What are the effects ofEuropean settlement in the Americas?
As Europeans came, in greater numbers,to settle the land in the Americas, theirpresence had a tremendous effect on thenative peoples who were living here. And,the native peoples’ life in the Americasprovided lots for the Europeans to use aswell. Let’s see some of the effects of theexchange between native people andEuropeans.
Food Exchange Almost immediately, Native Americans and Europeans exchanged knowledge about food items. Items exchanged between Indians and Europeans From Europeans to Indians From Indians toEuropeans - bananas - catfish- cattle - chocolate- chickens - pineapple- horses - potatoes- pigs - pumpkins/squash- sheep - sweet potatoes- sugarcane - tomatoes- wheat - tobacco
Effect!Over time, the diets of both NativeAmericans and Europeans widenedas a greater variety of food becameavailable.
Native WeaponsThe bow and arrowand spear servedNative Americansquite well. Withthem, Indianshunted for foodand went tobattle.
European WeaponsEuropean settlersintroduced the rifle.When they huntedfor food or wentto battle, the riflemade themsuccessful.
Effect!Over time, the European weaponsproved stronger and more powerfulthan Indian spears and bows andarrows. The nature of hunting andwarfare changed and NativeAmericans traded for European-styleweapons whenever they could.
Native VillagesThis is a Catawba village. Homes werearranged in a circle but there is no boundaryaround the village – to keep people out.
English VillagesEnglish villages were small and fortified withwalls to keep Native Americans at adistance. This is Jamestown in the early1600s.
Effect!Over time, the landscape changed asthe number of European communitiesincreased and resembled the cities ofEurope while Indian settlements weredestroyed or pushed to the west.Also, Europeans held on to their ideaof “land ownership” while the NativeAmericans did not have the idea ofownership; the land was used as aperson needed it.
Native HomesThis Wampanoag wetu used the materialsof nature, was relatively simple in designand adapted to the environment.
Native HomesThe homes of pueblo Indians used naturalmaterials, were simple in design and wereadapted to the environment.
Homes of EuropeansHomes ofEuropeans inBoston wereelaborate, relativelylarge and designedlike those inEurope.
Homes of EuropeansThis home in Williamsburg, VA was hugeand elaborately designed.
Effect!Over time, European communitiesand homes resembled those ofEurope. Native American homeswere not valued by the Europeanswho settled.
Native American Spiritual LifeNativeAmericans hadstrong spirituallives and prayedfor rain, for sun,for healthychildren – for allgood things intheir lives.
Puritan Religion of New EnglandPuritans hoped to bring Christianity to theNative Americans in Massachusetts – tochange the religion.
Catholic Religion in the SouthwestSpanish settlers hoped to convert NativeAmericans in the Southwest to Christianity.
Effect!Over time, European settlers tried tochange the religious lives of NativeAmericans by forcing them to beChristians. Not surprisingly, nativepeoples resisted all efforts toconvert them to Christianity.
Native Languages There were as many as 300 nativelanguages spoken at time of encounter.
European Languages Added You can predict that the European settlers brought with them the languages they had grown up with: Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, and English. Many of our cities have European names: Scituate and Natick are Indian words. San Francisco and Los Angeles are Spanish words. Quebec and Trois Rivieres are French words. Plymouth and Needham are English words. Catskills and Poughkeepsie are Dutch words.
Effect!Over time, Native American languagesdisappeared from common use andEuropean languages, especiallyEnglish, became widely used. Namesof places still may retain Indiannames, as well as a small number ofwords like moccasins. Otherwise thishas become a nation that speaksEuropean languages.
Relating Trade was one important way the Native Americans and Europeans related with one another and both sides saw the benefit.Herethey aretradingtobacco.
Relating William Penn knew it was important to have a good relationship with the native people.Here Penn issigning a peacetreaty withthe DelawareIndians.
RelatingThe Pilgrims wished to thank the Native Americans who had helped them survivethe first year inthis new land.This painting isa picture of thefeast of givingthanks.
RelatingBut there were plenty of difficult times, too. Notsurprisingly, the native peoples were angry whenEuropeans tooktheir land. TheEuropeanspushed nativepeople furtherand further to thewest.
Effect!European settlers related differentlyto Native Americans. The Spanishgenerally wanted to control them.The French and Dutch wanted totrade with them. The English weregenerally satisfied to live side-by-side and were glad for whatever helpthey could get from the nativepeoples. They were, though,cautious and typically wanted tochange Indians’ ways to match theirown.
It was probably inevitable that lifefor both the native peoples andEuropeans would change foreverwhen their cultures and ways of lifemet. The United States, today, stillreaps the effects of the encounterbetween these people thathappened more than 500 yearsago.
The English language is thepredominant language in the UnitedStates, even today. French is spokenin some parts of Canada while Englishis spoken in other parts. Spanish isspoken in most South American andCaribbean countries.Christianity, the predominant religionof the European countries that settledthe United States, remains a stronginfluence in the lives of many people.
Architecture in the southwestresembles Spanish architecture ofEurope; architecture along theMississippi River resembles Frencharchitecture of Europe.Our diet, today, reflects muchEuropean influence. It includes manywheat products (bread, cake), beefand chicken, all introduced byEuropeans who settled in theAmericas.
When you see signs indicating atown boundary, remember that theconcept of borders and landownership was brought here fromEurope and remains today.The effects of European settlementare still with us today.