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In What Ways Did The Arrival Of The Spanish, French, And British Change The Culture And Lifestyles Of The Indian Cultures In North America, Central America, And South America?

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The life styles of the Indians of the Americas changed greatly over time, almost completely influenced by Western culture. Each of the different Western civilizations affected the Indian tribes very differently. This is partly due to the reasons why they came to the "New World." The British came primarily for land due to their fast population growth and partially for a new economic venture. The French came for furs and luxuries that only Indians and the untamed land could provide. They created trading posts and shipped these commodities back to the mainland. The Spanish came for conquest. They wanted gold, land, slaves, and glory. Each of these different purposes contributed to how the corresponding civilization interacted with the Indians.

The British primarily interacted with the Indian tribes along the eastern shorelines of North America. The British, unlike the French, only relied on the Indians during early settling. They harsh climates and geographies of the lands the British settlers were landing in were unlike anything they had ever known. They slowly became friends with local Indian tribes who taught them how to plant, and survive in the winter. These relationships slowly changed as the settlers learned how to survive on their own, and as these settlements prospered the animosity between settlers and Indians grew more and more. The relationships changed from a friendly relationship to a trade relationship. The Indians would give food and luxuries in exchange for the British settler's guns, ammunition, and metal pots. They even converted some Indians to their faiths, and some went as far as living with the settlers. As more settlers arrived for live in the "New World" there was a need for more land, and a need to claim land granted in the British King's "Royal Charters." These charters were essentially land grants given to settlers and companies who were to move to the "New World." Local Indian tribes were often already settled on these lands, and land disputes began to take place. Settlers also began to steal crops from Indian reserves, and the general behavior towards the Indian tribes was very disrespectful. The Indians believed that the land and its bounties belonged to everyone, including the settlers and themselves. The British settlers on the other hand believed in owning the land, and were often greedy when it came down to it. This changed how the Indians had to live on their own lands. Instead of sharing they had to learn to take land as property, and as time went on they built forts on their land to protect it just as the English did. With the weaponry they acquired from the English they began to fight back, but were almost always brutally defeated by the British.

The French came with an interest in making profit and trading. Different types of pelts, beaver pelts being the most valuable, were wanted by French explorers. They set up trading outposts in order to trade with local Indian tribes. They became friends with these tribes and learned their languages, and in return they established a solid trading relationship with them. The French would trade items they considered common. These items could include anything from a fishhook to a flintlock. The French did not truly desire the land like their English counter-parts. Instead, they relied on their Indian allies in order to make a profit in mainland France. Later on, these trade relationships helped the Indian decide which side they would follow when it came to war. Whoever offered the best trades, and a constant flow of them (primarily the French) would hold the Indians as an ally. This overall lead to a much better relationship than what the English shared with the Indians. This trade also helped the Indians establish a much better economy. The tools they acquired that were made from metal were far superior to their own, and were highly treasured. With the constant flow of guns to the Indians, and their constant fur hunting, they quickly almost wiped out all fur bearing animals. This was highly unlike the Indians as it was their belief to take only what you needed from the land. Instead they were now collecting as many pelts as possible to trade to the French.

Lastly, the Spanish came for reasons very different from that of the French and English. They came primarily to conquer. This showed in their relationships with the Indians they met. Their landings were primarily in Central and South America, and on the tip of what we now know as Florida. They became very cruel, very quickly; to the Indians they met

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