Indian Diplomacy the History of European Settlement Essay

Pages: 2 (668 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Native Americans

Indian Diplomacy

The history of European settlement of the American continents is unfortunately one of subjugation. The Indian nations that had occupied and cultivated various areas of the land since prehistoric times found themselves negotiating with white invaders for terms on which they could keep -- and eventually would lose -- their land. This is often seen as a problem only between the early United States government and the Indian tribes, but in fact the problem goes back even farther, to the time when many European nations were competing for "New World" resources.

The Indian people as a whole were doing quite well when first "discovered"; many tribes had complex cities and social structures, while also loving in greater harmony with nature.

The Spanish had focused their attention on South and Central America early on, decimating entire populations with warfare and disease, heedless of any possible rights the Indians might have in their quest for gold and other wealth.

This came to typify the way European settlers and military commanders would deal with the Indian populations they encountered.

In the north, the Indians dealt more with the French and Dutch, and eventually the English. The first two groups dealt started as effective trading partners and were more in competition with each other, which led to better deals for the Indians as each nation attempted to offer them more in return for their cooperation.

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Eventually, however, increasing competition led to a disregard for any Indian rights, and diplomacy was thrown out in favor of brute domination. Conflicts like the French-Indian war showed how little Indian welfare was thought of; the fight was really between the British and the French (with certain Indian tribes fighting on both sides) for control of the land and resources that these Indians had occupied for centuries.

The Indians did not practice politics in the same way as the Europeans, and so any efforts at diplomacy were doomed to failure because of the Europeans' greed and manipulation.

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Chicago Style

"Indian Diplomacy the History of European Settlement."  Essaytown.com.  May 4, 2009.  Accessed May 11, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/indian-diplomacy-history-european-settlement/419889.