Effects of European Colonization: Christopher Columbus and Native Americans

Effects of European Colonization: Christopher Columbus and Native Americans

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The Colonization Of Christopher Columbus

Additionally, migration began to occur as people from Europe also wanted to be part of this discovery which would also suggest globalisation was occurring as with them, these Europeans would have brought their religions and cultures which would have spread throughout the Americas which is a sign of globalisation. However, the indigenous tribes of the Americas did not want their homeland to be overrun by foreigners and fought against them. The result of this was the loss of life among the native tribes, with many being completely wiped out. The death of these tribes indicate that there was a loss of religion, culture and practices from the New World that would never be passed on meaning that even though the cultures from Europe were being spread, the native cultures would not be, hinting that globalisation was not occurring here as cultures from both continents were not being shared. I would argue that the Colombian Exchange was a sign of globalisation as the trade of goods, such as tobacco and potatoes, occurred which in later years would create a new way of life in Europe, for example smoking.&hellip


Norsemen Edit

Norse explorers are the first known Europeans to set foot on what is now North America. Norse journeys to Greenland and Canada are supported by historical and archaeological evidence. [4] The Norsemen established a colony in Greenland in the late 10th century, and lasted until the mid 15th century, with court and parliament assemblies (þing) taking place at Brattahlíð and a bishop located at Garðar. [5] The remains of a settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada, were discovered in 1960 and were dated to around the year 1000 (carbon dating estimate 990–1050 CE). [6] L'Anse aux Meadows is the only site widely accepted as evidence of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact. It was named a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1978. [7] It is also notable for its possible connection with the attempted colony of Vinland, established by Leif Erikson around the same period or, more broadly, with the Norse colonization of the Americas. [8] Leif Erikson's brother is said to have had the first contact with the native population of North America which would come to be known as the skrælings. After capturing and killing eight of the natives, they were attacked at their beached ships, which they defended. [9]

Spain Edit

While some Norse colonies were established in north eastern North America as early as the 10th century, systematic European colonization began in 1492. A Spanish expedition headed by the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sailed west to find a new trade route to the Far East but inadvertently landed in what came to be known to Europeans as the "New World". He landed on 12 October 1492 on Guanahani (possibly Cat Island) in The Bahamas, which the Lucayan people had inhabited since the 9th century. Western European conquest, large-scale exploration and colonization soon followed after the Spanish and Portuguese final reconquest of Iberia in 1492. Columbus's first two voyages (1492–93) reached Hispaniola and various other Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico and Cuba. In the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, ratified by the Pope, the two kingdoms of Castile (in a personal union with other kingdoms of Spain) and Portugal divided the entire non-European world into two areas of exploration and colonization, with a north to south boundary that cut through the Atlantic Ocean and the eastern part of present-day Brazil. Based on this treaty and on early claims by Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, discoverer of the Pacific Ocean in 1513, the Spanish conquered large territories in North, Central and South America. They started colonizing the Caribbean, using islands such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Hispaniola as bases.

The Spanish had different goals in their exploration of the land than the later European powers. They had three goals for exploration: “Conquer, convert, or become rich”. [10] [ failed verification ] The Spanish justified their claims to the New World based on the Ideals of the Reconquista. [11] They saw their reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula out from the Moor's control as evidence of the “divine help". They believed it to be their duty to save the natives from eternal damnation by converting them to Christianity. In 1492 the first Spaniard had finally become Pope and Spain justified their right to implement Christianity throughout the world. [12]

