The Native Americans were living a peaceful and fulfilling life living off the land until the Europeans arrived. Most of the conquest was through war but they were also able to conquer culturally. There were three main cultural conquests against the Native Americans. Each style of conquest was responded to in a different way with each containing different impacts. Through the impact of disease brought by the Europeans, the Native Americans trade, land and religion were culturally conquered.
We can not fully understand the cultural conquest on the Indians without touching on the impact of disease. To begin with, Europeans brought small pox, measles and the common cold with them as they landed on the United States from Europe. Native Americans could not fight these diseases and quickly started dieing. Many tribes lost seventy five percent of their population with in a few weeks. In fact, the Cherokee nation's population was cut in half in a matter of months (144).
The Native Americans had no time to recover and bounce back from this epidemic. Several new out breaks would continue to happen within the space of a generation or two. This enabled it to be very difficult to maintain a strong religious and social leadership.
A small piece of the tribe would die with the death of a leader. Beliefs, traditions and wisdom began to deteriorate. The Native Americans began to notice that only Indians were dieing and not Europeans. The Indians figured that their god was protecting them from such a plaque. They looked for religious meaning in the epidemics and soon enough began to lose faith. The disease's also lead to starvation. They missed crucial phases of the annual subsistence cycle which meant planting, harvesting and hunting were not happening. Most importantly, the epidemic created the Catawba nation...