This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

North American Indians Essay

2450 words - 10 pages

North American Indians: A Comprehensive Account

In her book North American Indians: A Comprehensive Account, Alice Kehoe appears to give a straightforward account of the history of North America from the point of view of the Native Americans. The textbook covers the periods from when humans first inhabited the North American continent, some fifteen thousand years ago, and continues through to the present. Due to the immense size and diversity of the North American continent, the text is written so that each chapter covers a geographical region of the continent. The regions covered range from the rich lands of Mexico, through the eastern and western United States, through the forests ...view middle of the document...

Kehoe also discusses the exploitation of the Native Americans and the unjust treaties that were imposed on them, and then subsequently violated.

Although current historical references and works now seem to give a fairly accurate portrayal of the injustices done to the Indians, I remember earlier school texts referring to the Indians as primitive savages who were eventually educated and brought the benefits of civilization. I remember reading of the massacres perpetrated by the Indians against the early western settlers, and of how Indians attacked and burned villages during the early colonization of American and the revolutionary war. The books that I read, and movies I watched, usually portrayed the Indians as the bad guys. No reference was ever made to the injustices or atrocities inflicted by the whites. These earlier books and films have not portrayed this part of history accurately.

Based on what I have read, researched, and gathered from this text and other sources, I must concur with Alice Kehoe in her assessment of the negative and devastating effects that European colonization has had on the Native American populations of this continent.

One of the most devastating effects seems to be the deterioration of Native American culture and traditions as they have slowly and painfully been assimilated into American, Canadian, and Mexican societies.

Since the anthropological concept of culture is defined as everything that a people have, think, and do as members of a society, it is important to understand this when dealing with the history of the Native American populations. The various natives of North America developed different cultures due to their diverse ecology. The author emphasizes that an understanding of cultural geography is an important backbone in the historical study of Native Americans.

By knowing the geographic location of a tribe, it is possible to predict its major food resources, nomadic or sedentary settlement, political structure, and so forth.

The text states that cultural areas exist because groups of peoples are inclined to be more similar to their immediate neighbors than they are to distant groups for two reasons. First, all peoples within a geographical region must adjust their diet, shelter, and other biologically demanded practices to the conditions of that region. Second, people borrow ideas from and adjust to adjacent social groups. Because climate, topography, soils, and the vegetation in an area change over time, cultures must either change of perish. Other factors that can influence populations are migrations, epidemics, and inventions.

It is important to realize that although the number, boundaries, and types of cultural areas may differ, or even change, the recognition of basic cultural geography is necessary to understand the history and development of the natives of North America. Many of the cultural traditions that are passed down through...

Other Papers Like North American Indians

What Is Freedom Essay

1311 words - 6 pages . With the high death rate many of the servants never got to experience the freedom of the New World, thus giving them a false hope for freedom and living their lives in American freedomless. Both African American slaves and indentured servants experienced the least amount of freedom during the early stages of America’s history. Furthermore, as we look into the variant types of freedom in seventeenth – century North America, the Native Americans

Us Free Write Essay

1259 words - 6 pages Unit 1 Free Write In “A People’s History of the Unite States,” Howard Zinn goes in depth on different aspects of the American lifestyle. Focusing solely on chapters one and four, the two show how North America had evolved from an agricultural nation to a colonial nation to an independent country. It was surprising to read about how advanced the Native Americans were during the pre-Columbian era. They not only obtained agricultural technology

The North American Continent

685 words - 3 pages There is tremendous difference in the way the native Indians used to live off the land and the way American Settlers are destroying the land even as we speak for the purpose of profit. The author of this story is trying to convey the damage and destruction wrought on by the Europeans in the relatively few years of habitation of the lands of America. The difference is not only cultural but also spiritual. While Native Indians viewed the land

The European Impact On North America Which Occured Begining In 1492. Written From The View That Europe Influenced North America In A Positive Way

567 words - 3 pages continent or not; however, many indications point to the affirmative. With the Indians removed, more room was made for European settlers. As the population of North American exploded, it became a force to be reckoned with. Its trade status improved and England ignorantly tried to tighten its grip on the colonies. Eventually, through revolution, the thirteen colonies banded together, overthrew the English grasp on them, and became the all-powerful United States of America! Without the defeat of the Indians, our country would not exist today.