Over the first century and a half after Columbus's voyages, the native population of the Americas plummeted by an estimated 80% (from around 50 million in 1492 to eight million in 1650), [13] mostly by outbreaks of Old World disease. Some authors have argued this demographic collapse to be the first large-scale act of genocide in the modern era. [14] [15] Ten years after Columbus's discovery, the administration of Hispaniola was given to Nicolás de Ovando of the Order of Alcántara, founded during the Reconquista. As in the Iberian Peninsula, the inhabitants of Hispaniola were given new land masters, while religious orders handled the local administration. Progressively the encomienda system, which granted tribute (access to indigenous labor and taxation) to European settlers, was set in place. Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés took over the Aztec Kingdom and from 1519 to 1521, he waged a campaign against the Aztec Empire, ruled by Moctezuma II. The Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, became Mexico City, the chief city of what the Spanish were now calling "New Spain". More than 240,000 Aztecs died during the siege of Tenochtitlan, 100,000 in combat, [16] while 500–1,000 of the Spaniards engaged in the conquest died. Other conquistadors, such as Hernando de Soto, Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, and Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, pushed farther north, from Florida, Mexico, and the Caribbean, respectively, in the early 1500s. In 1513, Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama and led the first European expedition to see the Pacific Ocean from the west coast of the New World. In an action with enduring historical import, Balboa claimed the Pacific Ocean and all the lands adjoining it for the Spanish Crown. It was 1517 before another expedition, from Cuba, visited Central America, landing on the coast of Yucatán in search of slaves. To the south, Francisco Pizarro conquered the Inca Empire during the 1530s. As a result, by the mid-16th century, the Crown of Castile had gained control of much of western South America, and southern North America, in addition to its earlier Caribbean territories. The crown established the laws of the Indies to assert its power against the encomenderos and conquistadors and to regulate the incorporation of the natives into colonial society. The centuries of continuous conflicts between the North American Indians and the Anglo-Americans were less severe than the devastation wrought on the densely populated Mesoamerican, Andean, and Caribbean heartlands. [17] To reward their troops, the Conquistadores often allotted Indian towns to their troops and officers. Black African slaves were introduced to substitute for Native American labor in some locations—including the West Indies, where the indigenous population was nearing extinction on many islands.

On Columbus's return to Hispaniola in 1493, he arrived with 17 ships and 1,200 men but there was little gold left. They "roamed the island in gangs looking for gold, taking women and children as slaves for sex and labor.” [18] In 1500, Columbus wrote that “there are many dealers who go about looking for girls those from nine to 10 are now in demand.” [18] Due to the shortage in gold, the Spanish established the “Practice of Tribute” under the encomienda system which required every Indian male to turn in a certain amount of gold every ninety days or face death. The reading of The Requerimento before war was both unintelligible to the natives and used as a manipulation tactic. The document stated that the indigenous were subjects of the Spanish Crown and would be tortured if they resisted. [19] As the indigenous population declined, the Europeans abducted people from other islands, like the Lucayan, to labor in the fields and mines of Hispaniola. By the 1600s, the island had been deserted for over a century. [18]

Portugal Edit

Over this same time frame as Spain, Portugal claimed lands in North America (Canada) and colonized much of eastern South America naming it Santa Cruz and Brazil. On behalf of both the Portuguese and Spanish crowns, cartographer Americo Vespuscio explored the American east coast, and published his new book Mundus Novus (New World) in 1502–1503 which disproved the belief that the Americas were the easternmost part of Asia and confirmed that Columbus had reached a set of continents previously unheard of to any Europeans. Cartographers still use a Latinized version of his first name, America, for the two continents. In April 1500, Portuguese noble Pedro Álvares Cabral claimed the region of Brazil to Portugal the effective colonization of Brazil began three decades later with the founding of São Vicente in 1532 and the establishment of the system of captaincies in 1534, which was later replaced by other systems. Others tried to colonize the eastern coasts of present-day Canada and the River Plate in South America. These explorers include João Vaz Corte-Real in Newfoundland João Fernandes Lavrador, Gaspar and Miguel Corte-Real and João Álvares Fagundes, in Newfoundland, Greenland, Labrador, and Nova Scotia (from 1498 to 1502, and in 1520).

During this time, the Portuguese gradually switched from an initial plan of establishing trading posts to extensive colonization of what is now Brazil. They imported millions of slaves to run their plantations. The Portuguese and Spanish royal governments expected to rule these settlements and collect at least 20% of all treasure found (the quinto real collected by the Casa de Contratación), in addition to collecting all the taxes they could. By the late 16th century silver from the Americas accounted for one-fifth of the combined total budget of Portugal and Spain. [20] In the 16th century perhaps 240,000 Europeans entered ports in the Americas. [21] [22]

France Edit

France founded colonies in the Americas: in eastern North America (which had not been colonized by Spain north of Florida), a number of Caribbean islands (which had often already been conquered by the Spanish or depopulated by disease), and small coastal parts of South America. French explorers included Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524 Jacques Cartier (1491–1557), Henry Hudson (1560s–1611), and Samuel de Champlain (1567–1635), who explored the region of Canada he reestablished as New France.

