Racism and The Cherokee

2633 Words6 Pages

Christopher Columbus “discovered” America in 1492. His discovery happened when Europe and its growing states were ready, both technologically and financially, to explore the world in order to settle trade relationships and colonies. Mercantilism, which is an economic system that measure the wealth of country by the amount of precious metal (ex: gold) which it possessed, drove the policies of expansion of many European countries such as Portugal, Spain, England or France. For instance, England began the European colonization of America through a joint stock company, the Virginia Company, in Chesapeake. However, the colonization of America by Europeans had serious side effects for local populations. These populations historically came from Asia, and millions of people - estimations vary between 10 million people and 50 million people - formed them before the first contacts between Native Americans and Europeans. These local populations had been living in North as well as in South America for millenniums, but the arrival of Europeans changed everything. Europeans brought many diseases from Europe and Africa such as the smallpox, the yellow fever, the malaria or the typhus that resulted in the death of many Native Americans, who were not immunized against these unknown diseases. Colonization also resulted in dramatic environmental changes for local populations that resulted in a shift of values, customs and relationships between and within American Indian tribes. These brutal changes led many tribes to incomprehension. They did not understand why the white people were destroying the environment on which they relied to live. This situation engendered many wars between Native Americans and European colonizers (in North America, but also...

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