The Clash of Cultures

Essay by KiyaKaelarHigh School, 11th gradeA+, April 2004

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Downloaded 69 times

The Intrusions of the Europeans drastically changed the Native Indians' ways of life. Ever since Columbus's voyage to the Americas in 1492, the Indians seemed to be plagued with "bad luck"; they lost their battles one after another to the westerners, not just in military power, but also in the ability to overcome diseases. In Oliver La Farge's article Myths That Hide the American Indian, he mainly clarified some legends that shroud the in fact diverse cultures of the Indians; he also explained the great influence the white men exerted onto the Indians. Although some people argue that cultures will always try to dominate and destroy other competing cultures, there're undeniable proofs that state assimilation in cultures are possible, and it was actually tried between the Indians and the Europeans before greed took over. Firstly, when Spain established their colonies in South America, it sent mostly men; therefore, the men took female Indians as their sexual partners and created a racially mixed population.

Secondly, when the Europeans first arrived in North America, they were accustomed to neither the climate nor the land. It was the Indians who taught them how to raise corn, potatoes, and other essential vegetables and therefore allowed them to survive. And thirdly, a large number of Indians were converted to Europeans religions and some even adopted European dresses and customs.

On his second voyage to South America in 1493, Columbus brought with him seventeen ships filled with twelve hundred men, thereby establishing the first Spanish colony in Hispaniola. Among the immigrants, only a few of them were women, making the men to women ratio incredibly unbalanced. To solve this problem, the men took female Indians as their wives and therefore created a racially and culturally mixed population called the mestizos. The mestizos incorporated both the...