In the French colonial regions, the focus of economy was on sugar plantations in Caribbean. In Canada the fur trade with the natives was important. About 16,000 French men and women became colonizers. The great majority became subsistence farmers along the St. Lawrence River. With a favorable disease environment and plenty of land and food, their numbers grew exponentially to 65,000 by 1760. Their colony was taken over by Britain in 1760, but social, religious, legal, cultural and economic changes were few in a society that clung tightly to its recently formed traditions. [23] [24]

England Edit

British colonization began with North America almost a century after Spain. The relatively late arrival meant that the British could use the other European colonization powers as models for their endeavors. [25] Inspired by the Spanish riches from colonies founded upon the conquest of the Aztecs, Incas, and other large Native American populations in the 16th century, their first attempt at colonization occurred in Roanoke and Newfoundland, although unsuccessful. [26] In 1606, King James I granted a charter with the purpose of discovering the riches at their first permanent settlement in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. They were sponsored by common stock companies such as the chartered Virginia Company financed by wealthy Englishmen who exaggerated the economic potential of the land. [27]

The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century broke the unity of Western Christendom and led to the formation of numerous new religious sects, which often faced persecution by governmental authorities. In England, many people came to question the organization of the Church of England by the end of the 16th century. One of the primary manifestations of this was the Puritan movement, which sought to "purify" the existing Church of England of its residual Catholic rites. The first of these people, known as the Pilgrims, landed on Plymouth Rock, MA in November 1620. Continuous waves of repression led to the migration of about 20,000 Puritans to New England between 1629 and 1642, where they founded multiple colonies. Later in the century, the new Pennsylvania colony was given to William Penn in settlement of a debt the king owed his father. Its government was established by William Penn in about 1682 to become primarily a refuge for persecuted English Quakers but others were welcomed. Baptists, German and Swiss Protestants and Anabaptists also flocked to Pennsylvania. The lure of cheap land, religious freedom and the right to improve themselves with their own hand was very attractive. [28]

Mainly due to discrimination, there was often a separation between English colonial communities and indigenous communities. The Europeans viewed the natives as savages who were not worthy of participating in what they considered civilized society. The native people of North America did not die out nearly as rapidly nor as greatly as those in Central and South America due in part to their exclusion from British society. The indigenous people continued to be stripped of their native lands and were pushed further out west. [29] The English eventually went on to control much of Eastern North America, the Caribbean, and parts of South America. They also gained Florida and Quebec in the French and Indian War.

John Smith convinced the colonists of Jamestown that searching for gold was not taking care of their immediate needs for food and shelter. The lack of food security leading to extremely high mortality rate was quite distressing and cause for despair among the colonists. To support the colony, numerous supply missions were organized. Tobacco later became a cash crop, with the work of John Rolfe and others, for export and the sustaining economic driver of Virginia and the neighboring colony of Maryland. Plantation agriculture was a primary aspect of the colonies in the southeast US and in the Caribbean. They heavily relied on African slave labor to sustain their economic pursuits. [10]

From the beginning of Virginia's settlements in 1587 until the 1680s, the main source of labor and a large portion of the immigrants were indentured servants looking for new life in the overseas colonies. During the 17th century, indentured servants constituted three-quarters of all European immigrants to the Chesapeake region. Most of the indentured servants were teenagers from England with poor economic prospects at home. Their fathers signed the papers that gave them free passage to America and an unpaid job until they became of age. They were given food, clothing, housing and taught farming or household skills. American landowners were in need of laborers and were willing to pay for a laborer's passage to America if they served them for several years. By selling passage for five to seven years worth of work, they could then start on their own in America. [30] Many of the migrants from England died in the first few years. [27]

Economic advantage also prompted the Darien Scheme, an ill-fated venture by the Kingdom of Scotland to settle the Isthmus of Panama in the late 1690s. The Darien Scheme aimed to control trade through that part of the world and thereby promote Scotland into a world trading power. However, it was doomed by poor planning, short provisions, weak leadership, lack of demand for trade goods, and devastating disease. [31] The failure of the Darien Scheme was one of the factors that led the Kingdom of Scotland into the Act of Union 1707 with the Kingdom of England creating the united Kingdom of Great Britain and giving Scotland commercial access to English, now British, colonies. [32]

When Pope Alexander VI issued the Inter caetera bull in May 1493 granting the new lands to the Kingdom of Spain, he requested in exchange an evangelization of the people. During Columbus's second voyage, Benedictine monks accompanied him, along with twelve other priests. Through a practice called the Mission System, supervised communities were established in frontier areas so that Spanish priests could preach the gospel to the indigenous population. These missions were established throughout the Spanish colonies which extended from the southwestern portions of current-day United States through Mexico and to Argentina and Chile. In the 1530s, the Spanish Roman Catholic Church, needing the natives' labor and cooperation, evangelized in Quechua, Nahuatl, Guaraní and other Native American languages. This contributed to the expansion of indigenous languages, including the establishment of tribal writing systems. One of the first primitive schools for Native Americans was founded by Fray Pedro de Gante in 1523.

