How did Native responses to European activities affect the direction that colonies took?
In 1585, Richard Hakluyt guaranteed that the economic potential of the North America is strong enough to provide the basis for the creation of a grand English commercial empire. He assured that the colonization by Englishmen would open profitable and productive new American markets. The next 178 years proved really beneficial for the Native Americans and settlers who transformed North America into a central part of the British North Atlantic commercial system. The businesses flourished and made an intense impact on the fiscal life of the Native Americans who started to import European goods that displaced "traditional tools, weapons, utensils, apparel, and ornamentation" (Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History 2000). Everything related to the Native American life altered when they started trading with Europeans. It not only disordered and transformed the patterns of traditional trading but the natural environment also got strained due to over-hunting and over-trapping. It changed the clothing, cooking, cultivating and hunting styles of the American Indians (Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History 2000).
Due to the colder northern climate, it was not possible for the farmers to cultivate the English staple crops. However, the land was fertile enough to support traditional English farming methods. By 1650, the English colonies generated commercial output that was large enough to improve the status of many English planters and the Dutch merchants. These planters and merchants transported tobacco and sugar from the markets of English West India and Chesapeake to the ports of Europe. In 1660, Charles II was restored to the throne of England. It was at that time that the Parliament and royal officials set out to construct a policy of colonial commerce that was to favor English merchants and shippers and slice the Dutch away of Anglo-American trade (Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History 2000).
During the earlier period of the 18th century, the economic condition of the colonies prospered slowly but gradually. With the market roads' construction river channels' clearing, the imported English goods began to occupy more and more space within the colonies. The colonial appetite for imports, however, proved chronic. It caused an unremitting trade disproportion and one-sidedness between the colonies and England. Consequently, the hard currency from the colonies depleted in a perpetual manner. On the other hand, the Anglo-American colonists started to portray themselves as British Americans as the consumption of British goods grew and gave way to camaraderie of tastes, experiences, and identity (Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History 2000).
2. What role is history playing in settling contemporary lawsuits regarding Native Americans?
Native Americans are among the many minorities and their movement for civil rights started right after the arrival of the Europeans in the Western Hemisphere. After the United States' establishment, this minority group was denied its basic civil rights for several years. History reveals that the American Indians, though did not fight for their civil rights, but have taken commendable measures to achieve equal rights (Sale 1995).
Native Americans are not only the citizens of their tribal nations but they also hold the citizen ship of the United States. Their tribal nations are signified as 'domestic dependent nations' under U.S. law. They are granted rights both by the tribal sovereignty and the U.S. government and this creates a lot of tension. Their Dual Citizenship still creates tension within the U.S. colonial context. However, matters were more serious when they were not granted U.S. citizenship in 1924 (Sale 1995).
In 1968, the Indian Bill of Rights (Indian Civil Rights Act) was passed that guaranteed a number of civil rights to the Native Americans they had been fighting for since a very long time. It granted them the "right to free speech, press, and assembly" along with the "protection from unreasonable search and seizure" (as qtd. In Sale 1995). It also granted a Native American criminal defendant the right "to a speedy trial, to be advised of the charges, and to confront any adverse witnesses" (Sale 1995). Other rights include protection against self-incrimination and harsh and unusual punishment and equal protection under the law (Sale 1995).
There are many other civil rights for which the Native Americans fought and at last gained including rights to sovereignty, hunting, fishing, voting, and traveling. Thus, the history has played a significant role in settling the contemporary lawsuits concerning the Native Americans. This fight for civil rights has surely been a…