American indian

AMERCIAN INDIANS Europeans colonized and brought new diseases to Native Americans beginning in the late fifteenth century, causing the worst demographic disaster in human history. Epidemics took a toll in every sphere of Native American life (Indian History and Culture). The continual drive of Euro Americans to expropriate native land by whatever means necessary, including genocide, reduced the native peoples to an indigenous minority engulfed in a sea of immigrants (Indian History and Culture). However, most of the Native American Indian casualties are caused by diseases brought by the colonizers. The Indians have little immunities to the viruses. On the other hand, contacts and interactions between the Native Americans and Europeans brought benefits to both people (Discovery and Colonization).
There is, however, another side to Native American history, a much more positive story that is missing from accounts that treat Indian history merely as an on-going tragedy. This is a story of cultural persistence and survival. The key themes of Native American history are continuity, resistance, resilience, and adaptability in the face of extraordinary challenges and dislocations (Native American Voices). The Indians have great capacity for adaptability. The survivors splintered, migrated, and ultimately amalgamated to form new groups and devise strategies for dealing with the invaders (Indian History and Culture). Native Americans struggled to preserve the fundamental aspects of their cultures while adapting to the changes brought about by the Europeans (New American Voices). American Indians were not simply a band of small migratory bands that existed by hunting, fishing, and gathering wild plants. In fact, Native American societies were rich, diverse, and sophisticated (New American Voices).
Throughout their history, Native Americans have been dynamic agents of change. Food discovered and domesticated by Native Americans would transform the diet of Europe and Asia. Native Americans also made many crucial–though often neglected–contributions to modern medicine, art, architecture, and ecology. During the thousands of years preceding European contact, the Native American people developed inventive and creative cultures; built cities; produced monumental architecture; and developed intricate systems of religious beliefs (New American Views). The American Indians exchange of pelts for European manufactured goods enhanced native economic and spiritual life for centuries before dependence eroded their autonomy (Indian History and Culture). They traded for European-crafted tools and knives with deerskins and beaver pelts (Indian History and Culture). They also domesticated animals and cultivated land for food, dyes, medicines, and textiles. Indian trade with the Europeans eventually led them to be tangled in two profound dynamics. First, exchanging furs for European textiles, metal goods, alcohol, and weapons had integrated them into the transatlantic market economy. Secondly, dependent on European commodities that they could neither reproduce nor replace because they had lost ancient skills, natives had to secure continuing access to colonial merchants (Indian History and Culture).
Politically, the Indians also contributed significantly. The native Indians contributed a wide variety of systems of social and political organization ranging from kin-based bands and tribes to city-states and confederations (New American voices). And During the rivalry between Great Britain, France, and Spain, they were forced to take sides during the wars for the colonization of North America (Indian History and Culture).
The Native Americans were not helpless victims of the colonizers, nor were they fated for extinction. On the contrary, Native Americans were active agents who responded to threats to their culture through physical resistance and cultural adaptation (New American Voices).
Works Cited
” Discovery and Colonization of the new worlds.” (1492-1863). 2005. Bryan Hardestry. 08 Oct.
2005. .
” Indian History and Culture.” American National Biography. 2005. Oxford University Press.
08 Oct. 2005. .
” Native American Voices.” 08 Oct. 2005. Digital History. 08 Oct. 2005. .