The Upper Rio Grande

Powerful Essays
The Upper Rio Grande

Change is an unavoidable part of life. For some, change can bring promise and a new beginning. For others, change disrupts what is routine and normal and makes what is new seem strange and unfamiliar. The history of North America has been shaped by change ever since Columbus first discovered the continent in 1492. With that discovery, the continent would never be the same again. More specifically, the Native American tribes who first inhabited this continent would never be the same.

Over the years the Native Americans would see new explorers and missionaries take over the land that was once theirs and claim it for another country. The traditions, customs, and culture of these Native Americans inevitably changed due to the foreign presence. One tribe in particular, the Pueblo Indians of the Upper Rio Grande River, survived this change and still thrives in what is now present-day New Mexico. In fact, the Pueblo culture is recognized as one of North America’s oldest. It comes as no surprise that the Pueblo culture survived due to learning to deal effectively with change, even when that change was forced upon them.

When European settlers came into the Upper Rio Grande River area, they disturbed the sanctity of the Pueblo Indians’ way of life. As a result of such change being forced upon the Indians, the area they inhabited became one the most conflicting regions during the settlement of the New World. This paper will take a closer look at the origins of this conflict in relation to the differing lifestyles and cultures of the Spanish settlers and the Pueblo Indians. The attitude of the Spanish settlers as they claimed land that was already occupied will be discussed, including their use of superi...

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