Sample Essay

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It became obvious to the Native Americans early on that the European settlers did not intend to coexist with them on peaceful and equitable terms but were an invasive force that intended to turn them out of their lands, exterminate or enslave them  (Takaki, A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America).

An example of this is given by Takaki in the words of Chief Powhatan who told Captain John Smith that he knew that the English had not come to Virginia to make trade but to invade and possess lands held by the Native Americans  (Takaki, The Tempest in the Wilderness: The Racialization of Savagery).

Native Americans had a variety of different experiences with different groups of immigrants. Though, for a long time, the Native Americans may not have realized that the immigrants were of various backgrounds and had considerable ethnic and class differences among them (Gjerde).

In the battles between various Native American tribes and English settlers, the tribal warriors did not recognize any difference between the White people that had come voluntarily and others that were indentured servants etc. who were forced to come to America (Gjerde).

Native Americans had many different types of interaction with black slaves brought over from Africa as slaves, these reactions varied from tribe to tribe and situation to situation, in some cases we can see Native Americans and African Americans joined together against the Whites and in others we see joint White and Black campaigns against Native Americans (Forbes).

An example of Whites and Blacks joining forces in a campaign against the Native Americans is the Bacon’s Revolt. Led by a wealthy Virginian colonist, Nathaniel Bacon, the revolt against the British colonial administration was based on the view that the administrators were overly lenient or indulgent towards the Native Americans. They took the view that the Native American tribes around the colony should be driven off the area or exterminated (Forbes).

Sometimes Black slaves would run away from their masters and find refuge in some Native American tribes, at other times the tribes would capture Black slaves on the run and return them to their white masters or resell them elsewhere for profit (Forbes).

Many Native American tribes had some conception of the institution of slavery. Traditionally in Native American culture slave status was a transitional status afforded to captives prior to their being ransomed or adopted into the tribe (Forbes).

The members of the ‘Five Civilized Tribes’ of Native Americans, who had been considerably culturally anglicized, kept slaves much in the manner of the White settlers. Of these the Seminole nation had a particularly large complement of Black runaway slaves and freedmen that had been adopted into the tribe (Forbes).

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