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Custom Essay on Indians


Custom Essay on Indians: Sample

Toward the end of the eighteenth century, before Europeans had any contact with America's native inhabitants, a Spokan Indian prophet on the Columbia Plateau spoke to the Indian people, warning them that “Soon, there will come from the rising sun a different kind of man from any you have yet seen, who will bring with them a book and will teach you everything, and after that the world will fall to pieces.” This prophecy proved to be correct in many ways, and when European settlers set foot on American soil for the first time in 1492, the old world was destined to be changed. The Europeans came to America to build new communities, find riches, and spread the divine word of Christianity, and these goals would be accomplished no matter what -or whom- they encountered.

The introduction of European diseases had a devastating blow on the native population of Eastern North America. The Indians' lack of exposure to many of these new diseases such as measles, influenza, bubonic plague, diphtheria, typhus, scarlet fever, yellow fever, and smallpox allowed them no time to build up immunological resistances, and as soon as the colonists arrived, an unseen killer was already at work. The foremost impact of these diseases was population loss in itself. Another impact of the onslaught of European diseases was not only the number of population lost, but also the fact that a majority of the Indians lost were the elderly, the teachers of the Indians' way of life. The survivors not only had to deal with a significant loss of economic productivity that lead to hunger and famine, but also had to face the future without the wisdom of elders to guide them. In 1710, a settler was told by Indians in South Carolina that most of their past traditions had been forgotten because “their Old Men are dead.” In addition to the loss of many elderly, decreased fecundity hindered the recovery of the population. The Indians' traditional healing practices proved to be ineffective on these new diseases, and many Indians began to look to the Europeans to provide relief for these sicknesses.

As Indians and Europeans began to learn and borrow from each other's culture, Indians began to rely on many of the European “luxuries” that were a part of their everyday life. With the introduction of steel axes and knives, mirrors, scissors, woolen clothing and blankets, and a multitude of other common European items, Indians began to appreciate and grow accustomed to these things that made life easier and more comfortable. However, as Indians became used to the presence of these new goods, many of their previous craft skills declined. As quoted in 1777 by a Creek Indian named Handsome Fellow: “We have been used so long to wrap up our Children as soon as they are born in Goods procured of the white People that we cannot do without it.”

Custom Essay on Indians: Tips

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