The New World: A Clash of Cultures

1571 Words Jun 25th, 2018 7 Pages
The New World: A Clash of Cultures.
It all started with the Scandinavians who discovered native peoples in North America around A.D. 1000. Short lived as their stay was, this would be the beginning of a very violent and dangerous path for the Native American people. Spain, France, and England would follow the Vikings lead nearly 500 years later and the clash of cultures began. America was appealing to these European nations because of the desire to expand their countries power, the natural resources this "new world" offered and for some, religious freedom. The Europeans brought with them livestock, plant life, disease, and often times an attitude of superiority to these "primitive" native peoples. All of the aforementioned would forever
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The livestock that included horses, cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs were changing the ecology and landscape as well. The livestock were loosed to graze on grasses; they trampled the grass, which destroyed the land as well as the inland native peoples crops. Pigs were destroying the clam and mussel banks that the coastal Indians relied upon as part of their diet (Calloway, 2012, p. 83). The whole environment was changing. Where the Indians showed stewardship of the land, the Europeans ravished the land and consequently destroyed the Indian's way of life. The Europeans put forth a very clear message that there was no room for the Indian's way of life. Their way was much more "civilized" and the Indians would have to submit or be ravished just as the land was. The Europeans were taking the native peoples land and ultimately their freedom.
The Spaniards had very specific plans of taking the land and making the Indians their subjects. The goal was gold and God. The Spanish invaders came equipped with a document, which by Spanish law required them to read it to the Indians informing them of the expectations of Spain. The document titled, "Requerimiento", which was read to the native peoples in Spanish. This document required the Indians to acknowledge that the church is the ruler of the land, the pope as high priest, and the king and queen of Spain as lords of their land. If the Indians accepted this,
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