American West And Brazil, The Term Paper

Length: 10 pages Sources: 10 Subject: Native Americans Type: Term Paper Paper: #61778658 Related Topics: American Population, American Indian Studies, Manifest Destiny, Westward Expansion
Excerpt from Term Paper :

The relationship they had with one another included a fair division of land, and a good balance of trade. Unfortunately, after the settlers learned what they needed from the Native Americans and took what they could from them, they no longer had any use for the proud people whose land they had invaded.

The relationship between the settlers and the Native Americans began to change as settlers learned to do things for themselves, grow their own crops and breed their own animals for food. With the settlers being able to survive on their own, there was no longer any need for the Native Americans to help. The population of settlers was also growing, and new villages were being built on land that used to belong to the Native Americans.

The settlers kept expanding the areas that belonged to them, and this made the areas belonging to the Native Americans smaller and smaller. Most Native American tribes were very peaceful and did not put up much of a fight, which made it much easier for the settlers to spread out. There were some tribes which objected to the taking of their land, but battles were fought and the settlers eventually won, driving the Native Americans on to less and less land.

Native Americans also helped the growth of the colonies.

Some tribes were fierce and tried to eradicate the settlers, but most were friendly. Some of the colonists captured Native Americans to be sent back to the settlers' homeland and sold as slaves. Most of the Native Americans, however, were treated decently as trade increased between them and the settlers. If it was not for the Native Americans, the growth of the colonies and the subsequent population of America might have been quite different. The Native Americans helped the colonists grow food, and they showed them how to survive the first harsh winter, which the colonists were totally unprepared for.

Brazil's Indigenous People

The people of Brazil, the ones that were there first and were indigenous to the area, had comfortable lives that they were used to and had adjusted for. They were content. However, they lived in the rain forests, and those that work in the business world with very little regard for the natural environment determined that some of the rain forest had to be cleared so that the wood could be used and the land could be developed.

It is true that there are some advantages to companies moving into countries and developing them, but there are also downsides to this, most of which are environmental and human in nature. For the indigenous people of Brazil, the costs came in both of those categories. Those that were indigenous to Brazil were from many different groups of different ethnicity that inhabited various areas of the country. They remained there until the 1500s, when Brazil was discovered by Europeans. Most of the indigenous Brazilians hunted, fished, grew crops, and gathered what they needed from the rainforests around them.

It was estimated that, at one time, there were 2000 tribes and nations that belonged to the indigenous people. Most of them died out as a result of the European settlers, and others were simply assimilated into the population of the country at the time. The number of what are termed 'uncontacted peoples' has actually risen in Brazil over the last two years, but this does not mean that the numbers when compared to how many were originally seen are comparable. There are still many, many less tribes and individuals that used to be indigenous to be found in Brazil today.

It was estimated that, when the European settlers appeared, there were approximately four million people in the indigenous population. With European settlements this declined to around 300,000, grouped into 200 tribes. The last census that was taken of contacted people had 700,000 Brazilians claiming that they were indigenous. This shows that these people have rebounded somewhat, but they are clearly nowhere near the levels that they were at when the European settlers first appeared. It is not surprising in a way that this has taken


However, the drastic change in the number of indigenous people in Brazil before and after the European settlers arrived indicates that these people were driven away as opposed to leaving of their own accord and in their own time.

The Portuguese people were the first Europeans to reach the coast of Brazil and they were astounded to find that the country was inhabited by a great many people, all living very comfortably and simply in the natural, environmental riches that they had available to them. These discoverers wrote letters to the King of Portugal describing how beautiful everything was in Brazil, but actually the Europeans and the Brazilian people had many clashes with one another and did not get along that well. Eventually, however, the male Brazilian soldiers began to mingle with the native women and have children with them.

The largest majority of the population was soon made up of these mixed-race individuals, for two reasons. First, because the soldiers bred with the native women at a rapid rate. Second, because the Europeans brought diseases with them that they did not get sick from but that the indigenous Brazilian people had no natural immunity against. Because of this the indigenous people begin dying at a rapid and alarming rate since they were not able to fight off the germs that the settlers brought with them.

In addition to the obvious problems of human suffering that this caused there was another problem created by this. The population of indigenous Brazilians became so low that they could no longer support all of the agriculture and crop-growing that the European settlers had started. Since this was the case, and since the crops had to be taken care of, the European settlers were forced to go to Africa and get black slaves. These slaves were then used in place of the indigenous peoples to prepare crops, harvest them, and perform other agricultural tasks, which allowed the European settlers to continue to grow and prosper as they spread throughout Brazil, unintentionally laying waste to the indigenous people.

As the European settlers continued to inhabit more of Brazil, the Portuguese people were not the only ones that found their way to the coast line and tried to inhabit the land. Settlers from other European countries also made their way to Brazil, intrigued by the reports that they had heard of the beauty of the land. Through the interest of all of these Europeans, Brazil was slowly taken over and inhabited by others that were not indigenous people. As they moved through the country they cut down trees, destroyed wildlife, and disrupted the lives of the Brazilian people, forever changing that country. The way that Brazil is now would likely have been very different had the European settlers not arrived when they did and changed so many things about the country. Much of the beauty of the rainforests and tropical climate has been lost to development and the desire for more timber.

Comparison and Conclusion

As can be seen from the examinations of the Native American population and the indigenous Brazilian population, settlers from other areas caused the problems for both of these groups. This does not mean that the settlers should be condemned, however, because they were doing what they thought was right at the time and they were doing these things for a specific cause. There have been many, many cases throughout history of someone or a group of people doing exactly what they think they should be doing but causing harm to others. Sometimes this is intentional, but overall this is something that just happens as an unfortunate side effect of expansion and growth, both economically and in the population of an area.

Where the Native Americans and the Brazilian indigenous people were concerned it appears that there were both accidental and deliberate problems that were caused by the settlers. Accidental problems include many of the changes that the countries and the people went through when the settlers arrived. Even if the settlers tried to make peace with the indigenous people and become their friends there were still unforeseen issues that took place. The main one of these was the threat of disease. Both the European settlers that went to Brazil and the settlers that arrived in America brought diseases with them that the people in other lands were not used to. Because of this they had no natural immunity to these diseases and suffered from them, many times to the point of death.

This was, of course, regrettable and upsetting, but there was little that could be done about it once it began to happen. The Native Americans and the indigenous Brazilian people simply had to build up an…

Sources Used in Documents:


An Outline of American History. 2002. From Revolution to Reconstruction.

This Web site gives a timeline and outline of many of the things that took place throughout the history of the United States and ensures that individuals who are studying history are aware of the good and the bad that occurred.

Foreigners in our own country: Indigenous peoples in Brazil. 2005. Amnesty International.

Brazilians are struggling today because they are still losing land to foreign development. Because of that they are being forced to move into smaller and smaller areas and their resources are diminishing.
Indigenous peoples in Brazil. n.d. Instituto Socioambiental.
Manifest Destiny. 2003. Darien.k12.
Manifest Destiny. 2000. The Britannica Concise.
Nineteenth Century History Wall. 2003. Museum of Westward Expansion
Norton, Charles. 1998. Frontiers in History. Lewis&ClarkTrail
Osava, Mario. 2006. Brazil: Indigenous people fight for their rights. CorpWatch.
Veltman, Kim H. 2002. Why culture is important. Sumscorp.

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