The Indian's New South Essay

932 words - 4 pages

The Indians' New South
Europeans came to the colonial Southeast because of the previous success other explorers had in the Caribbean and its surrounding island finding an abundance of gold, silver, and other treasures. What the explorers found in the colonial Southeast was deeply disappointing to them; there was no treasure there. However, rumors and wishful thinking kept the Spanish searching for treasure, even though they were faced with a hostile Indian presence. The continuing presence of the Spanish in the Southeast only contributed to the immigration of other European nations. This, in turn, provided the necessary platform for Europeans to build on to inevitably dominate the colonial Southeast.
One of the earliest factors that contributed to the inevitability of the European domination of the colonial Southeast was the fact that Spanish men and women were marrying people from Indian nations. Their children are called mestizo offspring. These children served at mediators for the two cultures they overlapped, a role of great importance as European power made itself felt over wider areas of the native Southeast. This was quite possibly the most permanent change in Indian life, and it effectively smoothed the transition from a strictly native land to a land more "Europeanized".
Another reason that Europeans were able to take over the Southeast is that the Spanish had advantages in motive and material. The never-ending search for precious metals and instant wealth spurred the Spanish soldiers, from the lowest to the highest, through long and tiresome hardships. The Spanish also claimed religious superiority and ethnocentrism, which is the belief that one's customs and culture is of central importance and is the basis for which others are judged. This gave them a leg up on the Indians who did not fight for religious beliefs or to impose their beliefs on others. This motivation of the Spaniards and the passive beliefs of the Indians laid the groundwork for European dominance. The Indians would not fight the Spanish on matters of cultural and religious change, and in some instances, accepted the changes with open arms. So not only did the Spanish not want to leave the Southeast because of the dream of riches, the Indians did nothing to convey the message that the Spanish were not welcome.
The Spanish were also expert swordsmen. This combined with the technological advantages of the Spanish military made the Indians want to avoid the invaders rather than fight them. So the Indians were moving inland to evade their Spanish intruders, which gave the Spanish and other European nations more land to reign over.
Another reason that the Europeans were able to conquer the Southeast is that the plants brought over from Europe grew well in...

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