Conflicts and Amity of the Algonquian Indians and Settlers Thesis

Pages: 4 (1278 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Native Americans

¶ … conflict and amity of the Algonquian Indians and the incoming settlers. The Algonquian Indians were one of the most numerous tribes of Indians living in North America before English settlers began arriving. They lived from Virginia northward into Canada and westward to the Rocky Mountains. A history Web site notes, "The term 'Algonquian' refers to 'A place for spearing fishes and eels.' Because Northern weather patterns made growing food difficult, the Algonquian moved their families from place to fish, hunt, trap, and gather roots, seeds, wild rice, and berries" (Editors). The Algonquians were the Native Americans the first English settlers at Jamestown, Virginia encountered, and this encounter would begin to change the Indians' lives forever.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Thesis on Conflicts and Amity of the Algonquian Indians and Settlers Assignment

The chief of the Virginia Algonquians was Powhatan, father to the famous Pocahontas, who married an Englishman and traveled to Europe, one of the first American Native Americans to travel across the Atlantic. At first, Powhatan and his tribe welcomed the English, and supported their colony by helping them learn what to plant for food and trade crops. A historian writes, "Powhatans provided English explorers and colonists with guides and interpreters, existing path systems, and verbal descriptions and drawn maps of the region. [...] [T]hey learned about the Chesapeake largely through the filter of Powhatan explanation" (Hatfield). However, as the colony began to expand, the settlers began to encroach further and further on Native lands, and the Indians began to break off relations with the settlers, and oppose their growth. One historian notes, "Powhatan's brother, Opechancanough, led the first successful uprising against the English in 1622, although the English recovered sufficiently to continue their expansion westward into Powhatan's territories" (Bragdon 31). This uprising killed about one third of the settlers, but it did not stop the expansion and the animosity between the two groups. The hostilities continued for over a decade, and the colonists began to believe the only way to deal with the problem was by destroying the Native Americans in the area. Another author notes, "Virginia Company official Edward Waterhouse argued that because of the Powhatan uprising, the English could 'now by right of Warre, and law of Nations, invade the Country, and destroy them who sought to destroy us: whereby wee shall enjoy their cultivated places....'" (Hatfield). These conflicts continued until 1644, as author Bragdon continues, "In 1644, another uprising affected all English communities, but the power of the Powhatan confederacy was broken, and most native people were pushed westward" (Bragdon 31). This began the long history of displacement and loss that characterized the relationship between the Natives and the settlers. As America grew, settlers streamed westward, and as they moved west, they displaced the Indians repeatedly, creating more animosity between the two groups. Historian Bragdon states, "The expanding frontier was thus as much a process as a place, and those who had been overtaken, especially the coastal Algonquian, continued to participate in the wider Indian historical experience through their connections to Indians farther west, or through their own migrations" (Bragdon 64). While Powhatan's tribe had an antagonistic relationship with the early settlers, other bands of Algonquians enjoyed better relationships with early settlers.

It is important to remember there are many different tribes of Native Americans considered Algonquian because of the language they speak. One of these tribes that had very early interactions with European explorers and settlers is the Delaware tribe. Because they lived on the coast, they met some of the early European explorers and interacted with them. They also met the first settlers in the area, and interacted with them as well. Author Bragdon continues, "Because of their long interaction with Europeans, large and scattered populations, and linguistic skills, the Delaware often functioned as diplomats, negotiators, and translators between Indians and colonists" (Bragdon 121). Their relationship with the settlers was largely harmonious, although the settlers displaced… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Conflicts and Amity of the Algonquian Indians and Settlers."  Essaytown.com.  February 26, 2009.  Accessed September 24, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/conflicts-amity-algonquian-indians/92903.