Essay on the Indian and European Societies

3 pages
561 words
George Washington University
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When early Europeans settled into the Americans, they discovered that the place was occupied by the Indians whom they saw as barbaric and individuals that were not civilized. The Indian and European societies differed in a manner that Europeans had the close affinity with nature, lands and the environment while the Indians viewed land as a source of income where they could grow their crops. Even though there were many differences between the Indian and European societies, they still had a lot in common as both societies follow particular codes and hierarchical organization.

The Native Americans originated from early bands of hunters and gatherers who crossed the Bering Strait, a land bridge that comprised of frozen water and connected North America with Asia. On the other hand, the Indian lived around river valleys since it was vital to their life as they cultivated along those valleys. Regarding religion, the European religion was more organized. The religious uniformity was thought to be critical to the public order. The predominant religions were the Church of England, Catholicism and Protestantism and Europeans conquest focused on bringing their religion with them to the natives. For instance, the Spanish wanted to convert the Native religion into Catholic. As for Indians, the religion was founded on paganism. The Indian society worshiped different spirits and took part in a lot of rituals. For instance, they worshiped idols carved from stone. The religion was that each tribe worshiped the God of their choice. Furthermore, all of their gods represented mother nature in one way or another. However, both civilization believed in the soul after life

The Indian society did not view much in land and considered it as just land. No single individual was in charge of land since the land was owned by the entire community and all activities in it for the benefit of the whole community. The land was not something that could be divided among individuals since it was sacred. Unlike the European society, the land was an essential commodity and was attributed to wealth and status for men. An individual that had more land were regarded as wealthy people and had the higher status in the society.

Women were lower in status in both Indian and European societies. For instance, in the Indian community, the responsibilities of women were cleaning of houses, looking after kids, preparing food and largely undertaking manual work. The Indian men were tasked with hunting, building houses and fishing. In European societies, women were looked upon as mere accessories to husbands. They were not allowed to take part in politics and did not hold any leadership position. Their major role was to sit quietly and support their mens activities. Men in the European society had higher standards, and they managed their estates, hunted for funny, attended clubs and escorted their women to parties. The poor men worked in rich mens estate as servants, footmen, valet among others.

The societies centered on kinship groups or clans whereby children will join the family of their mother and not father. Women meant life as this were individuals who gave birth to the future generation of their respective tribes and hence were well respected. Both Indian and European society value freedom as both races wanted the freedom to practice their religion, norms, and culture. Also, the two societies wanted sovereignty of their land.


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