American West

1182 words - 5 pages hundreds of Indian men, women and children who were at Sand Creek, Colorado by Colonel Chivington and local volunteers was a horrific act which became an obstacle to peace between Plains Indians and American settlers. The Massacre was officially sanctioned as the settlers on Cheyenne lands in Colorado were miners, ranchers and importantly Homesteaders who felt threatened by the closeness of the Indians on whose land they were settling. It was

Planation And Colonies Or Early America

1424 words - 6 pages . Plantation and farm owners found that slaves from Africa were cheaper and better to own and have work for them. This of course was the real beginning of slavery in the America's that lasted for 400 years.Coping with the physical and psychological abuse of slavery led the slaves to form small bands and family type bonds. North American slaves could only forge communities and fashion a culture by blending their various cultural heritages within the

The Faithful and the Proud

1292 words - 6 pages American people were forced to lose everything to include their religion which mirrored the ancient Israelites in spiritual devotion, practices, and belief system. As an example of the once proud religions belief system, George Catlin said “The North American Indians is are nowhere idolaters-they appeal at once to the Great Spirit, and know of no mediator, either personal or symbolical.” He also stated “In their feasts, fasting, and sacrifices

Reconstruction and the West

894 words - 4 pages land which they thought belonged to them. A highlight in the history which I considered a true bitterness was the battle of Wounded Knee Massacre that was based on the accidental rifle discharging on December 29, 1890 which caused a war that sparked the killing of 39 US soldiers and 146 Sioux deaths, including 44 women and 18 children, This tragic event led to the end of bitter dispute with the American Indians. As a result, the population reached

Andrew Jackson- the Common Man

893 words - 4 pages thought favored the rich. Another thing he did was favor farmers since he used to be one. They could only use coins and paper for purchases instead of having credit because farmers could not do anything with credit and hard money made the bank weaker.(Era of the Common Man). He passed a tariff to support American industry. This helped the common men of the north and middle states because it gave them cotton to manufacture all the time , but not the

Native Americans

1106 words - 5 pages LONG BEFORE the white man set foot on American soil, the American Indians, or rather the Native Americans, had been living on this land. When the Europeans came here, there were probably 10 million Indians north of present-day Mexico and they had been living here for quite some time. It is believed by many anthropologists and archaeologists that the first people arrived during the last ice-age, approximately 20,000 - 30,000 years ago, crossing

Study Guide

1361 words - 6 pages their own hemisphere. In return, the United States pledged not to involve itself in the internal affairs of Europe or to take part in European wars. The statement envisioned a North and South America composed entirely of independent states—with the United States preeminent among them Know what the Trail of Tears was Jackson pushed for the removal of the Indians of the Southeast to the Indian Territory (modern Oklahoma) to be removed from the

Related Essays

The North American Indians Are Civil

1026 words - 5 pages Running head: NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS ARE CIVIL 1NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS ARE CIVIL 5The North American Indians are CivilCindy BashamEverglades UniversityThe North American Indians are CivilBenjamin Franklin's "Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America", is a short story written in 1784 during the age of Enlightenment. Franklin uses the literary element of situational irony to persuade his audience. Franklin believes that he can make a

Colonization Motives Essay

852 words - 4 pages Colonization Motives The Spanish, French and English all had their reasons for the way they thought about the Native Americans. All of their own reasons resembled who they were. The colonization motives of the Spanish, French and English mold their attitudes toward the Native Americans and the Native American culture in many different ways. The enormous diversity of economic, social, and political structures among the North American Indians

European Contact With Native Americans Essay

2064 words - 9 pages Sioux, University of Oklahoma Press, P. 243, ISBN 978-0-8061-1380-7. Kincheloe III, John W. N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. Office of Archives and History. Earliest American Explorers: Adventure and Survival. North Carolina Museum of History, 2007. Web. <www.ncdcr.gov/./f07.earliest.american.explorer.pdf>. Knox, Henry. "Report on the Northwestern Indians. "University of Oregon, 15 Jun 1789. Web. 23 Jul. 2013. <http://pages.uoregon.edu

Pontiacs War Essay

2608 words - 11 pages a native of Ottawa. Pontiac’s father was part of the Ottawa Indians, and his mother was Chippewa, because of his parents Pontiac was raised in the Ottawa area. In the beginning Chief Pontiac was just one of many Native leaders who decided that war was in their best interest to protect their position in North America. During the French invasion some of the Indians converted to Catholicism, and this was Pontiacs second Religion a side from his