European Conquest into America



If one looks at the encounters between Europeans and
Native Americans during the fifteenth century and beyond, it
is obvious to see a trend of invasion, conquest, slavery,
and eventually death lurking about the historical documents
describing that time. The expeditions into the New World by
Europeans during the fifteenth century can’t be easily
labeled as invasions. These conquests were more of a sort of
cultural exchange than anything else. Especially on the part
of the Europeans, who sought out to Christianize the world.
Such as stated by Christopher Columbus, “As I saw that they
were very friendly to us, and perceived that they could be
much more easily converted to our holy faith by gentle means
than by force,....” Another statement by Columbus supports
this as well. “It appears to me, that the people are
ingenious, and would be good servants; and I am of opinion
that they would very readily become Christians, as they
appear to have no religion.” The Europeans perception of the
Americans were all relatively the same. They described their
life as being barbaric, and their appearance to be naked,
and have dark hair upon their heads, which was coarse. This
shocked the Europeans since they came from a civilized
culture. Not all encounters with the Americans went well.
According to Amerigo Vespucci, he encountered a group of
natives on the shore which showed signs of war. After a long
battle, and after burning their village, they took 250
people as prisoners, leaving many wounded or dead. But yet
the Europeans suffered only one death. Again, the conquests
on the Europeans into the Americas should not be considered
a series of invasions, even though there were accounts of
battle. They should be looked at as more of an expedition
into the “New World”, as the Europeans would call it, to
exchange cultural knowledge and Christianize it as well.



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