European reaction to Indians

Essay by redheadkHigh School, 11th gradeA, May 2004

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Many years ago, before Europeans came to the New World, many different tribes of Native Americans inhabited North America. As with all cultures, these tribes had to learn to adapt to their environment and the climate of that environment. For example, the Plains Indians, whom inhabited the central part of the United States, had to adapt to a hot, dry environment. Because the climate was like this, they had to adapt to short growing seasons, causing their culture to be very mobile. The Southwest Indians had a similar situation. Because they were located in the Southwest part of the United States and Northern Mexico, they also faced the problem of a hot, dry climate. Unlike the Plains Indians, though, they developed an irrigation system in order to farm. The California Indians, on the other hand, were located in modern-day California, where they had wet, fertile soil and a good growing season.

Because of these circumstances, they became farmers. They also had a higher population than some other tribes, because the long growing season caused more food, meaning they had more of a population growth.

When the Europeans came to America, they discovered the Indians already here and saw a good opportunity to convert them into Christians. Columbus, for example, wrote in one of his journals that they had no religion and that they could easily be converted into Christians (Strange New World Packet). Cortes, as well, said that they were all evil savages, but if they were introduced to the Catholic faith, it would work wonders for them (Strange New World Packet). One of the reasons that they could have thought this is because they saw that the Indians may have become more susceptible to Christianity because they began to believe that their ancestral gods had abandoned them...