Historical Essay Example: European Exploration of the New World

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Every positive has an equal and opposite negative. In the case of European Exploration of the new world, the Europeans held the majority of the benefits, leaving the Native Americans with a mountain of negatives. In some cases, the natives were hostile toward the disease riddled European vessels, but mostly with good reason due to the newcomers lack of respect, goodwill, and care. The European explorers may have helped advance the new world through trade of objects and ideas, but in the end, the lack of respect in regard to the Native Americans caused unethical: forced religious conversion, treacherous stealing, and enslavement. This represented the flip side of the Europeans exploration since it resulted in different things such as loss of lives, slavery as well as other different things. The European also had a good side on the lives of the Native Americans apart from just the negative impacts, things such as introduction to Christianity intermarriages such as the relationships which happened between the Spanish and the Native Americans as they were referred to as Indians by the Spanish. Different European countries had different ways on how they treated the Native American which could be easily compared to get which among the different countries was the most ethical and unethical in their exploration process among Spain, England, and France.

The relationship between the Native Americans and the English colonies is one of the evaluation factors to consider whether the colonists were ethical or unethical to the natives, the early English colonists were originally friendly to the natives and relied on the Native Americans for trade and help with their survival. The relationship was based on two elements trade and occupancy which could not sustain cordially. The trade cases were based on the exchange of firearms, furs for trinkets and blankets. And when the fur-bearing animals were depleted the Indians had nothing to trade and ended up embittered hence a shift in the balance of trade and the English needed more from the Indians. According to Tindall et al. the English colonies attempted to buy the Indian lands from them but this was a problem since the land ownership among the Indians was different to that of the Europeans, this brought conflict at some point between the English colony and the Indians. In other words, Tindall believes that the different ideologies in reference to land ownership between the Native American and the English colonists resulted in the conflict. The Spanish, the English and the French all had interest in the Indians land although the process in which they accessed the land differed. The English approach to access of the land was ethical to some point till the minute the approach broke into conflict.

The Spanish relationship with the Indians was way different from the previously seen colonist. Christopher Columbus landed on the island of Hispaniola in 1492 and met the natives; he reported this to Queen Isabella of Spain where she immediately decreed that the natives be treated as her subjects. This was to be ethical although Christopher Columbus disobeyed the order and shipped hundreds of natives as slaves which was completely unethical. Shipping the natives as slaves was completely unethical. The idea that the Spain colonist had arrived at a new place and before getting to know the natives they started taking them as slaves was not right. According to Debo et al. when Queen Isabell heard of the shipping of the slaves she ordered that the slaves be freed although back at the island the natives were being brutalized by Columbus's men. The natives rebelled, and in return, the enslaved rebellious natives Columbus's initiated the practice of tribute where each male Indian was required to gather in turn a certain amount of gold after every ninety days. In other word Debo et al. feels that the actions which were Spain took while occupying the natives land. It was unethical in relation to all the deed carried out by Columbus and his men. In relation to what we have seen of the English colonialist, the Spain colonist were unethical as from the point of their arrival. It is hard to compare the nature of how they treated the Native Americans.

The French arrived in Wisconsin and made contact with the Wisconsin Indians and developed an economic and political relationships with most of the Indian groups in the St. Lawrence River valley and the Great Lake. The French ethical character is seen unlike the other colonists saw before, they form different connections with the natives and not in a brutal manner or use of force to get the relationships going. They do not interfere with the native Indians wants, their interactions were mainly in the line of trade. According to Cummins et al. the Wisconsin Indians had already heard of the arrival of the French Man in North America and already received trade goods from the European manufacture. In other words Cummins et al. explain that the French man came to Wisconsin to trade with the Indians fur and particularly beaver pelts. Standing for what had brought them in Wisconsin Indians and not invading the Native Americans was the most ethical and professional thing for the French colonists as compared to the actions of the other two colonists.

The English, French, and Spanish had a different way of handling the Native American, and from the different approaches, t is possible to identify which among the colonists was more ethical and which was completely unethical. The French were the most ethical as seen from the study; this is how they handled the Native Americans the found on the land while the Spanish were the most unethical among the three. The level of brutality they showed the Native Americans was not right at all. The essay has been quite informative in understanding the European exploration of the New World. The different kinds of interactions the Native Americans had with the Europeans and the different impacts it had.



Calloway, Colin G. First peoples: A documentary survey of American Indian history. Macmillan Higher Education, 2015.

Cummins, Light Townsend, Judith Kelleher Schafer, Edward F. Haas, and Michael L. Kurtz. Louisiana: A History. John Wiley & Sons, 2013.

Debo, Angie. A History of the Indians of the United States. University of Oklahoma Press, 2013.

Seidman, Steven. "The colonial unconscious of classical sociology." In Postcolonial Sociology, pp. 35-54. Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2013.

Tindall, George Brown, and David E. Shi. America: A narrative history. WW Norton & Company, 2016.



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