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Native Reactions to the Invasion of America

Christopher Columbus’s discovery of North America in 1492 was mutual: the native Indians observed Spanish sailors as mindfully as the sailors observed them. Indians spend most time of colonization reacting and responding to the European invaders’ acts. The main goal of the colonists was to make Indians similar, predictable and controlled. There were several basic ways of native dwellers to resist. First, they tried to incorporate the newcomers. This peaceful period was devoted to acceptance of strangers by sharing culture, language and food, offering help, support and friendship. Yet colonists often insulted and injured Indians, by kidnapping or shanghaiing, the natives were forced to come to the strategy of beating the intruders. Europeans brought with them new diseases, for which Indians had no immunity and remedies. Illnesses brought depopulation and forced tribes to abandon their native lands. The next strategy was to join Europeans. The Indians were trying to join European economy, military and religion. Over time Indians faced new predicaments: the dependence on European manufacturing, distribution and the credit system. Thus, they searched the support of the colonists, sell them their lands and went work for the colonies’ economy, making one more step from their autonomy. Their next reaction to the invasion was to copy Europeans. They saw perfectly well that colonists were ahead in many spheres. Thus, living their way and getting their knowledge would give Indians advantages. Often they used new skills against the intruders. Sooner or later, all mighty tribes were defeated. The last strategy – avoiding colonists and revitalization of Indian culture - was used. Nevertheless, nowadays native Indians managed to create their own fashioned world to live.

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