The indigenous people of North America and Europe are both very different cultures with very different beliefs and ideas. As the Europeans began to colonize North America, these differences between these cultures really impacted the events of this time. The most important difference is the ideas on land use and ownership. Other important differences include religion and the ideas of gender roles.
The biggest difference between of the Native Americans and the European immigrants is the issue of land use and ownership. Native Americans believed that land was sacred, and that nature needed to be cared for. They also did not value land ownership, all of the tribes land and belongings were shared. The idea of ownership here was not commonly used. On the other end of the spectrum, the Europeans had beliefs very different from the Native Americans. One of the main reasons the Europeans came to the New World in the first place was to become wealthy! To the Europeans at the time, land ownership meant freedom, wealth and a higher social status. Land was passed down from generation to generation. Because of this, the Europeans and the Native Americans ideology on land use and ownership created quite a culture clash that we still see remnants of today.
Another difference between the Native American culture and the Europeans was the religion of these two cultures. Europeans were predominantly Christian, while the natives believed in numerous spirits and Gods. The indigenous people in North America had separate spirits for corn, the sun and things of that nature. While Christians are monotheists. The Europeans thought that the natives were savages for worshipping wooden figurines and carvings. The Europeans tried to convert as many natives as possible, especially the Spanish. Because of these differences in religion, the Europeans and the Native Americans had a difficult time really seeing eye to eye.
The third difference between the in indigenous people of North America and the Europeans is the matter of gender roles. The native women in these tribes held high positions, many making important decisions for the tribe. The family tree would also follow the females side, as opposed to the family line following the males in the European cultures. To the Europeans, females
gave birth and did chores in the home. They were not nearly as powerful as some women in native tribes. When the Europeans noticed how strong the women were along with the men, they fought the natives into submission.
In conclusion, it is plain to see that there are so many differences between the Native American culture and that of the Europeans. A few examples of differences is the ideas on land use and ownership, religion and gender roles. The most impactful difference was the ideas each culture had on land use and ownership. These differences were very influential on the events that occurred during this time, and we still see some of these differences impact us today.
Courtney from Study Moose
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