Historical Question: In what ways did American Indian peoples cope/respond to the changes wrought by European contact?
Primary Source: Folder 2 – “Metacam’s complaints against English”
What: Metacom (King Phillip) initiated a war between settlers and natives, due to the settlers’ lack of respect and accountability for the destruction of native land.
I.e. Natives responded with violence after after ~ 40 years.
“Led to Philip’s Indian War”
Source: John Easton, “A Relation of the Indian War” in A Narrative of the Causes Which Led to Philip’s Indian War (Albany: J. Munsell, 1858), 5–15.
Primary Source: Folder 2 – “Your People Live Only Upon Cod”: An Algonquian Response to European Claims of Cultural Superiority
What: Algonquian member responds to the French belief of cultural superiority—explains that French are unhappy and have brought only negativity to the Americas.
The writer says some people have conformed to Anglo-European society (due to the death of their people from disease), while others refuse to believe that Euopeans are right when they say that they are better than them .
The unnamed writer also explains that the majority of natives are conforming to European society norms slowly (because of their presence/ influence amongst natives).
Primary Source: ID from folder readings:
European came to the new world of North America in the 1500s. They saw a world they have never seen before, a new land, with people with different languages they had never heard. These people were American indians. When the European came to North America, they brought tremendous changes to the American Indian tribes, changes that brought advantages, like new trade goods, materials and disadvantages but most of all, they brought destruction and burden into American Indians bringing war and disease. I will appoint some important facts of the many sufferings American Indians went through based on the folder readings:
In 1676, Edward Randolph was the emissary of King James II and was sent to the colonies to investigate violations of the Crown’s colonia laws. He wrote a document where he describes certain things about the war between the New England Colonist and the American Indians. There, he mentions how the Europeans would implement laws for execution against the Indians for their profit. The Europeans would force Indians to get drunk and every drunk Indian would pay 10s or otherwise be whipped and many of them in order to save their money would give their backs instead. Some jesuitical priest, for money or other things in return, would instigate the Indians against the English to bring them into a confrontation. Some Europeans would lie and complained of injuries done by Philip and because of that, he sometimes would be imprisoned and was only released if he would give up some of his land and all just because they wanted part of his land.
“The Act of Submission” for the Narragansett Indians: This act mentions how the Narragansett gave their consent to submission to the King Charles I and gave up freely, voluntarily to give up themselves, the people, the lands, their rights, inheritances and possessions. They acknowledged themselves to be humble, loving and obedient servants and to be ruled, ordered according to their laws. Also, some of the deeds of land in which Indians agreed to sell are common in colonial record.
Metacon Relates Indian Complaints about the English Settlers in 1675. Metacom or King Philip was the leader of wampanoags. He was the leader of many Indians, of a widespread revolt against the colonist of southern New England. Attorney General of Rhode Island colony met Philip so that they could agree on settlement of the war. Easton Recorded Philip’s complaints and reported that Jealousy of wars had been very frequent, that they did not even think when war was going to happen.
“An Algonquian Response to European Claims of Cultural Superiority”
When colonization started, the Indians and Europeans viewed each other on all aspects of their cultural way of lifestyle and their superiority and civilization, specially for Europeans, their superiority. Europeans tried to convert Indians to christianity and their way of life. Some Indians adopted their way of life after disease and war but other rejected their practices because of the European’s arrogance. French priest Chrestian LeClerq recorded a Micmac Leader’s response to Europeans’ claims. The response sounds sarcastically addressing how they (the Indians live their lives) freely as they wish without any laws as Europeans. It mentions how they can carry their houses so they can go everywhere they want. He addresses sarcastically, how they are so miserable and unhappy, living without religion, without manner, without honor, social order and without any rules. Another sarcasm he says is, how the beast in their forest are lacking of bread, wine and comforts like in Europe but he address that their life as Indians is much happier than what Europe has and that they are very happy with what they have. He says how Europe tries to persuade them that Europes’ country is better than theirs. He also appoints how European leave their house, wife and children risking everything coming through the storms of the seas to come to a strange place which europeans consider it the poorest. He addresses to them how Europeans live in laws with rules eating Cod that they catch in Indians’ river and that everything is nothing but Cod, always code and at the end he tells the French priest, that there is no Indian who does not consider themselves infinitely more happy than the French.
Source from Lectures/class sessions (Class session from Monday, March 1st)
In 1607, English settlers from the Virginia Company land in the Chesapeake Bay and they established the Jamestown Colony. They were interested in finding precious metals like gold and silver, there to make money for the Virginia Company. However, after only 9 months of establishing the settlement, 38 of the initial 104 settlers remained. The conditions and livelihood of those living in Jamestown became heavily dependent on their relationship with the Native Americans who lived on that land.
Who/what: Highly infectious diseases such as Smallpox devastated the Native population not only in the now-called Virginia area, but all over North America. Trade with the Natives, called Powhatan’s, had become sporadic until John Smith became adopted as a Powhatan by the chief. This relationship created a way through which the Powhatan’s would help the English by providing food and supplies. The famous Pocahontas had major influence on the survival of the English. It was a way for the Powhatan’s to gain control over the English. Tensions increase between the two groups as the flow of food provided by the Powhatan ends and as disease spreads throughout the Native population and weather conditions make it more difficult for food to be grown. War between the Powhatans and English begins in 1610.
When: The interactions between the Jamestown settlers and the Powhatans lasts from 1607 until the Virginia Company realizes that they’re going to be unable to make money off of this venture and abandons the Jamestown colony in the 1620’s.
US History Significance: The relationship between the Powhatans and the Jamestown settlers is surely a political conflict. The Powhatan chief was trying to gain significant control over the English and executed that by controlling the food that was traded as well as having control over the English leader, John Smith. John Smith wanted to gain control of the Powhatans and led his men to shoot the Natives in the 1610s and burn down their villages. The English ended up being victorious with the establishment of the Virginia colony.
Secondary Source: ID from textbook readings
In the 17th century the Indians refused to conform to European culture/religion.
Early Europeans described American Indians as barbaric because of their different views on religion, land use and gender relations.This proves that American Indians resisted their ways of living. They were seen as barbaric for having different religious beliefs that did not conform to european christianity.
European settlement brought violent conflict between whites and Indians, it also increased the occurrence of warfare between Indian tribes. There was a cultural clash that brought up conflict between the Europeans and Indians
American Indians had no insusceptibility to the illnesses that European travelers and settlers carried with them. Sicknesses like smallpox, flu, measles, and even chicken pox demonstrated destructive to American Indians. Europeans were used to these illnesses, Indian individuals had no protection from them.
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