Prejudice Against Native Americans Essay

822 words - 3 pages

Prejudice Against Native Americans

These people began migrating thirty thousand years before Christopher
Colombus "discovered" the Americas. Native Americans migrated from Asia,
crossing a land bridge where the Bering Strait off the coast of Alaska is today.
Over the centuries these people spread throughout the continents of North and
South America. Since the arrival of the Europeans in 1492 the American Indian
has been dehumanized, decivilized and redefined into terms that represent a
dominate European view. The Spanish explorers under Colombus were the first to
use the terms "Indian" to mean a Native American. These explorers were under the
false impression that the had reached the West Indies. This term is still used
From the first interaction with the native peoples the Europeans inatiated
dominance and superiority. There are three distinctive reasons that the
Europeans were able to dominate and later oppress the Native American culture
such as; the Native American relgious beleifs and practices, the lack of
interaction between Native Americans ans Europeans and the lack of orginization
of the Indian tribes. All of these aspects had a strong influence the Europeans
to become dominate figures on the Native American land. These factors can still
be attributed for the way that Native Americans are viewed in society today.
After the Revolutionary War the new United States government sought to gain
land through treaties. The payment offered for the land was far from fair,
however, and when Native Americans resisted the surrender of their homeland the
US government simply used superior military power to evict them. The Europenas
knew nothing of the new civilizations they encountered. Most Native American
tribes viewed the lands they occupied to be no one man's property. They
believied that they were alowed to occupy it by the grace of the "Great Spirit",
in return the tribes took care of the land the used. Usually Native Americans
harbored a great respect for the land they were allowed to use . When the
European leaders attempted to purchase this land from the tribes the Native
American leaders often thought they did not have the authority to sell the land.
In their view the land wasn't theirs to sell. Often times, payment offered was
refused because of this view The Europeans, on the other hand, did not
understand or care to understandthe Native American way of life, culture or
philosophy. Instead, they saw the land as a great buisness oppurtunity to be
bought and sold. Sometimes payment was accepted because the American Indians
did not fully understand the consequence or implications of the sale. It was
difficult for the Indians to comprehend the ownership of land because in their
view the land would always be avaliable for everyone to use.
Europeans feared these new people with a seemingly...

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