Cultural Differences Between Europeans And Native Americans

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Europeans and North American Colonists had many conflicting and shared understandings throughout the eighteenth century, but, contrary to many beliefs, this was not just a one-side affair ruled by the Europeans. The history between these two sides is much richer and deeper than we have come to know. Nancy Shoemaker illustrates this by showing that Indians and Europeans shared many common beliefs about their fundamentals of daily living. For example, land as national territory, kings/government, and writing. Europeans and Natives shared Land perception from rock formations, rivers, and trails. Not only that but they both held the knowledge and tools to expand and understand these landmarks as well as create vivid ideas based on their experiences.…show more content…
Eventually, the council settled there differences to come to realize that all peoples around the world have political structure. After reaching this agreement came many more agreements between the two sides and their Kings. Even after the Mohawk Scandal, in which, Cumings led the Cherokee to brawl amongst themselves after interfering with state affairs and the Cherokee ways. The two sides after this hardship, worked together to make the government tangible and create the dual-role for kings. The absolute power of kings soon became a very important aspect in government. In the eighteenth century only the Natchez seemed to have absolute monarchy according to the Europeans. One French man even stated they were the only true tribe with a legitimate type of rule, one that had both Government and Religion (Shoemaker 46). Europeans felt the Native ways of absolute power consisted solely of persuasion and reasoning, and this was no way to show absolute power according to their customs. With there now being two divisions of power made it quite difficult on the Europeans and Natives to establish one true absolute power. Absolute power was idolized by the Europeans and not by the Natives, which made Natives feel they were being forced to conform to the white men way. In 1744 the Iroquois spoke to the Indian council and advised, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland to follow their example and…show more content…
Europeans would hold appropriate objects in their hands symbolizing the Natives, while the Natives linked their Wampum belts with letters called the “Council Bag”. Just like the other stories Shoemaker analyzes, these ways begin to change overtime and both sides start to realize how different there ways truly are. This leads to each side wanting to do things their own way, Natives in particular. They became increasingly adept to the English language and the effects of this shared understanding leads to the Indians refusing to speak the language, accept gifts, and education. Even after Canassatego called out European secretaries for ultimately bringing inconveniences to the US, especially, “That Pen and Ink work going on at the table”, the Indians started to rely heavily on writing especially when it came to trade. With these conflicting understandings came suspicion by the Natives, directly mainly towards the unkept promises by the Europeans. There was no true way to establish trust between the Natives and Europeans. “Letters could be forged, but speakers too, could distort the meanings of wampum belts or misrepresent their authority” (Shoemaker 76). In the end, writing had become the only way to settle agreements between the European and Natives, which weighed heavily in the Europeans

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