As slavery was prohibited between Christians and could only be imposed in non-Christian prisoners of war or on men already sold as slaves, the debate on Christianization was particularly acute during the 16th century. Later, two Dominican priests, Bartolomé de Las Casas and the philosopher Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, held the Valladolid debate, with the former arguing that Native Americans were endowed with souls like all other human beings, while the latter argued to the contrary to justify their enslavement. In 1537, the papal bull Sublimis Deus definitively recognized that Native Americans possessed souls, thus prohibiting their enslavement, without putting an end to the debate. Some claimed that a native who had rebelled and then been captured could be enslaved nonetheless. The process of Christianization was at first violent: when the first Franciscans arrived in Mexico in 1524, they burned the places dedicated to pagan cult, alienating much of the local population. [33] Consequently, the indigenous were forced to denounce their intergenerational tribal beliefs and subjugate their history.

The practice of slavery was not uncommon in native society prior to the arrival of the Europeans. Captured members of rival tribes were often used as slaves and/or for human sacrifice. But with the arrival of white colonists, Indian slavery "became commodified, expanded in unexpected ways, and came to resemble the kinds of human trafficking that are recognizable to us today". [34]

While disease was the main killer of the Indians, the practice of slavery was also significant contributor to the indigenous death toll. [12] With the arrival of other European colonial powers, the enslavement of native populations increased as these empires lacked legislation against slavery until decades later. It is estimated that from Columbus's arrival to the end of the nineteenth century between 2.5 and 5 million Native Americans were forced into slavery. Indigenous men, women, and children were often forced into labor in sparsely populated frontier settings, in the household, or in the toxic gold and silver mines. [35] To further extract as much gold as possible, the Europeans required all males above the age of 13 to trade gold as tribute. This practice was known as the encomienda system and granted free native labor to the Spaniards. Based upon the practice of exacting tribute from Muslims and Jews during the Reconquista, the Spanish Crown granted a number of native laborers to an encomendero, who was usually a conquistador or other prominent Spanish male. Under the grant, they were bound to both protecting the natives and converting them to Christianity. In exchange for their forced conversion to Christianity, the natives had to pay tributes in the form of gold, agricultural products, and labor. The Spanish crown saw the severe abuses going on and tried to terminate the system through the Laws of Burgos (1512–13) and the New Laws of the Indies (1542). However, the encomenderos refused to comply with the new measures and the indigenous people continued to be exploited. Eventually, the encomienda system was replaced by the repartimiento system which was not abolished until the late 18th century. [36]

In the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, the Pueblo tribe led an uprising that resulted in the death of 400 Spanish colonizers and the reclaiming of indigenous land. Andrés Resendez argues this to be "the greatest insurrection against the other slavery". [34] Resendez also argues that the perpetrators of native slavery were not always European colonists. He claims that the rise of powerful Indian tribes in what is now the American Southwest, such as the Comanche, led to indigenous control of the Native American slave trade by the early 1700s. The arrival of European settlers in the West increased the slave traffic by the nineteenth century. [35] There is debate over whether the indigenous population of the Americas suffered a greater demographic decline than the African continent, despite the latter having lost roughly 12.5 million individuals to the transatlantic slave trade. [34]

By the 18th century, the overwhelming number of black slaves was such that Amerindian slavery was less commonly used. Africans, who were taken aboard slave ships to the Americas, were primarily obtained from their African homelands by coastal tribes who captured and sold them. Europeans traded for slaves with the slave capturers of the local native African tribes in exchange for rum, guns, gunpowder, and other manufactures. The total slave trade to islands in the Caribbean, Brazil, the Portuguese, Spanish, French, Dutch, and British Empires is estimated to have involved 12 million Africans. [37] [38] The vast majority of these slaves went to sugar colonies in the Caribbean and to Brazil, where life expectancy was short and the numbers had to be continually replenished. At most about 600,000 African slaves were imported into the United States, or 5% of the 12 million slaves brought across from Africa. [39]

