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Christopher Columbus

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Christopher Columbus set out on his voyage in 1942 on the West Indian islands, to find a new world for the Europeans. When he landed on the Caribbean Island the Indian Natives that lived there were at first scared but greeted him in a friendly manner. The conquest and settlement of the Western Hemisphere opened new opportunities for other Europeans such as the French, Dutch, English and Spanish to come to the island and colonize the Indian’s land. For the Europeans to colonize and move in on Native land they had to find a way to interact with the Indians. Through their interaction they found cultural understandings and confusions that were documented by both the Europeans and the Indians. In the book, “Major Problems in American Colonial History” by Karen Ordahl Kupperman, the documents support the Europeans perspective and Indians perceptive on the first encounters of one another. In the documents by both William Wood and Captain John Smith demonstrates how the Europeans reacted to the Native Indians ways of living, rituals, and relationships between husbands and wives. In addition, in the documents by the Manhattan Natives and Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca express the experience with the Europeans first arrival and their perspective on the Europeans food, clothing and gifts that they brought for the natives. These documents exemplify the ways Europeans took control of native land and through their own Euro centrism deceived the Indians to take control of their land.

In the book “Major Problems in American Colonial History” by Karen Ordahl Kupperman in document five, William Wood describes various tribes and how they organized their lives in their own villages. When he focused on the relationships between husband and wives, this curiosity led him to judge harshly what he saw as poor treatment of Indian women in the villages. Similar to Wood’s perspective, many Europeans viewed the Indian husband as lazy. Indian women cooked, cleaned, build houses, planted corn, got lobsters and gathered flags. While their “lazy husbands” went fishing the Indian women would carry the fish and dry it for the next season. The Europeans saw the Indians gender roles within families as a sign of weakness for the husband and poor treatment of the wives. In the book, “ Give Me Liberty” by Eric Foner, he states, “ Europeans considered Indian men “unmanly”- too weak to exercise their authority within their families and restrain their wives open sexuality, and so lazy that they forced their wives to do most of the productive work” ( Foner, Pg 23). As a result the Europeans suggest bringing them freedom to liberate them from the unchristian gender roles. Wood suggests that the “ruder Indian men” should treat their women the way the English treat their wives with love and respect. This demonstrates how the Europeans expectations of the Indians are to be similar to their own culture. The Europeans are not trying to understand the Indians gender role but rather they are criticizing it and judging it for being different.

In document one, “Captain John Smith Analyzes the Humane Scene, both English and Indian, in Early Jamestown, 1642. Captain John during his first Jamestown year, h explored Chesapeake Bay, in the course of which he was captured and taken to the paramount chief, Powhatan. Here he describes the Indians as wild beasts and barbarians. He described Indians as animals that were feeding him so he can eat and get fat and eventually they would eat his meat. He was kept prisoner and was going to be killed when Pocahontas the daughter of Powhatan saved his life. Here we see his transition into an Indian. In his document he explains his accomplishments as the president of the colony on how to work and feed themselves. He also explains how the colonists can learn from the Indians on how to cope with their new environment. He ends his document by explaining the starvation the people endured when he had left the colony. In this document we see a European perspective on both a positive and negative view of the Indians. When he was captured he saw Indians as animals and barbarous. However when Pocahontas saved his life he was reborn as an Indian. This gave him a better understanding of the way Indians live and helped him teach other Europeans of the cultures of the natives.

In document three, “The Manhattan’s Natives Express Wonder at the First Arrival of Europeans, Printed in 1818 ( Kupperman, Pg 30).” When the Europeans first arrived on their land they were not sure of whom they were. When they first witnessed the ship, the Indians thought that their ship was a moving house. The Indians assumed that

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