Native Americans Land - Living in Harmony with the Land
The Native Americans lived in harmony with the land which was emphasized by the their religion and beliefs that were based on the spiritual or religious idea that the universe and all natural objects had souls or spirits. In the religion of the Native Indians it is believed that souls or spirits exist not only in humans but also in animals, plants, rocks etc. This belief is also extended to natural phenomena such as thunder storms and rain and geographic features such as mountains or rivers which they also believed possessed souls or spirits.
Native Americans Land - The Culture Clash
A 'Culture Clash' between the Native Americans and the white European settlers was inevitable - they literally came from different worlds. As if the basic cultural differences between a primitive and more advanced culture was not difficult enough to cope with there were also major differences in how each of the culture groups viewed the subject of land ownership.
Native Americans Land - Ownership?
The idea of an individual person having exclusive use of a particular piece of land was completely alien to Native Americans. The Native Americans fought, as communities, with other tribes over hunting rights to the territory. But the "right" to the land was very different from the legal terms understood by the white settlers who had known no other way than the nature of European individual ownership. The America Native Indians had no concept of "private property," as applied to the land. The accumulation of property was further discouraged by the tradition and custom followed in most tribes was to destroy all the belongings of the owner at his death.
Native Americans Land - The First Europeans
The struggle for the Native Americans land led to bloody and bitter conflicts between the Native Indians across North America and the Europeans. But this was not always the case. Friendly alliances were sought by the first European explorers and settlers with the Native Indians. The Indians knew how to survive from the natural resources offered by the land. The Europeans needed the help of the Native Americans in order to survive.
Native Americans Land - The Effect of the European colonists and settlers
The Europeans saw the continent of North America as a new land they could conquer. They wanted the riches that it had to offer and to increase their ownership of foreign lands. Jamestown was the first colony to be established - the colonists endured the Starving Time. The Mayflower brought the Pilgrim Fathers who founded Plymouth in 1620. Their were conflicts between the French and the British colonists, And the conflicts between the Europeans and Native Indians soon began. The Europeans brought diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, smallpox, measles and influenza to the indigenous population. The numbers of Native Americans were to fall l from 80 million to less than 1 million in less than 500 years. The Indians also suffered other bitter experiences with the Europeans. Traders often made them drunk to take advantage of them and many Native Indian skills and tribal identities and languages were lost due to the gradual adoption of European ways and the Indian's increasing dependence on European goods. And there was the constant encroachment on tribal territories and land...