Even though slavery went against the mission of the Catholic Church, the colonizers justified the practice through the belts of latitude theory, supported by Aristotle and Ptolemy. In this perspective, belts of latitude wrapped around the earth and corresponded with specific human traits. The peoples from the "cold zone" in Northern Europe were "of lesser prudence", while those of the "hot zone" in sub-Sahara Africa were intelligent but "weaker and less spirited". [34] According to the theory, those of the "temperate zone" across the Mediterranean reflected an ideal balance of strength and prudence. Such ideas about latitude and character justified a natural human hierarchy. [34]

During the Gold Rush of the 1800s, Indian enslavement flourished. American landowner, John Bidwell, coerced Indian children to work on his ranch by scaring them with tales of man-eating grizzly bears. He justified his protection and offering of food and clothing as fair payment for indigenous labor. Captain John Sutter paid the Indian slaves with metal disks that were punched with star-shaped holes to keep track of how much work they did. Two weeks of work meant they could receive a cotton shirt or a pair of pants. Andrew Kelsey organized the enslavement of five hundred Pomo Indians, where they flogged and shot these people for entertainment. They also raped young Indian women. In 1849, the Indians finally rebelled and murdered Kelsey in what became known as the Bloody Island Massacre. Other laws legalized a peonage system that allowed trial and punishment of any Indian who was traveling without a proper certificate of employment. These documents listed the "advanced wages" as a debt to be repaid before the Indian could be free to leave. This system allowed ranchers to control the migration of Indians and subject them to the labor draft. The Indian Act of 1850 legalized all types of exploitation and atrocities of indigenous people, including the "apprenticeship" of Indian minors which in practice gave the petitioner control of both the child and their earnings. Thus, the establishment of encomiendas, repartimientos, selling of convict labor, and debt peonage replaced formal slavery by instituting informal labor coercive practices that were nearly impossible to track, thus enabling the slave trade to continue. [34]

Roman Catholics were the first major religious group to immigrate to the New World, as settlers in the colonies of Portugal and Spain, and later, France, belonged to that faith. English and Dutch colonies, on the other hand, tended to be more religiously diverse. Settlers to these colonies included Anglicans, Dutch Calvinists, English Puritans and other nonconformists, English Catholics, Scottish Presbyterians, French Huguenots, German and Swedish Lutherans, as well as Jews, Quakers, Mennonites, Amish, and Moravians. [40]

Native Americans advocate for Indigenous Peoples Day to overshadow Columbus Day

An effort to designate Indigenous Peoples Day on the same day as Columbus Day in Clark County failed in recent weeks, much to the disappointment of some Native Americans who say celebrating a holiday in honor of the Italian explorer obscures the history of indigenous people and ignores the harms caused by colonization.

Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom proposed at a meeting last month to establish Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday of October, which would have been today and coincides with the federal observance of Columbus Day. But Commissioner Larry Brown opposed the motion.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for this commission to pass judgment on Columbus, whether he was good, evil or in between,” Brown said at the September commission meeting. “I can’t support that. We already have two days, so pick one or at least collaborate with the state.”

Segerblom refused, saying he would prefer to go back to the drawing board rather than designate the holiday on any day besides Columbus Day, which is not a paid holiday for Nevada workers but is for state employees in 21 other states. The board did not take up the issue again.

The exchange marked the second time a Nevada governmental body has deliberated over designating Indigenous Peoples Day. When Segerblom was an assemblyman, he successfully passed state legislation in 2017 that designated it.

Although the bill originally proposed replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, the final version approved by former Gov. Brian Sandoval authorized the designation for Aug. 9. For many Native Americans in the state, the August holiday does not do enough to educate the public about Christopher Columbus and the ways European colonization affected Native Americans.

“Even for first graders, the materials we have [show] early America [as] complete emptiness and one lone pioneer,” said Mercedes Krause, a member of the Nevada Commission on Minority Affairs. During public comment at the September meeting, Minority Affairs provided a letter of support for Indigenous Peoples Day.

“To [not have] Indigenous Peoples Day on [Columbus] day is [to] ignore the fact that there were people here already. And that’s one of the problems we still have,” Krause said in an interview.

