The Effect Of Europeans On Ame Essay

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The Effect Of Europeans On Ame Essay, Research Paper The Europeans that settled in America changed the lives of the Indians, slowly robbing them of their culture. The future of the Indians was changed drastically as their children, their income off the land and their spiritual bonds with the land were interfered by the Europeans. The Europeans, in trying to create a white society out of the Indians, stole from them what made them unique as a civilization. The Indians children were affected more than any other generation by the coming of the Europeans. Their whole family structure changed in the short period while the Europeans took over, and gradually the children lost all they ever knew. Indian children were brought up learning the skills they would need as adults. A great

importance was placed in training boys to become warriors and teaching them skills such as running, swimming, jumping, building stamina and strength and archery. Girls would stay with their mothers until they were eight and then live with their grandmother, who was considered their most dignified protector. She would take over and teach the girl skills such as weaving, molding clay and domestic skills Indian children were as free as the animals that roamed the forest around them. Young boys were encouraged by elders to engage in sports Girls busied themselves imitating their mothers. Life of a Shawnee, W.C.Mundell With the arrival of the Europeans, Indian children lost their upbringing, their culture and gradually, their self-esteem. The government attempted to civilise the

Indian children and many were sent or forcibly taken to boarding schools, often not situated on the reservations. The children were separated from their families, their mentors. Their clothing was missionary style dresses for the girls, knickers and trousers for the boys. The children weren t allowed to speak their native tongue. The family structure collapsed as the fathers died and many women were widowed. This left them in a hopeless position as polygamy was outlawed and they had no one to hunt for them. Families were forced to adopt surnames, a practice which confused many. All these structural changes to the family and also the upbringing of the children only increased the sense of separation between them and their culture. Indian children became distanced from their

heritage as Europeans tried to install in them the white culture. As white settlement moved over America, Indians were forced off their land and onto poor quality substitutes, reservations. The Cherokees had two years in which they could move onto a reservation after which they would be forcibly removed. Land for the Indians wasn t a possession How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? Chief Seattle To the Indians the land held spiritual connections and memories We are the ones that live closest to Mother Earth. We live with it, we experience it, with our hearts and souls and we depend upon it. When this Earth starts to be destroyed we feel it Caleb Pungowiyi. Yupik When the Europeans started to build and expand settlements with railroads across the Plains and

large cities, the Indians could feel as well as see the destruction to nature. The reservations that the Indians moved onto were poor quality. Europeans tried to teach the Indians agriculture but, being nomadic, they resisted. As the buffalo numbers slowly dropped, the Indian economy collapsed. Native crafts declined as European utensils such as metal products and cloth were introduced. The Indians lost their land and sustenance due to the drastic changes imposed by the Europeans. The principle ceremonies of the Indians had direct relations to the life cycle. The Indians placed special importance on their rituals, some which could last for weeks. All of the tribes had Medicine Men or Shamans who had great spiritual responsibilities within the tribe. When the Europeans came they