Conflicts Between Colonists and Indians Essay

Conflicts Between Colonists and Indians Essay

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In many situations, introducing a new party into a land that was formerly inhabited and assimilated by another party with completely different societal, political and cultural values results in a lengthy period of transition and conflict due to misunderstanding. Colonization and the interactions between colonists and Indians during the early stages of settlement in the New World was certainly no exception. Although European societies and political structures were hierarchical and left less to the impoverished members of society, Indian societies and political structures were not as patriarchal and featured communal cooperation. Culturally speaking, Europeans were more fragmented and hierarchical but less ritualistic in religious practices than were Indians. With these innumerable differences and struggles to communicate with not only the European settlers but also with each other, it is no surprise that the Indians fell at the hands of the English in King Philip’s War.
One reason for the lack of communication and cooperation between different groups of Native Americans was the instituted political system. The Indian political system was broken up into three main levels. These “three levels of social connections” (5) were clans, villages and tribes. Clans were led by their eldest members, villages were ran by sachems who referred to the counsel of elders and communal approval and tribes were headed by one or more sachems who were advised by clan and village members in order to act according to community compromise. In the Native American political system men and women were both permitted to serve as sachems and provide political guidance on important communal issues. Although this system tended to promote unity within individual ...

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...American societies were forced to create new civilizations from the remnants of the old societies. (17) Rebuilding entire tribes and Native civilizations took mad work and as it drained Native manpower, it also subtracted the amount of available time and resources put towards the war effort [King Philip’s War].
There was not just one distinct factor that led to the defeat of the Native American forces in King Philip’s War. Instead, a combination of internal and external conflicts that severely weakened Indians led to their eventual demise. Whether these factors were of a political, social, cultural or even medical nature, they still played a large part in hindering the Indian resistance against the European settlers. Perhaps without the myriad internal struggles faced by the Native Americans at the time of King Philip’s War, the outcome may have proved different.

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