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The Native American Indians

Colonization is a process of settling the territories by people who cannot be considered the native population of these territories. The British colonizers were people who were eager to leave their native cities in Old Europe and move to the new continent which was supposed to give them a chance to start a new life. “When the English planned their colonies in North America, they almost invariably claimed that their chief goal was to spread Christianity to Native American Indians.” As you can see, they created a nice fairytale which was accepted by people of other nations; moreover, the European countries, suchlike Spain and France, also wanted to “spread Christianity”. As a result, the Native American Indians were doomed to adopt the new religion, new traditions, new customs, and a new lifestyle.

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It is necessary to say that the response of Indians to the English colonization attempts was different in various regions: the French colonies gave the Indians an opportunity to trade and they appeared to be good traders, when the wars between colonizers from different countries began, the Indians had to abandon their new business of trading to the Europeans. “The fur trade launched New France, but the colony was sustained by a Catholic bid to convert the Indians.” The trade was not always safe in terms of the possibility to be converted into another religion.

Some Indians demonstrated a peaceful reaction to the new neighbors presented by the representatives of different European nations. Other tribes happened to be more aggressive and rebellious; they massacred the colonizers’ settlements and kidnapped Europeans to get a kind of moral compensation for their families murdered by the newcomers. Although the legal acts adopted by the authorities of the British settlements were forbidding “The Ransoming of Captives”, the captives were ransomed at the expense of private and public funds. The ransoms were considered to prolong the acts of kidnapping; these “payments became larger as inflation and the Indians savvy increased”. So, both sides performed actions that damaged the lives, health, and wealth of civil people who wanted to live their lives and have friendly neighbors.

The British colonizers were acting as though they stood on their native territory which had been given to them by heaven or anything. They would not stop on their way of spreading the religion alien to Indians and capturing the free people:

Between 1650 and 1715, the British enslaved and sold between 24,000 and 51,000 Indians captured by client tribes like the Westeros and later the Shawnee on the Savannah River, paying slavers with flintlock rifles and exporting most captives to the Barbados sugar plantations. In 1693 and again in 1738, as a provocation to their neighboring antagonists the British of Carolina and Georgia, Spanish Florida declared that freedom and land would be given to runaway slaves escaping from their British Masters.

As you can see, the colonizers of different countries contributed to the increasing of unrest which caused numerous wars on the territory of the colonies.

The wars between Indians and British men took place and both sides were acting to save the land and their lives. Jesuit missions that were aimed at spreading Christianity among the Indian tribes were not always successful: the common thing was “a surprise attack that massacred the eight Jesuits and destroyed their chapel.” Religion was one of the stumbling blocks in the process of the British colonization attempts.

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Chesapeake colonies were one of the first English settlements on the territory of North America. As stated in the material edited by Mark Hirsch and provided by the National Museum of the American Indian and Smithsonian Institution,

The English arrived in 1607, forty-five years after the Spanish. Their colony, Jamestown, was a business enterprise funded by the Virginia Company to find gold. The English colonists were not adept at farming in the North American soil and climate and lacked the skills for surviving in unfamiliar territory. Many died of starvation. During this early period, the Powhatan people took pity on the colonists and gave them food to help them survive.

The life ran peacefully, though the war conflicts discontinued it and both sides suffered losses; “the 1646 victory over Indians provided fertile land conveniently located beside navigable streams and rivers.”

The South colonies faced the problem of wars as well the Chesapeake colonies. The year 1680 brought the war which originated from the way of treating Indians by emigrants and from “depredations of straggling parties of Indians” to South Carolina. Consequently, the aggressive conflicts were a distinctive feature of the process of British colonization of North America; it concerns the Chesapeake, South, New England, and Middle colonies as well as the colonies of the non-British settlers.

As a rule, the process of colonization is characterized by conflicts between the native population of territories and the newcomers. The newcomers want to establish their rules and traditions which would be similar to those which were established in their previous country or territory. However, the native inhabitants of the land can treat the colonizers in different ways.

The conflicts take place when one side does not want to be non-aggressive or to establish common rules and traditions. Another way to keep the peace is to develop clear boundaries in order not to infringe the rights and freedoms of the opposite side. The alternatives can be found in any dispute, though the conflict is inevitable if there are too many contradictions and preconditions to the war.

The Native American Indians experienced the process of colonization performed by the English, French, and Spain colonizers who came to the new continent to spread Christian religion among the native peoples of North America. Thereby, all the conflicts are the result of colonization; the wars could be avoided if the people from another world (the European countries and other countries of the world) would not have come.

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References

Grahame, James. The history of the United States of North America, from the British colonies till their revolt and declaration of independence. New York: Smith, Elder and Co., 1836

Geoff Mangum’s Guide to Native American History & Culture. “Prehistory, Contact to the End of the Indian Wars, and Modern Days”, puttingzone.com/indians.html

Hirsch, Mark. European Settlement and Conflict. The University of North Carolina of Chapel Hill.

Mancall , Peter C., James Hart Merrell. American Encounters: Natives and Newcomers from European Contact to Indian removal. New York: Routledge, 2000

Taylor, Alan. American Colonies: The Settlement of North America to 1800. New York: Penguin Group, 2001

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