Native Americans and the Colonists
In early 1600s, immigrants who were European colonist invaded North America. The inversion of colonists into the Native American territories brought conflicts that prompted wars. The Natives were uncivilized hunters and gatherers with established social groups. However, the colonist used to approach the Native Americans with a good offer, of doing some trade together in a friendly manner. The relationship between the Natives and the Colonist was mainly based on mutual benefits from each party. As the trading went on, misunderstandings come up and weaken the relationship to a point of war. Some colonists like the dwellers of Jamestown were purely traders and they needed the natives to do business with them. However, some colonist used some trading goods to torment the natives, for example in the 18th century; the colonists gave the natives blankets that were infected with chicken pox in order to weaken them with diseases. The European immigrants came from England, Netherlands and France, areas that had small pox epidemic. The epidemic lead to a sharp decline of the Native Indian population, as many died of the infections and diseases brought by the European colonist.
The need to get greener pastures and better living conditions made the colonial immigrants to move into the Native American territories. Some colonist offered to buy the land while others opted to us forceful means to gain the territories. The areas settled by the Natives had immense agricultural potential and good climatic conditions that were favorable for farming and settlement. The colonist wanted new settlements in fertile valleys or along the coast near the prime fishing waters, places that Native Indians had traditionally occupied (McNeese, 2002, p.35). The European immigrants ignited Ethic wars between the indigenous population in order to weaken and gain control over the Natives. There were social disruptions, conflicts and wars that cause political tensions in the native’s territories. The European immigrants gained economical control in the territories due to weak alliances and poor cooperation among the native tribes. The colonists who were also fighting for power physically mistreated the native and capitalized on their uncivilized situation.
Some colonists came with hope of transforming the natives, such that they could influence their belief and their ways of life. Christian doctrine came along with the colonist and introduced a new faith that the natives resisted. In addition, the colonist wanted to change the culture of the natives so that they could easily trade with them without having cultural conflicts. However, the natives, who were conservative and never wanted to let their own culture to be eroded, did not tolerate these moves. The Europeans were compelled to sign treaties that required them to honor native’s traditions and culture. In the event of failing to honor the treaties, wars like “King William’s War” was the only option of settling the dispute.
Some tribes of the Native Americans embraced the colonists and even welcomed their culture with an intention of benefiting from them. It was assumed that those who welcomed the colonist got some wealth, strong military support and earned some prestige out of the matter. Some tribes established rapport with the colonist to gain support in order to maintain supremacy over their tribal enemies (Edmunds, 1995, p.15). In those eras, tribal clashes for supremacy were perennial, due to the need of better pastures. There was a high demand for food and land due to the increased population for both the colonists and the Native Americans. High population lead to land fragmentation, which compelled a great need to migrate to other parts, which were less, occupied
The living standards of the Native Americans were raised as they collaborated with the colonist who supported and provide them with better tool for agriculture. The natives used to do hunting and gathering in order to get food for survival, a method that could fail to serve the growing demands to feed a growing population. Agriculture increased food production and lead to healthier population. The European immigrants used diplomacy, military and sometimes economic forces to dominate the Native American territories.
Currently, United States of America has a big number of illegal immigrants who come from Mexico. The main reason for high number of immigrants is search for better life in green pastures. Living standards in Mexico are lower compared to the living standards in United States therefore many unemployed civilians opt to cross the border against the protocols of the immigration department in search for jobs.
For centuries, United States of America has been a home for many Mexican immigrants. There are normally challenges that come along with high influx of immigrants. The resources that are meant for the American people get strained because of the increasing number of people who are not budgeted for. In addition, there is high pressure on the available land, which belongs to the citizens of the nation. However, unlike the previous colonial immigrants who wanted to displace the natives from their land, the current immigrants “boost the economic efficiency by reducing the labor shortage in low and high skilled markets” as argued by Furchtgott-Roth (2013, p. 1). Most of the Mexican immigrant’s get temporary accommodations in United States of America as they work jobs to support their families back at their homeland.
Edmunds, R. D. (1995). Native Americans, New Voices: American Indian History, 1895-1995. The American Historical Review, 717-740.
Furchtgott-Roth, D. (2013). The economic Benefit of Immigration. Manhattan Institute for Policy Research,
McNeese, T. (2002). The American colonies. St. Louis, Mo: Milliken Pub. Co.