June 20, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/colonial-history-of-canada-two-viewpoints-on-amerindian-european-cultures/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Colonial History of Canada: Two Viewpoints on Amerindian-European Cultures'. 20 June.

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