Native American / Colonist Relationship Development

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade September 2001

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The future of colonial America had once depended upon their relationship with Native Americans. American colonies both succeeded and failed because of relationships with Native Americans. Settlers took different approaches to the Natives and ended up with different results. Some colonies learned to co-exist with the Natives via trial and error. Many different events occurred to show that a positive relationship between English colonists and Natives Americans aided the development of American colonies.

First off, I am going to analyze the colonies that actively participated with the Native Americans, establishing a positive, healthy relationship with them. A prime example of a positive relationship with the Indians is the one of the first American colony, Plymouth. The Pilgrims in Plymouth were struggling in their first winter in Massachusetts and the colony was failing. In the spring, the natives and colonists had shared their skills in farming, hunting, etc., in this case the natives taught to colonists to raise corn among other crops.

The two groups agreed to live in peace and later celebrated a massive feast together called "Thanksgiving." Even though Plymouth was even a weaker colony, it still survived. (Encarta, Plymouth, 1) Another example of colonists improving from having a positive relationship with the natives is the New Englanders relationship with the Mohawks. The two had allied together to get rid of their foes, the Wampanoags. Both groups were satisfied after defeating them. (Website 2)         Next is the development of colonies that chose to have negative relationships with the native tribes. An example of this is the settlement at Roanoke, Virginia. Although it is not clear what happened to the colony of Roanoke, many believe that a nearby tribe, the Croatoans, had wiped them out. They believe that the colonists had a negative relationship with the natives and had crossed...