According to a 2018 Census, more than 51,000 Nevada residents are American Indian and Alaska Native, not to mention mixed-race Native Americans. In Clark County, that race group comprises 1.2 percent of the total population, a slightly lower proportion than the 1.7 percent of the state’s total population.

Speaking on behalf of her UNLV Native American Alumni Association, Krause says Indigenous Peoples Day can have a dignified celebration alongside Columbus Day. Others in the Native American community think the federal holiday needs to be repealed and replaced altogether.

“[Columbus’ arrival] will always be a part of history, but that’s exactly where it needs to stay,” said Amber Torres, chairman of the Walker River Paiute Tribe. “For — I don’t know how long now — we’ve said they’re still teaching lies in the school system. They’re still promoting that there was a good relationship between the pilgrims and Indians.”

In place of the lessons U.S. schools have been teaching about Columbus, the proposed Indigenous Peoples Day would promote a more realistic depiction of what European contact was like for the people who already inhabited the land. And the movement is picking up steam.

Two weeks ago, the City of Reno approved an Indigenous Peoples Day in place of Columbus Day, joining 60 other cities and four states.

Hardship caused by colonization

Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer who received financing from Spain to find a sea route to Asia, which resulted in his unintended encounter of the American continent in 1492. Italian-Americans, who see Columbus as a symbol of their heritage, have been a main group in opposition to Indigenous Peoples Day replacing Columbus Day.

According to Alan Mandell, vice-chair of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe in Northern Nevada, textbooks too often depict a benign “discovery” of the American continent. In the eyes of Native Americans, that first encounter led to genocide, disease and mass displacement from ancestral lands.

“We’ve heard concerns from Italian people and other people [saying] why [are you picking on] Columbus? Historically, what he had done and what those generations had done to indigenous populations shouldn’t be glorified,” said Mandell in an October interview. “We should be aware, and it should be understood what Native Americans have gone through in order to survive. The colonization of Indigenous Peoples throughout the country was a hardship.”

While it is difficult to know the population of the American continent pre-colonization, it is widely accepted that 95 percent of the Native American population died because of war and disease that followed Columbus’ arrival. His expedition also kidnapped and enslaved indigenous people.

Native Americans in Nevada to this day have reported a disregard for their sovereignty when it comes to managing natural resources and honoring treaties.

In Northern Nevada, the Walker River Paiute Tribe and Yerington Paiute Tribe have been dealing with groundwater contamination from a mine that started operating in the 1950s. Opinions differ between the two tribes on whether to defer clean-up to the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (NDEP) or go through federal processes.

Former Gov. Sandoval and Gov. Steve Sisolak have maintained that a state agency is better suited to take care of the contamination. Chairman Torres, who pushed for federal clean-up, said in a recent interview that the deferral to the state was an affront to Walker River Tribe.

On the other hand, the Yerington Paiute Tribe has indicated support for Sisolak’s deferral decision. Chairwoman Laurie Thom has said she sees potential for improving collaboration between state agencies and tribes, through working with the NDEP.

In Southern Nevada, 227,000 acres of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge — an area currently managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife service that is considered sacred to indigenous Paiute tribes — are up for consideration to become a part of the U.S. Air Force Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR). The Moapa Band of Paiutes issued a tribal resolution last year opposing the expansion of the test range into the refuge, but the decision rests with the state.

“I’ve met with the military bases, with both the generals, and we’re working with our federal delegation,” Sisolak said of Desert Wildlife Refuge at a September event in Las Vegas.

Krause, who is a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation and lives in Las Vegas, said she attended one of the public comment hearings for the fate of Desert Wildlife Refuge and was distressed to see how widespread this pattern is.

“My community of the Black Hills [in South Dakota] has already gone through this. To see a community in this day and age actively going through this struggle — it’s happening in our time,” Krause said.

Supporters of Indigenous Peoples Day maintain that the portrayal of their history needs to change, as well as how the state treats Indigenous Peoples who are alive today. Krause provided an example from when she was on an advisory council of teachers for the Nevada Department of Education.

“Our education policies are some of the most important right now. And [Native American] statistics were not included on our students’ achievement [report],” said Krause. “If I had not been in that room, no one else would have spoken up about it. With all of these different areas of importance in our community, we need to have our community’s representation there.”

Recent legislation aims to improve collaboration between tribes and state agencies by requiring any agency that works regularly with tribes to appoint a tribal liaison. The bill also requires annual meetings between the governor and tribal leaders.

