posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 03:09 PM
reply to post by NysgjerrigDame
One thing you must remember is that the attitudes towards the indigenous peoples of the Americas was imported from Europe.
Throughout history, wherever white Anglo-Saxons have encountered a different race, or a less technologically advanced people then themselves they have
(after the initial meeting) generally subjugated them in every way they could. We see this in the way the American Indian was treated as well as the
Native African, the Aborigines of South America and Australia and throughout European History.
The cultural ideas held by whites, in regards to the Native Americans, were that they (the whites) were superior in every way. The Native
American “savages” met the white settlers in a spirit of friendship, and it was returned for a time, (when they needed help to survive) then the
cultural differences between the two races began to cause conflicts. The white settlers held the belief that men could own a piece of land
exclusively and that no other man could come on to that land without permission from the land owner, let alone hunt or forage for food. The
“Indians”, on the other hand believed that the land was there to be cared for and managed and could never be the exclusive property of any
individual, they held the concept that the land, and all on it, was there for everyone to use and hunt. They had “traditional” tribal hunting
grounds and limited mining and farming, but no personal ownership. The whites caused conflict by infringing on the traditional hunting grounds of the
Indians looking for food animals and natural resources such as gold, silver and other precious metals, and the white farmers clear-cut hunting lands
to plant crops. In other words the Indian was in the way and had to be dealt with.
The popular beliefs held by the white settlers were mostly formed by the Catholic Church and held that any non-Christian was inferior and must be
converted. The missionaries would try to convert, mostly without even trying to learn the native language, but were easily offended by the Indians
“celebration of nature” (partial nudity, and in some cases, plural marriage). They were also horrified by the native religious practices
involving “nature worship” and “idolatry”.
The concept of “manifest destiny” was another popular belief of the whites at the time; this involved the idea that we were destined by God to own
the whole continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific. We were quite put out to find “our country” already occupied.
In short, the combination of the white settlers supposed superiority and technological advancement over the natives gave the whites the idea that they
could and should push them out of the way either by putting them on reservations or killing them if they would not or could not fit into white
society, usually in the lowest most menial positions.