American Indian Stereotypes Essay

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Americanization: The Creation of the Indian Stereotype In Fall 2015 I took an American Indian Studies course, at first I was not thrilled since history courses are not my best subject. However, there was something different about this course that was intriguing. I began to find it appealing due to the information and history that was provided. In my perspective I found a connection with my culture and some of the suffering American Indians went through. As our course continued I was fascinated with the history of Americanization and the process that took course. Many American Indians endured much suffering and were deprived of their culture. Many were separated from their loved ones or had someone pass away due to diseases and battles. Women …show more content…
During the post-contact era in North America, “[Native Americans] stereotypes were a product of oversimplification, exaggeration, or generalization; these stereotypes define [Indian Americans] by attributes ascribed to the group as a whole” (Fleming 214). One of the greatest influences of the Native American stereotypes was derived from the United States through the process that is known as Americanization. The word Americanization is defined as the influence of the American principles onto a foreign culture. As oppose to the Native Indian culture, the thriving national prosperity of the United States created the assimilation stages of the Native people. This furnished an increased disdain of Native American culture and, furthermore, created the stereotypical Indian ideas that still exist today. In the film The New World by Terrence Malick we see Americanization and stereotypes displayed throughout the novel. After analyzing the post-contact American culture I would like to propose the following question: How did the process of Americanization have an effect on the political, economic, and social lives of the American Indian peoples? Granting that the Native American populations were negatively affected by the consequences brought after the American Revolutionary War in the late-eighteenth century, the process of Americanization clearly demonstrates that the acceptance to western culture altered the many aboriginal traditions to new customs that were more compatible with the new culture arising from the prosperity of the United States of America. An alternative interpretation may be that the acceptance to the Americanized culture was not so much a deterioration of Native American values and traditions, but instead was an innovative process that implemented new ideas for

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