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Early European Exploration Essay

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Early European Exploration

European explorers first landed on the shores of what would later become North America more than 500 years ago. Not long after the first explorers had entered the "New World" they found out that they were not alone on this new frontier. Their neighbors in this new land were the Native Americans who had been there for centuries, virtually unaware of life outside the continent. Thus began an inconsistent and often times unstable relationship between the European settlers and the North American Indians. Two nations who had particularly interesting relationships with the Native Americans were the British and the French, both of whom took different approaches to their relations with the Indians economically as well as culturally. Neither nation had complete trust for the Indians, nor did the Indians ever completely trust the men who arrived on "floating islands with many tall trees". Nonetheless, they did interact with one another in their daily lives. Both economically and culturally the French and British went about their interactions with the Native Americans differently. Through first hand writings and documents as well as observations by historians, it is evident that the British and French interacted with the Indians of North America in different ways.
In the early beginnings of exploration, both the British and French had relatively good relationships with the Indians because of the economic success that came with simple cooperation. The fur trade with the Native Americans quickly proved successful because of the outrageously high prices it could be sold for in Europe. Years later the economic goals shifted and so did relations with the Native Americans. The French, headed by Samuel de Champlain, ...


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...ntually evolved, as the colonies grew, into the highly-conflicted relationships between the two groups in later decades and centuries.
Both the nations of France and Britain invested countless amounts of time, money and men into the colonization of the new world. And because of this, both France and Britain did receive the benefits that North America had to offer. In both cases, had the American Indians simply not been there when the first explorers arrived, the history of this continent, and this nation would have been drastically different. The ways the British and the French went about living on the same lands as the Native Americans were so different that they can, in some ways, be considered opposite. Even so they both proved successful in settling land and forming the beginnings of what later would become the present-day nations of Canada and the United States.


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