Keith Parks, History 156, Essay 1, 9 Feb 2014
Effects of European settler on Native Americans
The Europeans eventually came to dominate the land once held by the Native Americans through theft, disease and converting the natives to Christianity. First many times the Europeans had their own best interest in mind when they went to meet the natives. The Europeans such as Cortes had heard stories of gold and wanted to take the gold for themselves. He told the Aztec Chief Montezuma the amazingly ridiculous lie that the Spanish had “a strange disease of the heart for which the only known remedy is gold” (Kennedy and Cohen) Worse yet for the Aztecs who believed the Spanish conquistadors were the god Quetzalcoatl and thus allowed entry into the city. This gave up the intelligence of what the city had; it gave the Spanish the knowledge of how to defeat the city. Shortly later Cortes conquered the Aztec capital. However, Cortez was far from the only European who was attempting to take advantage of the wealthy natural resources of the new world. Juan Ponce De Leon searched for gold in Florida. Francisco Coronado explored the southern plains in his search for gold abusing Native Americans along the way by placing iron collars on them and harassed his captives with vicious dogs. Francisco Pizarro conquered the Incan empire in Peru and took a huge load of silver for Spain. Later the silver taken from the mines in Bolivia and Mexico resulted in a silver price revolution in Europe. The Europeans also captured natives and enslaved them although not to the degree that the African slaves took part. Then West Indies became a site of the Encomienda, a practice where slaves were given to colonists to try to Christianize them. However, this was veiled method to procure a free work force.
The Europeans had some positive intentions through their catholic duty to convert the natives. A soldier for Cortes was quoted as “we came here to serve God and the king but also to get rich” (Kennedy & Cohen). This meant take whatever gold and silver they could find while converting as many natives to Catholicism. ...