Pick one question and respond with researched material using the AIE readings, the course content and the film. What effect did the introduction of smallpox have upon the culture of the New World?

Pick one question and respond with researched material using the AIE readings, the course content and the film.

  1. What effect did the introduction of smallpox have upon the culture of the New World?  Before answering, look at two different viewpoints on the effects of the smallpox epidemic on American Indians to help you answer this question: William J. Bauer and Patrick Spero.
  2. Looking at the  European empires (Spain, France, and England) Explain in detail, how each of the countries and their colonists influenced and changed the tribes they encountered. Your answer should reflect– the  invasion by European Empires on Indian lands and against Native  people, the consequences of the European invasion on Native lifestyle or way of life and the changes in culture, religion, economics and warfare.
  3. How did Native respond to the European’s culture and society? Did they try to co-exist in the New World with the Europeans? Did the tribes change or assimilate to be included in European society?
  4. Discuss the Columbian Exchange’s positive and negative effects on the New World.  What new items were introduced to the American Indians and did they help or hinder progress for the First Nations?
  5. How did Europeans perceive “Indianness” during this early period of contact? Looking at Columbus’s view of the first people compared to the Pilgrims’s perspective of the Native….What issues do historians face when trying to reconstruct histories of early Native American cultures?

Last part: At the end of your post please comment in one paragraph on what you have learned that was new, surprising, and interesting.

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Introduction:

The colonization of America led to a significant change in the lifestyle and culture of the Indigenous people. The introduction of new diseases, warfare, and slavery disrupted their way of life, and they had to adapt to the changes brought by the Europeans. This essay will provide detailed answers to some questions related to the effects of colonization on the Indigenous people of America.

1. What effect did the introduction of smallpox have upon the culture of the New World?

The introduction of smallpox to the New World had a devastating impact on the Indigenous people. The virus spread rapidly, killing thousands of people within a short period. The epidemic caused social and economic disruptions that led to the collapse of some Indigenous communities. According to Bauer, the smallpox epidemic destroyed the Indigenous people’s physical and cultural landscape, and they had to adapt to the new reality brought about by the Europeans. On the other hand, Spero observed that smallpox did not cause cultural changes but instead exposed the vulnerability of the Indigenous communities to new diseases.

2. Looking at the European empires (Spain, France, and England), Explain in detail, how each of the countries and their colonists influenced and changed the tribes they encountered.

The European empires influenced the Indigenous people in various ways. The invasion of their lands and the use of force to subdue them caused immense suffering among the Indigenous communities. Spain, France, and England introduced their cultures, religions, and languages to the Indigenous people, which led to a significant change in their way of life. On the other hand, the colonists also adopted some elements of the Indigenous culture, such as food, clothing, and shelter. The introduction of new farming methods and crops resulted in significant economic changes among the Indigenous people.

3. How did Native respond to the European’s culture and society?

The Indigenous people tried to coexist with the Europeans, but the introduction of new diseases, warfare, and slavery disrupted their efforts. Some tribes resisted the European rule while others tried to adapt to the changes brought by the Europeans. The Indigenous people also adopted elements of the European culture, such as clothing, firearms, and farming methods. However, the Europeans’ dominance often resulted in conflicts and the death of thousands of Indigenous people.

4. Discuss the Columbian Exchange’s positive and negative effects on the New World.

The Columbian Exchange refers to the exchange of goods, diseases, and ideas between the Old World and the New World. The exchange had both positive and negative effects on the Indigenous people. The introduction of new crops such as potatoes, maize, and tomatoes led to significant improvements in the Indigenous people’s diet. However, the exchange also resulted in the introduction of new diseases such as smallpox, measles, and tuberculosis that killed thousands of people. The exchange also caused immense environmental destruction through deforestation, mining, and the introduction of new species.

5. How did Europeans perceive “Indianness” during this early period of contact?

During the early period of contact, Europeans perceived Indianness as primitive and savage. Columbus described the Indigenous people as generous, peaceful, and easy to convert to Christianity. However, as the Europeans continued to colonize America, they perceived the Indigenous people as inferior and uncivilized. The Pilgrims viewed the Indigenous people as heathens and savages who needed to be converted to Christianity. Historians face challenges when trying to reconstruct histories of early Native American cultures because most of the information available was written by the Europeans, who had a biased view of the Indigenous people.

In conclusion, the European colonization of America had a profound impact on the Indigenous people. The introduction of new diseases, warfare, and slavery disrupted their way of life, and they had to adapt to the changes brought by the Europeans. The Columbian Exchange had both positive and negative effects on the Indigenous people, and the Europeans’ perception of Indianness changed over time. What was surprising and interesting was the Europeans’ adaptation of some elements of the Indigenous culture, such as food, clothing, and shelter, which suggests that there was some level of cultural exchange between the two groups despite the conflicts that arose.

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