Colonization Of The New Continent

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Colonization of the new continent began as an attempt to build an upstanding Christian society that led to the destruction of many thriving Native American societies, rationalized by what seemed like religious significance. To illustrate the religious factors that led to conflicts between the early Euro-American settlers and the Native Americans I will focus on the Puritans that settled in what is known as Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, that was home to various native groups. To understand why there was so much conflict between the settlers and the natives, it is important to grasp how different both cultures were when it came to customs of living, war, and especially religion. Long before the arrival of European settlers,…show more content…
It was custom to destroy all the belongings of someone who died. (Mooney) Since Native Americans were part of a collectivist culture, the idea of private property was not a concept they were aware of (John Alexander). The Natives often lived in tribal confederacies with a chief. This chief would govern the group along with subordinate helpers who were in charge of smaller groups. Even though the chief positions were hereditary, unlike European Kings, Indian chiefs could only become leaders when they earned public respect. The chiefs were in charge of leading negotiations, hosting guests, and dealing with other leaders in respect to allocated land. The customs that Native Americans had are an important factor that led to conflict between them and the European settlers because the settlers did not really understand the function of the chiefs, most importantly regarding land. Although European settlers introduced the natives to new technologies, they also unintentionally exposed them to pathogens they did not have immunity against. These foreign diseases decimated large portions of the Native American population. In addition to these diseases and technologies, English Settlers also brought a new culture. Naturally, the individualistic culture of the English Settlers and the collectivist culture of the Native Americans differed drastically and were bound to clash. Rituals played a very important
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