Since 1492, when Christopher Columbus first set foot on the coast of the “Golden country” America, it seems as though Native Americans (Indians) have been suppressed by the “superior” white men. The ravaging white men brought new diseases as chicken pox, measles and small pox to the untouched country of the Native Americans. Diseases like these were harmless to the newly inhabited British and other Europeans, but to the Native Americans they were deadly and caused many deaths.
It is said that by 1550 it was only 500 remaining of the Taino tribe; their population consisted of 250 thousand to 1million in the year 1492! Also, many historians believe that 80% of all the Native Americans have died because of the new diseases. This is because explorations made by the British and Europeans often spread sickness around to the Native Americans’ villages and sometimes it even killed a village’s whole population.
There’s also been a lot of discriminating against the Native Americans like the Spanish prohibiting the Pueblos’, in New Mexico, religion and beliefs. The Pueblos was forced to labour on the Spaniards’ farms, though the Spanish brought new farming tools, technology and protection against the two tribes, Navajo and Apache, to the Pueblos.
At first they had good relations, but by the year 1670 famine and more attacks by the Navajo and Apache, caused by a drought that struck the Pueblos, incapacitated the Pueblos. The Spanish were not capable of holding of the attacks against the Pueblos, this causing a revolt in 1680 (spoken of before, the Pueblos were also struck by diseases caused by the Europeans). This example was mostly the situation of all the other Native American tribes in America. On the other hand, however, Europeans brought technology, tools, resources and smart minds that could develop solutions to the extraction of gold from the gold minds, fishing, industry and revolutionary colonisation of the now mighty America. So was it really that bad that Europeans came to America and colonized? Are the Indians complaining too much about the white people coming to their country and taking their land? What about today’s Native Americans; Are they lazy and do they live on social security as stated in the text concerning this task?
This we will further look into.
“To be, or not to be. That is the question”, a wise man once wrote. Well, America would probably not have been as it is today if Christopher Columbus hadn’t discovered it as early as he did because America would then be developed at a far later stage. This probably would result in America just to be an ordinary country, and not the superpower as we know it today.
Of course, the Europeans had no right at all to invade the Native Americans’ country and take it over. They should rather have tried to act as guests and bring technology and development in a more friendly way. Though this would be the only case of a country helping another to develop before the 1850s (maybe we should even say 1950s as this was 5 years after WW2 and countries helped each other getting back on their feet).
We can compare the colonisation of America and the suppression of the Native Americans with the Jews and World War 2 (WW2) (though WW2 was a lot more harsh and cruel); The Nazis had no right at all to kill the Jews, though WW2 resulted in a revolution in technology. Both conflicts have the question: “Death and suppression or development?” This is a personal question all should ask themselves, and I will show you what I mean: Would you like to have an America consisting of happy Native Americans and not that harsh and cruel history we have today? Or do you want to have the America we know today, with struggling Native Americans and heartbreaking and tear-falling history? This points us to the next question: Are the Indians complaining too much about the white people coming to their country and taking their land?
The Europeans and Americans have taken a lot away from the Native Americans; this is what we call stealing. Have anyone ever stolen something from you? No one has ever stolen from me, though I would get pretty angry if it ever happened. On top of this most of the Europeans said that the Native Americans were not allowed to believe in their religion. As said before, the Pueblo tribe revolted against the suppression like many other tribes… who wouldn’t? But our question is regarding our today’s Native Americans. Some would say it’s a bit old now for the Native Americans to look back at their history and complain about the white people taking their country and land. On the contrary of this we can say that military defeat, cultural pressure, confinement on reservations, forced cultural assimilation, outlawing of native languages and culture, termination policies of the 1950s and 1960s and earlier, slavery, and poverty have had negative effects on Native Americans’ mental and physical health.
After such a history most would complain and be mad, maybe not at the people responsible, but just purely and simply mad. Many Native Americans feel the suppression today too, this makes them think about their ancestors struggle to survive and they start to complain, because it’s basically not much else they can do.
Maybe they are mad because of the fact that they are living with people who have been incredibly cruel to them and stole from them?
Native Americans have 563 federally recognized tribal governments in America. These governments have their own laws, own taxes, the right to establish membership, the right to license and regulate activities, the right to zone and to exclude persons from tribal territories etc. Though if you want your tribe to have a government like this you have to go trough a massive and thorough DNA-investigation to show that all in the tribe are thoroughbred Native Americans. Ironically eight of ten Native Americans are of mixed blood. So as you can see, most of the 2,786,652 Native Americans in America struggle to get an own government and that probably because white men raped Native American women in “the old days”. Wow, how fun! Well, probably for the white people as they seem racist, but not that fun for the Native Americans. Of course it’s your own choice if you want to say that the Native Americans complain too much, but you have to remember what they have been through (though this may be a little old) and their current situation. Our next question reflects a little bit upon this section: What about today’s Native Americans; Are they lazy and do they live on social security as stated in the text concerning this task?
Many Native Americans, especially men, get stereotyped as alcoholics. This is in fact quite true and I could back this up because I’ve been in the US and seen the Natives. Nearly all of the men I saw were drinking or drunk. I also spoke to a Native woman who said they have a lot of Native men with drinking problems.
By this, many of the Natives get lazy and live on social security, though much of this is caused by the U.S government itself; As recent as the 1970s, the Bureau of Indian Affairs was still actively pursuing a policy of "assimilation", dating at least to the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924. The goal of assimilation was to eliminate the reservations and steer Native Americans into mainstream U.S. culture. This is just one way the Native Americans have been suppressed, they can feel worthless and worthlessness is followed by social and physical sicknesses like alcoholism. Maybe many of the Native Americans just don’t care, or they feel that they have the right to live on social security because the U.S government owes them something? Maybe Native Americans can’t get jobs because of racism? This is also a pretty personal question you have to ask yourself before you outburst and say that Native Americans just don’t work; there is probably more behind it all.
Native Americans have a very bad and cruel history, like Europeans coming to their land and spreading diseases resulting in the death of 80% of the Native Americans in under 60 years. Nowadays, Native Americans struggle to get their own laws because of earlier history and events, many can’t get jobs because of alcohol problems and/or racism and they struggle to keep their original religion. Europeans have literally destroyed most of the Native Americans too, and they are just a small percentage of the population (2,786,652).
Every accomplishment requires a sacrifice and in the development of America many Native Americans has been sacrificed and they have been torn away from most of their beliefs because of laws made by the Americans. The final question is as simple as: “To be, or not to be?”