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European Influence

            The forced integration of European culture into the lives of Native Americans marked the beginning of a trend that could be traced through history to the present day. The idea of moral and cultural superiority originated long ago and became the predominant European practice when opposition was met for the possession of land. Instilled within the minds of these settlers was the notion that their ways were good, better, and best. Unfortunately there is a close association between achieving superiority and causing hurt to others. Displacement of land, enslavement, genocide, and forced religious conversion were injustices committed ages ago, and remain in practice today. .
             Through European eyes the Native Americans knew nothing of how to live. These Spanish settlers believed that they had discovered America, after all, despite thousands of years of Indian inhabitance on the same land. Calloway explains this establishment in the introduction to The World Turned Upside Down. "They [the Indians] developed effective hunting, fishing, and farming techniques; they cultivated new crops and integrated new foods into their diets; in some area of the country they built irrigation networks to enable them to grow crops in desert terrain. In many societies, hunters observed rituals that helped them maintain respectful relationships with the animals they hunted. Warfare and diplomacy also followed prescribed protocols." Prescribed protocols were precisely what guided the Europeans in their colonization of America. Local Native habitation was cruelly displaced to make room for towns and cities named after powerful political leaders in Europe. Such a method of civilization was easy for the Europeans to facilitate because of three factors: The Indians hadn't any knowledge of the rifle and were cruelly introduced to its lethality in battle; Secondly, because of the large numbers of Europeans coming to America, a single Indian tribe consisting of less than one hundred people could quickly be overwhelmed.

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