European Conquest into America Essay

European Conquest Into America Essay

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If one looks at the encounters between Europeans and Native Americans during the fifteenth century and beyond, it is obvious to see a trend of invasion, conquest, slavery, and eventually death lurking about the historical documents describing that time. The expeditions into the New World by Europeans during the fifteenth century can’t be easily labeled as invasions. These conquests were more of a sort of cultural exchange than anything else. Especially on the part of the Europeans, who sought out to Christianize the world. Such as stated by Christopher Columbus, “As I saw that they were very friendly to us, and perceived that they could be much more easily converted to our holy faith by gentle means than by force,....” Another statement by Columbus supports this as well. “It appears to me, that the people are ingenious, and would be good servants ;and I am of opinion that they would very readily become Christians, as they appear to have no religion.” The Europeans perception of the Americans were all relatively the same. They described their life as being barbaric, and their appearance to be naked, and have dark hair upon their heads, which was coarse. This shocked the Europeans since they came from a civilized culture. Not all encounters with the Americans went well. According to Amerigo Vespucci, he encountered a group of natives on the shore which showed signs of war. After a long battle, and after burning their village, they took 250 people as prisoners, leaving many wounded or dead. But yet the Europeans suffered only one death. Again, the conquests on the Europeans into the Americas should not be considered a series of invasions, even though there were accounts of battle. They should be looked at as more of an expedition into the “New World”, as the Europeans would call it, to exchange cultural knowledge and Christianize it as well.

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