William Penn was one example of a leading colonist that maintained good relations with the Native Americans. There were other leaders that did likewise. However, most of the European colonists didn’t follow this pattern as John Winthrop or Hernando Cortez. These leaders mistreated the Native Americans and used them like objects.
One of the reasons that made some Europeans abuse of the Native Americans was that they didn’t think of the Native Americans as humans but more as animals or savages. Therefore, they thought they could do anything of them and even kill them if they needed to. That was true for the English colonists who saw the Native Americans the same way they saw the Irish. For this reason, they would exploit them and use them as slaves. They even destroyed their villages and kidnapped their children for vengeance. One thing that the English colonists didn’t do that differentiated them from the Spaniards was that they didn’t reproduce with the Native Americans because they saw it as reproducing with an animal. Yet, this wasn’t the only reason of this behavior among the Native Americans.
Another reason for which the colonists took advantage of the Native Americans was power. At this time, power was very important for everybody. The amount of power you had leaded your life. Of course, when someone had power, he always wanted more and that was so for the kings and queens. When Christopher Columbus told Queen Isabella that the Tainos were weak, innocent and that it would be easy to control them, the queen saw a good opportunity of expanding her power in America and improving her wealth. She decided that she would make slaves out of the Native Americans and that she would impose them her religion. Of course anyone who would resist would be killed. This is how slavery started in America.
Another cause of this behavior was gold. Multiple trips to America had for goal to find gold. The European colonists thought that, now that they found this new land, they would be able to reap the benefits of the gold resting on it. However, when the colonists arrived, the Native Americans were already there with the gold. But the colonists had evil interests; once they saw gold, they would be able to do anything to get it. That is what happened
with the “conquistador” Hernando Cortez and his army when they arrived to Tenochtitlan, the Aztecs’ capital. When they saw this city, they got bewitched by the gold used to build it. This obsession led to the revolution of the Aztecs against the “conquistadores”. The battle ended with most of the Aztecs killed including their chief.
The last source of the colonists’ viciousness was their territories. When America was first discovered by Christopher Columbus, all the European countries fought to extend their lands. However, the Native Americans were an obstacle for the expansion of their colonization. The countries thought that the lands belonged to all different tribes of Native Americans. Therefore, the only way to get the lands was to take over the Native Americans and take possessions of their lands. This is again an example of Hernando Cortez’s conquest of America for Spain. When he arrived in America, Hernando killed every Native American tribe he found on his way to then claim their lands to Spain. The only reason he didn’t kill some of them was to have better chances to defeat the Aztecs. But Cortez wasn’t the only colonist to do this to Native Americans and some might have been even crueler than he had.
In conclusion, the Europeans didn’t follow the pattern of good relations with Native Americans as William Penn and other European leaders because of dehumanization, power, gold and land. These are the four facts that most of the European colonists thought were worth killing a very important amount of innocent people and that caused them to offer viciousness instead of kindness to the Native Americans who hadn’t done anything wrong to them.
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Topic: European Colonists and Their Viciousness
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