Culture Conflicts: Native Americans versus the White Man

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People had already been living in the America long before the white man ever “discovered” it. These people were known as the Native Americans. They had lived peacefully on the land, for hundred of years till the early 1800s when white settlers began their move towards the West. As these white settler came upon the Native Americans they brought with them unwavering beliefs that would end up causing great conflicts with the Native people, who had their own way set of values. It was clear that the white man and the Native Americans could not live among each other peacefully for their values and culture were much too different. The Native Americans who occupied America before any white settlers ever reached the shores “covered the land as the waves of a wind-ruffled sea cover its shell paved floor” (1). These Native people were one with nature and the Great Spirit was all around them. They were accustom to their way of life and lived peacefully. All they wish was to live on their land and continue the traditions of their people. When the white settler came upon their land the values of the Native people were challenged, for the white settlers had nothing in common and believe that it was their duty to assimilate the Native Americans to the white way of life. However the Native Americans strongly regarded their way of live. In their culture the order of nature, was vastly important. It was understood that there was an order to which nature worked and because of this they were tied to the land. They could not comprehend how the whites could “wander far from the graves of [their] ancestors and seemingly without regret” (Chief Joseph 2). The white settlers came to America and immediately started to conquer the land, without feeling any shame. To the Native Americans that was shocking, for they believed that “even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead...[had] memories of stirring events connected with the lives of [their] people” (Chief Joseph 3). They did not understand how someone could forget their ancestors, and fight nature in such a way that there is room for nobody but themselves. All the same though the white settlers could not see that what they were doing as wrong. They had come to the West to begin a new chapter in life, and if the Native Americans could not accept this, then they had to be dealt with.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the native americans had lived peacefully on the land for hundreds of years until the early 1800s when white settlers began their move towards the west.
  • Explains that the native americans who occupied america before any white settlers reached the shores covered the land as the waves of a wind-ruffled sea covered its shell paved floor.
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