After the successful voyages of Columbus, Spain authorized “Rodrigo de Bastides” to explore America’s undiscovered land. With European trinkets’ trade in exchange for gold, pearls, and other indigenous items, Bastides also bought Native American slaves. Later, valuable goods and trade items were not freely posseted by the natives resulting in violence and slavery, ensuring the high demand for slaves as marketable goods.
Christopher Columbus’ landing in the Caribbean in 1492 gave way to the English Settlers, who later called it the ‘New World’. When Columbus arrived, he found a land inhibiting around two million people. He thought the people of this place are ‘Indians’ by misjudging the land as the new route towards the east. Europeans started settling in this land by making their colonies, having the majority of English explorers in North America and Spanish and Portuguese in the southern. The first English explorer, John Cabot, arrived in 1497, five years after Columbus’ voyage. In the start, the natives Americans and English settlers in the New England territories had a mutual relationship based on trade. Later, disease and other conflicts between the different tribes led to the deterioration of their relationship resulting in American Indian wars.
The Europeans had brought various trinkets such as glass beads and small brass bells for trade in exchange for goods like parrots, cotton, and spears. The lack of understanding of Europeans weaponry and their different appearance, often termed by English people themselves as civilized, made Columbus report back home that they “would make fine servants” and that “with fifty men we could subjugate them all.”
The natives were also curious and fascinated by the Europeans and found them dirty and shabby for not caring about their food and hygiene, contrary to the common self-created belief of English people finding themselves like gods. Natives took an interest in the selective goods like metal tools, weapons, and cloth that seemed most useful to them, but they were not interested in technology as they were not aware of their weapons. European people described the natives as savage and barbaric repeatedly, consequently made the natives developing their tantamount opinion about them.
After the successful voyages of Columbus, Spain authorized “Rodrigo de Bastides” to explore America’s undiscovered land. With European trinkets’ trade in exchange for gold, pearls, and other indigenous items, Bastides also bought Native American slaves. Later, valuable goods and trade items were not freely posseted by the natives resulting in violence and slavery, ensuring the high demand for slaves as marketable goods. However, if the natives Americans’ were not deprived of their freedom and trade rights, their relationship could have remained peaceful. The Portuguese also traded the “Brazilwood” peacefully with the various native groups, and until their colonization effort in 1531, the French frequently visited and used the Brazil coast. British and French claim West Virginia’s land and forced the natives to move toward the west by destroying many tribes resulting in catastrophic war and bloodshed. The fur trade was their tool and trump card against the Europeans that made the tribes powerful. Different tribes fought against each other and allied with the opposed European powers. “Pequot war” was opposed by the Pequot people in 1636-37 against the other tribes allied with English settlers in an attempt to conquer them. The primary cause of this war was the control of the trade of fur and wampum. It was a brutal and ruthless war and considered the first continued conflict between Native Americans and Europeans.
To conclude, the first contact and relationship between Europeans and Native Americas were not as rigid as it may seem. As time went by, their relation’s status became complicated and varied; however, they cannot be seen as inflexible and monolithic. Whenever trades happen in any society, the absence and reduction of the indigenous societies’ goods and commodities can become the reason for their conflict and often led to violence and slavery; the same thing happened with Native Americans as well when they were deprived of their own commodities. Since its inception, this way of life is being practiced by many civilizations and is still the consequential reason for poverty in third-world countries.