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Christopher Columbus Essay

1316 words - 5 pages

Christopher Columbus set out on his voyage in 1942 on the West Indian islands, to find a new world for the Europeans. When he landed on the Caribbean Island the Indian Natives that lived there were at first scared but greeted him in a friendly manner. The conquest and settlement of the Western Hemisphere opened new opportunities for other Europeans such as the French, Dutch, English and Spanish to come to the island and colonize the Indian's land. For the Europeans to colonize and move in on Native land they had to find a way to interact with the Indians. Through their interaction they found cultural understandings and confusions that were documented by both the Europeans and the Indians. In the book, "Major Problems in American Colonial History" by Karen Ordahl Kupperman, the documents support the Europeans perspective and Indians perceptive on the first encounters of one another. In the documents by both William Wood and Captain John Smith demonstrates how the Europeans reacted to the Native Indians ways of living, rituals, and relationships between husbands and wives. In addition, in the documents by the Manhattan Natives and Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca express the experience with the Europeans first arrival and their perspective on the Europeans food, clothing and gifts that they brought for the natives. These documents exemplify the ways Europeans took control of native land and through their own Euro centrism deceived the Indians to take control of their land.
In the book "Major Problems in American Colonial History" by Karen Ordahl Kupperman in document five, William Wood describes various tribes and how they organized their lives in their own villages. When he focused on the relationships between husband and wives, this curiosity led him to judge harshly what he saw as poor treatment of Indian women in the villages. Similar to Wood's perspective, many Europeans viewed the Indian husband as lazy. Indian women cooked, cleaned, build houses, planted corn, got lobsters and gathered flags. While their "lazy husbands" went fishing the Indian women would carry the fish and dry it for the next season. The Europeans saw the Indians gender roles within families as a sign of weakness for the husband and poor treatment of the wives. In the book, " Give Me Liberty" by Eric Foner, he states, " Europeans considered Indian men "unmanly"- too weak to exercise their authority within their families and restrain their wives open sexuality, and so lazy that they forced their wives to do most of the productive work" ( Foner, Pg 23). As a result the Europeans suggest bringing them freedom to liberate them from the unchristian gender roles. Wood suggests that the "ruder Indian men" should treat their women the way the English treat their wives with love and respect. This demonstrates how the Europeans expectations of the Indians are to be similar to their own culture. The Europeans are not trying to understand the Indians gender role but rather they are...

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