“Our reservations offer services and the state offers services. If we can collaborate to make those a better service for all of our people, I think it would just be a better America,” said Torres, who worked with Democratic Assemblywoman Sarah Peters to get the bill passed.

Krause said she would like to see state and tribal collaboration go toward improving tribal health care. Poor dental health, diabetes, heart disease and lower than average life expectancy are more prevalent among the Native American community than the general population.

Although Krause can access Indian Health Services (IHS) from the Las Vegas Paiute site in town for non-emergency care, she said she has to drive five hours to get to the closest hospital that offers IHS.

For many Native Americans, adjusting health care, education and other services to better accommodate Native Americans would be welcome steps toward reparations for colonization. More than 500 years after Columbus sailed the Atlantic, indigenous people continue to report neglect, disregard for tribal sovereignty and unequal treatment by the government.

“We need to educate people that Native Americans are here, alive, and that there’s plenty of engineers, doctors and business people [who] are Native American,” said Mandell. “We don’t live in the past, we’ve been living here [for] a while and we still practice our culture today. And I think a holiday like Indigenous Peoples Day can help dispel the myth that we are a culture of the past.”

Archaeologist Dr Jago Cooper reveals the true character of this stunning continent through its culture, people and landscapes. There is a rich and fascinating history that has been forgotten. The Incas and the Spanish interrupted millennia of independent development of important and influential civilisations. Across four episodes, we explore Chimor in Peru, Muisca and Tairona in Colombia, Chachapoya in Peru and Tiwanaku in Bolivia. There are temples hidden deep in the jungle, sprawling mountain citadels and long-forgotten gods and kings carved in stone. The Lost Kingdoms of South America have only just begun to relinquish their secrets.

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What Was The Result Of Columbus’s Voyage To America?

Between the 15th and 16th centuries, there were many European explorers traveling to the New World looking for new territories and treasures. The most well-known adventurer in this group was Christopher Columbus. In pursuit of a faster route to Asia as well as riches such as gold, Columbus was seen as the first messenger bringing Western civilization to the Americas (Zinn.) His famous fleet–the Nina, the Pinto, and the Santa Maria–left Portugal in 1492 during his first expedition, and he eventually ended up in the regions eventually known as North and South America. This paper will discuss the results of Columbus’s discoveries and their relevance to the New World.

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Although he did not really “discover” the New World since millions of people already lived there, the journeys of Christopher Columbus represented the start of centuries of trans-Atlantic conquest and colonization (Christopher Columbus.) He was the first European to come in contact with the natives of the islands, who came to be called Indians, and from the outset, they were exploited and treated like beings lesser than the white Europeans. This set a precedent for the treatment of the native populations that persisted well into the history of the United States. According to Zinn, Columbus’s accounts and promises regarding his exploits in the New World were exaggerated. Columbus became frustrated by the primitive nature of the islands that he was encountering, but his subsequent voyages included the discovery of many more islands such as the Bahamas, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. However, one of the most significant of his actions was the decision to send back five shiploads of the native population of the islands to Europe in what has come to be seen as the beginnings of the slave trade (Christopher Columbus: In the History of America.)

Although Columbus was motivated to find gold and jewelry, he also intended to convert the native populations that he encountered to Christianity (Meltzer.) This portrayed the imperialistic perception that the Indians he came across were not able to govern themselves or to choose how they lived their lives, despite the fact that they had been doing so for thousands of years. He believed that he was entitled to claim their territory for Spain, and treated them as if he was meant to provide redemption for their souls. This was apparently the justification he relied on to excuse many of the detrimental consequences of his actions. In any case, the behavior that Columbus demonstrated towards the Indians was unimaginably cruel. Accounts of the way the Spanish treated the native population described horrific behavior, to say the least. For example, eventually the Spanish settlers refused to walk any distance at all, insisting that they either ride on the backs of the Indians or travel by hammocks that were carried by the native population (Zinn.) In another example, the explorers were inclined to sharpen their knives by cutting off pieces of the flesh of the Indians.

