Changes in the Land: Europeans and Native Americans in Colonial Times Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

interactions of the Europeans and the Native Americans during the days of the colonists. In addition the author looks at Natice American lifestyles and traditions that have survived the building of America and still exist today. There was one source used to complete this paper.

Then and Now

Students throughout the nation, study the beginning effects of the Europeans arriving on American soil and the reactions both to and of the Native Americans who had already been here for many years (Cronon, 1984). However, after the land dividing was over, and the native Americans and the Europeans began to live as peacefully as could be expected considering the circumstances, that is where most studies stop. Following the initial period however, there was a transitional period that occurred between the Native Americans and the European colonists that is a vital part of our land's history. William Cronon detailed this transition in his book; Changes in the Land Indians Colonists and the Ecology of New England (Cronon, 1984).

Between 1600 and 1800 many changes took place in the land of America. Until then the Native Americans had lived here alone and they had used the land to the best of their ability. Because of their beliefs however, they usually avoided anything that would be permanently damaging or that would permanently alter the land itself. Once the European colonists arrived things began to change as buildings went up, homesteads were claimed and other changes took place. The Europeans were not destructive by nature. It was that they failed to understand the way the ecosystem worked while the Native Americans understood it. The Native Americans had a better grasp on the system of Mother Earth however they became willing participants in many of the land trade deals that hurt the eco system in the…

Sources Used in Document:

"The shift from Indian to European dominance in New England entailed important changes (Cronon, 1986)." Because of the way the Europeans settled in the animal and plant population were negatively affected. Before the colonists arrived the Native Americans would hunt and work one area, then move on to another area. This gave areas they left a chance to re-grow and repopulate for future use. The colonists moved here and stayed in one place. In time they depleted much of the animal and plant life that had been a natural part of the eco system. This caused them to have to change the way things were done and to grow new food and raise new animals. Instead of letting the natural system take its course as the Native Americans had always done, the colonists took over the course and force fed it. This set the pattern that we still live with today.

The Native Americans took part in the destruction of the eco system as well. They were intrigued with metal and the utensils that were made with metal so they killed more animals than they would normally have killed for the ability to trade. All in all both sides contributed to the change in the system and the changes that caused to the land.

Few Native American traditions pertaining to the land have survived the years. However, the idea of planting in one area, then moving to another and letting the first area regain its health has been adopted by farmers all over the nation. The changes that were forced upon our lands set in motion a system that we are bound by today. But along the way we did adopt some of the Native American elements of respecting the land and the Native Americans adopted some of the European ways of settling in one place.

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