Essay on The Settlement of America and Attitudes Toward Native Americans

Essay on The Settlement of America and Attitudes Toward Native Americans

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The Settlement of America and Attitudes Toward Native Americans


Indians were first introduced to Europeans in the late fifteenth century. The Native Americans were referred to as the "noble redman" at the time. The Native Americans were very helpful to the Europeans and they guided them around what is now America. The Europeans became very curious of this "new land" and they began to settle it. The settlement of America brought conflict and disease to the Native Americans. Conflict over land ownership soon became a problem and there were harmful side effects. Perhaps one of the most harmful side effects was the proverbial slurs and attitudes towards the Native Americans. These vulgar comments and attitudes made back at the beginning of the coexistence of the Native Americans and the Europeans are found amongst us still today. The early concepts of the "good Indian" or "noble savage" quickly were replaced by reducing the native inhabitants to "wild savages" who were standing in the way of expansion under the motto of "manifest destiny." Proverbial invectives have been hurled against the Native Americans ever since Christopher Columbus and later explorers, settlers, and immigrants set foot on the American continent. The Native Americans suffered terribly in the name of expansion and progress. Native Americans were deprived of the homeland, killed mercilessly or placed on reservations. On these reservations the Native Americans were forced to assimilate the rules and lifestyle of the white conquerors and settlers or die. In essence, Native Americans had to give up their identity or be killed (Mieder). Few can comprehend the tragedy inflicted upon Native Americans. During the 1850's the government negotiated a series of treaties ...


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...rs date back to the beginning of our interaction with Native Americans. Some of our proverbial slurs towards other minorities are actually taken from those that originated towards the Native Americans. The current attitudes of people toward Native Americans are similar to those prior to the twentieth century. The contents of the verbal assaults and writings of Americans towards Native Americans have changed very little since our first encounter with the "noble redman". The negative feelings towards Native Americans are still visible.

Works Cited

Hoggatt, Stan. "A Few Great Men--Chief Plenty Coups: Transitional Period" <http:// www.nezperce.com/>. 1997.

Mieder, Wolfgang. "The Only Good Indian Is A Dead Indian" History and Meaning of a Proverbial Stereotype. De Proverbio. Vol.1. No. 1. <http://www.deproverbio.com/Dpjournal/DP,1,1,95/INDIAN.html>. 1995.

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