Eastern Woodland Indians Essay

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The history of the North American continent started long before the first European explorers landed; however, the arrival of the Europeans changed the dynamic of the continents land and population forever. At the time neither the Europeans nor the Native Americans ever experienced a culture similar to each other’s. The conservative and religious nature of the Europeans contrast to the simple yet effective ways of the Indians. The Europeans settler’s lack of cultural sensitivity and acceptance led to a poor partnership, which in turn reduced the productivity and survivability of the early colonists in the new world. For the purpose of this paper there will be a focus on the English interactions with the Eastern Woodland Indians.
The Native
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The Renaissance brought a new perspective; a shift from the study of theology to the study of the liberal arts. Religion still played an important role in English life. The official religion of England had been Catholicism until new branches of Christianity began to erupt. One of these extensions became known as Puritans. John Winthrop, the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Company, and many of his followers sought religions freedom and sailed to the America under a royal charter. He thought that if the company should remain Godly they would prosper and they “shall be as a city upon a hill” , a model for the world. However, the Puritan colony in Massachusetts was not the first English colony established in …show more content…
But due to the war with Spain, this colony failed. Next, England attempted to colonize again, calling this settlement Jamestown. The Virginia Company thought that Jamestown would be a great investment, although the settlement did not draw much profit. Just like the agreement between John Cabot and Henry VII, a portion of all goods must be imported back to England. The Native Americans and the colonists did not have a peaceful relationship. Powhatan, the chief of the neighboring tribe processed a lot of power. They produced plentiful amounts of food and knew how to manipulate the land. The colonists traded with the Indians, but desperation increased and they soon resulted to thievery. This and the utter disregard for the Natives ways created problems. The colonist’s perspectives may have been shaped by the writings of English explorer Thomas Hariot. In his book, the Algonquian Peoples of the Atlantic Coast, he explains that the Indians saw the English as gods. He also wrote “some religion they have already which although it be far from the truth…there is hope it may be easier and sooner reformed.” An example of this reformation is evident in the Dekanawida Myth and the Achievement of Iroquois Unity. Europeans used this tale to explain the powers of Jesus Christ and his constant fight against Satan to the

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