Native American and Puritan Land Beliefs

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Puritan and Native American beliefs of land ownership were totally different. Each culture had its own beliefs of how the land would be of best use. The Native Americans believed that land couldn't be owned, any and everyone could use it. Puritans, however, believed that the Natives had no use for the land other than to hunt on. The Puritan's also thought that the land was only of value when they improved it.

Native Americans never declared the land as a certain person's, they shared it and believed that it could not be owned because it was God's land that he was letting them use. They all shared the land equally and farmed and hunted where ever they thought was best and no one could tell them to leave because it was God's land and he allowed everyone to share it fairly. Their villages were built around a water source and they would venture out as far as they needed to get food, and they had no boundaries to stop them from traveling to where ever they wanted to go. They also treated the land with great respect and care. It was not theirs to destroy so they must respect it and be kind to it.

When the Puritans arrive and discovered all the unclaimed land, they immediately started dividing it among the settlers. When the Natives complained about the "owning  of the land the Puritans simply told them that they had no use for the land other than hunting, so they would use it to start their own towns and for private use. Solomon Stoddard said that "the Indians made no use of it but for hunting  in his document of defense of buying Indian land written in 1722. However despite the Natives requests, the Puritans continued to divide the land equally among the colonists. The Puritans tried to tell the Natives it would be best if it was owned and the owner of each property could make it into better land.

To make it settle better with the Natives, the Puritans offered to buy the land... Continue Reading