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Columbus, Indians, and Human Progress


Area of Expertise:

  • History


The relationship between the Europeans and the Native populations was complex because it was characterized by similarities and differences. Using impeccable criteria, historian Zinn, in the book A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present highlights the similarities and differences in terms of culture, political, and economic preferences.

The Europeans first arrived in America in the 15th century through the Columbus Voyage and began to explore for opportunities in America. The Native Americans found the Europeans to be unfriendly invaders of their land because of their greed for power. The Europeans brought some disease like Small Pox and physically assaulted the natives. This unethical treatment of the natives triggered some irreconcilable differences between the natives and the Europeans.  More so, the Europeans considered themselves to be superior to the natives because they possessed advanced military and biology technology. On the other hand, the native found the Europeans to threaten their existence and began to advance their military and technology through copying the European technology or inventing new technologies.

One similarity between the two cultures was their involvement in trade. The native were endowed with minerals and farm produce while the Europeans had many manufactured products such as cloth, brass items, alcohol, and firearms. The trade between the Europeans and the natives enabled them to develop a relationship between the two different groups.

The political differences between the natives and the Europeans showed their different ideologies. The natives viewed the Europeans as intruders whose motive was to colonize them forcefully. This forced the natives to resist the European colonists using all means. On the other had, the Europeans viewed the native as uncivilized people whom they had to take advantage of by colonizing them. The Europeans colonized new world and the differences between the two cultures is attributed to the present day differences between the two cultures.

From the above essay, it is evident that their existed some similarities between the Native Americans and the Europeans. There exist many differences cause each society had different approach. The differences resulted to resistance and when the relationship got worse, the colonists had to amend laws in order partially incorporate the natives in the system.