Many people may believe that when the Europeans came to the America’s it was a miracle. Even though many people don’t know that due to contact with Native Americans it lead to their end. Many Native Americans suffered from hardships like war, illnesses, and were lead to their death if they refused to convert into catholics. The Europeans ended many tribes like the Aztecs and Incas. Also, there was a huge decrease in Native American population as shown in document 4. In 1520 there were about 25 million Native people and around 1590 there were barely any Native Americans sentient. Maybe if the Europeans never made contact with the Natives there would be more around up to this day. But, maybe America wouldn’t of been discovered and life as we know it would be different for the better or for the worst.
A privation was when the Natives were introduced to war. Being introduced to war lead to many deaths to the Natives population. When Columba’s went to the Americas he observed how the Natives would touch his sword by the blade and would cut themselves. As said in document 1
– Friday, October 12 ” Weapons they have none, nor are they familiar with them”. This gave an advantage to all Europeans when wanting to be in war. For example, when Hernan Cortes from Spain went to explore present day Mexico he found out about a Native tribe named the Aztecs. As he went on his search for gold he found that the Aztecs had gold around their nose. Hernan determined to get this gold that the Aztecs had, they took their empire Montezuma hostage in order to take all the gold possible. When the Aztecs fought the Spanish they didn’t have such improved and modern weapons like the Spanish had. As the Aztecs fight hopelessly, their stones and arrows were no match for the guns and swords the Spanish had. Dejectedly the Aztec civilization came to its end.
Smallpox was introduced to the Natives once the Europeans went back to their homeland. The Natives were going tribe to tribe and taking over but their most powerful weapon was one that one cannot see with the naked human eye but, one that could kill over millions. Diseases that the Europeans carried was the most impacting reason on why the Natives all vanished. As the Natives being clean people and not open to other world exposure when having contact with an outsider their body had no resistance against the main disease smallpox. In document 2 it states “There came among us a great sickness, a general plague. It raged among us, killing vast numbers of people.” The smallpox attack lasted 60 days and over millions of lives ended. Many died from hunger and even just the fact that there was no one left to take care of the sick. It has been estimated that about 90% of Native Americans died from smallpox. Effects it had on the Natives were that they got rashes and bumps all over their faces. It also has been studied that smallpox got in the lungs of the Natives making it harder to breathe and eat. It has also been believed that since the Natives were introduced animals that they could of also gotten diseases from the animals since they never had contact with outsiders nor animals like llamas which were one of the many animals introduced the the Natives by the Europeans.
To many peoples surprise many Natives were burned and killed if they refused to convert into catholics. Many Europeans stated that they wanted to find new land to spread religion. Although many may have stated this, the Europeans didn’t leave a choice on whether or not they wanted to change religion. As demonstrated in document 5 a picture is shown with the caption ” drawings of Native Americans being burned for refusing to convert to catholicism.” The Natives had their own religion until the Europeans came. The Natives had a song as written in document 3. It sings “…our heritage was a net made of holes” which means that originally the Natives were all connected and united as one. This can also mean that their heritage is falling apart and coming to its deadline. The reason it might mean this is because when something like a toy or shirt gets a hole it can mean that it’s broken or damaged even falling apart. The Europeans did everything in their power to frighten the Natives and to get them turn catholic and tell them that their religion was wrong and that the Europeans was right. Even if it meant that they had to kill people with their swords or having to burn them, they had no choice in what to believe.
As the Europeans believed that they were doing what was right they never stopped to think that they were destroying a very advanced civilization and impacting what was theirs. They let their greed get in the way and used the Natives beliefs to their advantage. Knowing that Natives believed some were gods they made them be slaves and work for them. The want to get gold and fame let them believe it was okay to kill millions of people. Let them burn in ashes just because they believed differently. Use their trust to take over their empire and kill their king. The impact the Europeans had on Native Americans was huge. They suffered many hardships like being introduced to war, illnesses, and having their life taken away from them just because they refused to do something the Europeans wanted them to do which was to turn catholic. Maybe it took all of that to have what we call America today or maybe there could of been another way. Without having to kill millions of people or having to let our greed in the way. If the Europeans wouldn’t of met the Natives we probably wouldn’t have America or someone else would’ve discovered it. We will never know what could’ve happened it the Europeans never met the Natives. All we can say is sometimes you have to do bad things to get something better out of it.
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