Native American Struggles

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The Struggle for North America
The seizing of North America by the Europeans is done largely without weapons. Of course weapons and warfare play a large part, but the Europeans don’t sail over and begin conquering their New World. European exploration began with the desire for trade and to spread religion. Finding the Indians offered them the chance to do both. These people had never seen anything like the Europeans and were mostly receptive to new goods to trade, and were willing to listen to new religious ideas. No one was prepared for the Old diseases that the Europeans brought with them.
Disease swept across the continent in the years of European settlement, paving the way for the European dream of controlling the New World. The Indian people had no way to defend themselves from Old World disease. Traditional rituals and herbal remedies had no effect on the plagues that ravaged the land. A settler reported how “it pleased God to visite these Indeans with a great sickness, and such a mortalitie that of a 1000 above 900. And a halfe of them dyed.” These were not one-time events either; the Indians were plagued by recurring pandemics
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The Native American culture is based on an oral tradition, passed down by the elders of a tribe generation to generation. The elders were central to the survival of the Native American culture; teaching the children the history and traditions of their ancestors. In 1645, after disease visited Martha’s Vineyard, a survivor lamented that all the elders who had taught and guided the people were dead, “and their wisdome is buried with them.” This sentiment was shared across the coast. Indians in South Carolina told settlers that they had forgotten most of their traditions because “their Old Men are dead.” With traditional practices being forgotten, the Indians began to rely on the Europeans more and

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