Term Paper: American West and Brazil, the People

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American West and Brazil, The People Who Lived There First

The American West and Brazil: The People Who Lived There First

This paper addresses the Native American population in the West and compares it with the indigenous people of Brazil. While many people may feel as though there are no commonalities between these two groups, there actually are many similarities that can be addressed. The main similarity, however, and the issue dealt with in the following pages, is the fact that both of these groups of people have been displaced from what was rightfully theirs by others for reasons beyond their control and reasons that they most likely did not understand and would not agree with.

The Native Americans were displaced over colonization and Manifest Destiny, and the indigenous Brazilians were displaced over the removal of the rainforests so that commercial interests could be pleased. This issue is very important for all of the individuals that were involved with it at the time, and for historians that examine the issue today. The reasons that these things have happened to both groups of people are important to look at, and conclusions regarding this particular issue generally indicate that these kinds of problems come from too many people and not enough resources. This is something that will continue to be an issue well into the future of the world.

Introduction

The Native Americans

Brazil's Indigenous People

Comparison and Conclusion

Endnotes

Annotated Bibliography

The American West and Brazil:

The People Who Lived There First

Introduction

Individuals that live in a specific place for a long time, and/or individuals that have always been in a particular place and call it home, often feel as though it belongs to them. They resent the idea of other individuals and how they may come in and attempt to usurp what others already have. Often, however, those that have been in a place for a long time have grown complacent there. They do not have the fighting mentality that others have and they generally mean no harm. They only want to live their lives in peace. As often happens, though, others will not simply allow for that.

With the Native American people, the settlers that came to them and ultimately killed many of them and took their land had more weapons, better gear, more technology, and other items at their disposal. This ensured that they would win, even though the Native Americans often outnumbered them. It was not that the Native American people did not have the will to fight back or to keep their land, but only that there was little that they could do in the face of the technology and abilities of the settlers.

As for the indigenous Brazilian people, they also wanted what the Native Americans wanted - to be left alone and to live their lives. However, they were not allowed to do this because land developers, businessmen, entrepreneurs, and others determined that the rainforests must be cut down. Some of this was to make way for development and some of it was to utilize the timber from the trees, but both reasons displaced people that were happy where they were and had no desire to leave. However, those that came into the area had more technology, more education, and often connections as well, and so they got what they wanted at the expense of others.

So often, this is the case with indigenous people in many areas of the world. They are peaceful, and often they have little or no contact with other tribes, groups, or civilizations. Because of that they live a very sheltered existence and when others appear and try to take over their land and life there is often little they can do. The weapons that they have are not sufficient to fight back and win, and they can also be outnumbered or tricked because they misunderstand the other people's language. This in no way implies that they are not intelligent, but only that they are very different from others that live in more technologically advanced parts of the world, which puts them at a disadvantage with respect to many issues.

Both groups of people - the Native Americans and the indigenous people of Brazil -- will be explored in the following pages, as it is important to understand them so that the mistakes of the past are not repeated. It is suspected, however, that many of the issues that were faced by the Native Americans and by the indigenous people of Brazil will continue to be faced by groups of people in various areas. This is likely due to the increasing population of the planet and the need to make way for further development. Whether this is actually helpful in the long-term, however, is often a topic of debate.

The Native Americans

When settlers first came to this country, they discovered that there were already people living here. The Native Americans already occupied this land, and they did not want the settlers invading their territory. While the settlers did not want the Native Americans around, some of them did realize the benefits of befriending them. For example, the Native Americans taught then settlers how to grow crops and survive the harsh winters.

The settlers were also able to establish some trade with the Native Americans, and some had a good working relationship by employing Native Americans as guides and helpers. There were problems, as well. Not all Native Americans and settlers got along, and there were wars, villages burned, and people massacred. The Native Americans wanted to keep their land, and the settlers wanted to take it. Obviously this caused a lot of friction between the two peoples and started many difficulties.

When the settlers first arrived, they brought many things that were bad for the Native Americans. Diseases that had not been found in the New World came over on the boats with the settlers, and many Native Americans died from diseases they caught from the settlers. Although they knew much about herbal remedies and medicines, they were unprepared for the kinds of diseases that came from far away. The settlers also took much of the land that the Native Americans had owned. They used it to raise livestock and build villages, and much of the native plants that the Native Americans had used and relied on disappeared.

The Native Americans in general were not motivated to work along side the settlers or help them with their conquests. The settlers, however, had strong motivation for settling near and developing relationships with the Native Americans. The settlers were strangers in a strange land, and they did not know about the climate, the food, or anything else. Because of this they attempted to become friends with the Native Americans so that they could be shown how to grow crops, and how to prepare for the freezing New England winters.

As settlers were building and establishing small villages, they were also working toward some kind of trade with the Native Americans. Many things that the settlers brought with them had never been seen by the Native Americans before. The reciprocal was also true. Because of the cultural differences there was some suspicion, but it faded in the exchange of interesting goods from other countries. This helped to benefit both the settlers and the Native Americans, and was good for both groups of people. Most of the settlers traded things that they brought with them or that came over on later ships, such as clothes, tobacco, and rifles. The Native Americans responded with horses and food.

This trade helped the Native Americans and settlers get along better than before, since the settlers could now travel on horseback, which was faster and more convenient, and they also had plenty to eat. On the Native American side, they enjoyed the tobacco and the clothing that helped to keep them warmer in the winter. They also enjoyed the rifles, since they could kill beasts for food easier than with the bows and arrows they were using.

Despite the trade, and the seemingly good relationship, the settlers worried a great deal about attacks from Native American tribes. Some were friendly, traded with the settlers, and had a good relationship with them. Others were more aggressive and determined not to help the settlers, but to cause them to return to their homeland. Even though the settlers worried, very few were actually killed by Native Americans.

The most serious confrontation between Native Americans and settlers did not come until 1854, when the Grattan Massacre occurred. A cow wandered away from the settlers. When a tribe of Sioux found the cow, they ate it. After armed settlers showed up, the Sioux realized their mistake, and offered the settlers a horse in exchange. The settlers did not accept, and Lt. Grattan ordered his men to fire on the Sioux. They killed the chief. This caused an escalation of strikes and counter-strikes that went on for decades.

Despite incidents such… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"American West and Brazil, the People."  Essaytown.com.  June 28, 2007.  Accessed May 22, 2019.
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