Comparison of the Contact Experience Between Indigenous People of the US and Europeans

Essay by thekingandqueenA+, December 2008

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As the Europeans embarked on colonial ventures they found the land already inhabited by several native people, cultures, and civilizations. Compare the contact experience between these indigenous populations and the French, Dutch, and English. Consider both the initial period of contact as well as the way relationships shifted over time, and explain how these relationships impacted life in the New World for both native and European inhabitants.

In the 15th century Europe was isolated, and had no contact with outside nations. This dramatically changed because of exploration. As European nations began to establish colonies in the New World, they discovered that Indians of varying cultures, traditions, and values already inhabited them. The French, Dutch, and English all formed colonies in the New World in the seventeenth century. In the Dutch and English colonies the relationship changed over time. The French leaders of New France were the most successful in establishing a profitable, harmonious colony in the New World because of their diplomatic approach.

Although the colonies had differing views of the Indians, their actions toward them all had deep implications for the lives of both the Europeans and the Indians.

French – New France Beginning of the 17th century, traded metal tools to the native Abenaki Indians for beaver pelts where there was a ready market for them in Europe (turned into beaver coats and hats). French exercised diplomatic ties and friendly relations with the Indians in order to maintain this trade with the Indians. There very high profits → Samuel de Champlain established a trading network in Quebec that connected the French and Indians in a transformed global political economy. They learned how to adapt to Indian culture through several voyagers to New France. Champlain and his small band of settlers did not have significant financial support from France...