The Wealth Of The New World

1088 words - 5 pages

Wealth in the New World
The establishment of European Colonies in the New World brought forward the challenge of overcoming the diversity among the Indian society. Invading was a simpler task for European colonist compared to adapting into a new environment away from their Mother Country. A major clash of cultures, ideas, religions, and the people as well as a lack of compromise contributed to the decrease of the Indian population in the history of the United States. Through the relationship between the Northeastern Indians and the colonial American English colonies lays a strong misunderstanding of lifestyle, economical status, and social values versus ...view middle of the document...

Collectively, all of the tribes in a village shared the use of its land. Throughout numerous villages, disputes about land usage had to be clarified or defended. For example, a village might claim limited hunting rights in a given territory, but people from many villages might divide the use of a particular stream for fishing. These concepts, compared to the Europeans’, were outrageous, as the English concluded that “Indian poverty was the result of Indian waste: underused land, underused natural abundance, underused human labor” (Cronon 56). These ideas of under estimating the Indian’s behavior led to a gap between relationships with Indian tribes and the English settlers. The Europeans mainly used the natives to their own advantage rather than actually trying to understand the tribes
In contrast, the European culture came from a grasping capital that respected individual wealth and accomplishment. “In short, the way to wealth, if you desire it, is as plain as the way to market” are concepts the Europeans made evident (Franklin 44). With a clear idea that the “land was a vacuum domicilium waiting to be inhabited by a more productive people”, the Europeans started their way in taking over the New World (Cronon 57). Soon after, they converted the land and its resources into treasured commodities that could be traded among themselves and the Indians. Due to this, traditional Indian hunting became more of a market trade than what it was traditional only use to control hunger. For the natives it was more of a diplomatic status in wanting to trade with the Europeans. Likewise, when the Europeans arrived in the Americas and began to claim the rich lands they encountered, they brought with them an equally rich European tradition of property law and justifications for establishing property right. These ideas of property rights were concepts new to the Indians as they mainly used “ecological labels to describe how the land could be used” (Cronon 66). For the Europeans, they viewed land as capital gain, the more the better. At the simplest level of personal property, the natives preserved mainly things they would personally make. Unlike Europeans, they did not accrue goods, and often liberally shared tools and other valuable belongings with friends and family who required them.
Furthermore, interactions among Europeans and Native Americans varied from place to place, and...

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