The voyages of Christopher Columbus resulted in hundreds of years of exploration as well as exploitation on the continents of North and South America (Christopher Columbus.) His travels resulted in extremely severe conditions for the native populations of the regions that he and his fellow travelers conquered, and these populations were plagued by diseases as well as significant changes to their environment that led to the decimation of entire groups of people. While these devastating events were occurring, the explorers from Europe proceeded to remove as many natural resources as possible from these regions. The legacy left by Columbus is decidedly mixed: on one hand, he was a brave and imaginative adventurer who paved the way for exploration in the New World. However, there were also unintended consequences to his explorations that resulted in the devastation of the people that stood in the way of his exploits. The way that Indians were treated by Columbus and his followers was referred to as “genocide” by all accounts, and sadly, this legacy continued for hundreds of years through various forms of mistreatment of Native Americans by European settlers.

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Content Covered in this US History Lesson Plan

Christopher Columbus discovers America

In 1492, Christopher Columbus left Spain in search of a new trade route through the Atlantic Ocean to Asia. In October of 1492, his ships, the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria, reached land. Columbus initially believed he had reached islands near Asia and called the people he encountered Indians. Columbus and his crew were not in Asia. They had reached the Americas. Columbus landed in the Bahamas Islands and explored areas such as modern day Cuba. There, they encountered the Native America people group known as the Taino (Ti’noh). Spain was thrilled with the expedition and longed to colonize the area.

The “new” land began to be claimed by European countries. This process is called colonization, when a more powerful Nation controls another area of the world. This meant they could grow crops, bring back resources like silver and gold, and expand their territorial control of the world. Colonization was meant to make European nations more wealthy and powerful. Yet, this also led to hostility between the nations of Europe. Eventually, wars developed to control the new world territories.

There were various impacts on Native Americans. The Europeans wanted to use forced labor and foreign resources to fuel their own economies. Armed with superior weapons, such as guns, they easily defeated Native American opposition to colonization. Europeans brought diseases with them, such as small pox. The Europeans had immunities to these diseases yet, the Native Americans did not, because they had never been exposed to the diseases before. Therefore, the impact on Native Americans was harsh and drastic.

Due to the decline of the Native American labor, Europe looked elsewhere for slave labor. The Africans had the immunities of many European diseases and were taken as slaves. Native Americans also knew the land and escaped more easily than the Africans. This cruel practice of slavery devastated many African societies, particularly in West Africa. By the 1800s, millions of Africans had been forced into slavery. Slavery became heredity as well so that the descendants of slaves were also trapped in the system.

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PAPER 2: OPTION P1: Spain and the ‘New World’, c1490–c1555

In this module, students will cover the following topics in line with the Edexcel specifications booklet. Detailed information for the module can be found on page 26-27.

Key topic 1: Spain reaches the ‘New World’, c1490–1512

  • Spanish exploration
  • Columbus reaches America
  • Spanish claims in the Caribbean

Key topic 2: The conquistadors, 1513–c1528

  • The start of an empire
  • The conquest of Mexico
  • Impact of Spain in the New World

Key topic 3: The Spanish Empire c1528–c1555

  • Pizarro and the conquest of the Incas
  • Expansion of empire
  • Impact of the New World on Spain


Doak, Robin. Christopher Columbus: Explorer of the New World. Minneapolis: Compass Point Books, 2005.

Fleming, Fergus. Off the Map: Tales of Endurance and Exploration. New York: Grove Press, 2004.

Phillips, William D., and Carla Rahn Phillips. The Worlds of Christopher Columbus. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993.


“Christopher Columbus Leaving Palos, Spain, Aboard the Santa Maria on His 1st Voyage, ” circa 1910, by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, Gift of Archer Huntington, The Mariners’ Museum. “Christoval Colon Descubridor de la America,” Histoire de la Conquete de La Floride: ou Relation de Ce Qui S’est Passé Dans La D’ecouverte de Païs Par Ferdinand de Soto Composee en Espagnol Par L’Inca Garcillasso de la Vega & Traduite en François Par Sr. Pierre Richelet, 1735, From The Library at The Mariners’ Museum, E123.C5 rare. Columbus and his crew leaving the port of Palos, Spain, for the New World. (Credit: Library of Congress)
First landing of Columbus on the shores of the New World. Christopher Columbus kneeling in front of Queen Isabella I. (Credit: Library of Congress)

Map of Voyages

Click below to view an example of the explorer’s voyages. Use the tabs on the left to view either 1 or multiple journeys at a time, and click on the icons to learn more about the stops, sites, and activities along the way.

Watch the video: CRISTOPHER COLUMBUS ep. 26 - GR. ελληνικά