The Colonisation of the U.S.A and its effects on the Native Indians

Background Info


The story begins twenty thousand years ago when a great bridge connected two great land masses. This bridge was a land bridge that connected Asia and North America. The wandering nomads crossed into America and went south. They separated into seven main different tribes. It is approximated that before the Settlers came, there were 10-90 million native Indians. Some were wandering nomads, some were fisherman, some were hunters and others were farmers. Yet they are called Indians, the name came about as a misconception when Columbus thought he was in South-Asia and thought they were Indians, also hence the Indies in the Caribbean.


How America was colonised


The Europeans landed on the shore of America on the 3rd of August, 1492. A few years later the Spanish and Portuguese also settled. The colonies mainly all started with peace and trading with the native Indians. But as the Europeans started to take more and more land the Indians started fighting back. The first strike was at Jamestown. Peace continued right round the early settlements. However ancient rivalries between tribes were escalated with the use of guns. The guns were obtained through trading with the Europeans, they also traded alcohol… that was not a good idea…alcohol and guns...
At first they were treated like neighbouring settlements with trading and communication. But with the outbreak of many conflicts over land, many Indians were defeated and some were forced into slavery. To attempt to stop the fights, the Great Plains was given to the Indians and all the Indians on the East coast were moved into the central area of America.


The Impact on the Indians


The impact upon the Indians was large! Up to 80% of them died from disease, namely chicken pox, measles and smallpox. The Indians who lived on the East coast when the Europeans first came had to be moved so they lost all their homes and lands. Eventually the Americans gave the Indians the choice of assimilation but trying to leave ancestry proved to difficult as many of them were nomads so settling down was hard. The Indians were forced onto reserves because the Americans wanted more land. The only real benefit for the Indians was that horses were re-introduced into America; it is ironic because the horses originally evolved there but were wiped out during the last ice-age. They got re-introduced when some of the horses broke free and became wild. The Indians tamed these and used them against the Americans in raids and attacks. Since the Indians were forcefully removed from their land, they started attacking the American settlements in large organised attacks. The last major battle was the battle of Little Big Horn. After the defeat of General Custer, the general populace were stunned and thought to crush the Plains Indians once and for all, this is what pretty much happened. The Indians were slowed being wiped out and soon they gave up hope and the Americans were given rights to take all the land and the surviving Indians were integrated into the American way of life.


The Indian’s position today


The native Indian’s in today’s society are extremely proud of their heritage and have all the rights, if not more rights than normal Americans. There are approximately one million Indians around today, it may not seem like many but compared to 1900 when there was only 300,000 of them, it is a great step in their recovery. But we cannot forget the impact on their ancient civilisation that the Europeans made.

Blibliography


"Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia." Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2010. <http://school.eb.com.au/all/comptons/article-9275046?query=american%20indians&ct=>.
Rees, Rosemary, and Sue Styles. The Plains Indians. Singapore: Longman Group UK Ltd., 1993. Print.

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