Differences Between Spanish Colonists And Native Americans

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Differences Between Spanish Colonists And Native Americans



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Colonial Differences

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In the Americas, mortality rates were higher due to the virgin soil phenomenon, in which indigenous populations were at a higher risk of being affected by epidemics because there had been no previous contact with the disease, preventing them from gaining some form of immunity. Estimates of mortality rates resulting from smallpox epidemics range between Smallpox epidemics affected the demography of the stricken populations for to years after the initial first infection. Indigenous Perspectives and Historical Interactions During the early contact period keep in mind "early contact period" represented different years throughout the many different regions of the United States , many Native Americans did not believe that disease was transmitted between individuals.

Instead, they ascribed disease to supernatural forces. For example, during the early s, Northern Plains groups considered smallpox to be a personification of the Bad Spirit. Disease was often thought of as punishment by the "Master of Life" for mistreatment of animals or other people. During the s, the Creeks and Cherokees considered the spread of smallpox to be punishment for violations of tribal laws, such as sexual intercourse in the cornfields and village-wide violations.

By , the Cree attributed the epidemics to anger from God. Animal spirits were also blamed. According to traditional Cherokee knowledge, animals created diseases to protect themselves against humans. The Kwanthum of Vancouver described a dragon that lived in a swamp and breathed upon children. Its breath caused sores to break out "…and they burned with the heat, and they died to feed this monster. And so the village was deserted, and never again would the Indians live on that spot". The Salish blamed a salmon season in which the fish were covered in sores and blotches. They reacted by killing as many of the fish as possible. These types of explanations were common before Europeans were connected with smallpox incidence.

Witchcraft was also a popular explanation throughout the contact period, often resulting in the torture or killing of accused individuals. Indigenous groups, including the New Mexico Pueblo and the Hurons, blamed members of their own communities as well as white missionaries for witchcraft. Many groups, like the Hurons, thought that the Jesuits were witches because they possessed charms and religious paintings, demonstrated much concern with how one died, and described communion bread as containing human flesh. The Jesuits were often blamed when an infected person died after having Holy water sprinkled on them.

The Hurons were terrified of the Jesuits and prohibited them from entering their villages. Substantial social interactions with the Jesuits and French traders often helped to spread the infection further. Native participation in the Canadian Fur Trade and Hudson Bay Company of the Upper Missouri River, as well as Euroamerican fur brigades, often brought infection to the main centers and carried the disease to all affiliated trading posts. Native American conversions to Christianity gave the indigenous people an acquired desire for European goods and another reason to eagerly participate in the fur trade, which increased exposure to European pathogens. The Oregon Trail also acted as an avenue for the spread of epidemics. By the late s, Amerindians in New France knew that Europeans often carried smallpox and avoided them to prevent infection.

Native soldiers at Fort Presqu'ile would not proceed to Niagara after learning of the disease presence there. Those participating in the war came into contact with infected British soldiers and contracted smallpox. The Native Americans blamed the French and English and would not ally with them until the disease ran its course. As a result, the French and British blamed each other for the smallpox transmissions to the Native Americans in order to gain indigenous favor and alliances.

There are historical references of deliberate transmission of smallpox from Europeans to Native Americans. In , the British general Jeffrey Amherst gave blankets taken from infected corpses to deliberately infect nearby natives. Many legends of similar instances of intentional transmission exist throughout the contact period. Written documents indicate that many Europeans were using smallpox on their side "It has pleased Our Lord to give the said people a pestilence of smallpox that does not cease…". Consequently, many European explorers and traders received death threats from embittered victims and relatives of the deceased. Indigenous Treatments and Responses to Smallpox Between and , Native Americans attempted to treat the disease with traditional medical treatments.

For example, when the first smallpox epidemics coursed through North America, Northern Plains individuals attempted to use "drum and rattle" incantations to ease the spread of the disease and to increase the will to survive. The most common medical treatment during this period was the sweat lodge. In the Northern Plains groups, willow bark was steamed in the lodge, acting as an analgesic, with conifer oils acting as decongestants. The Cherokees adopted a similar approach because they believed that plants decided to cure humans after they heard of animal spirits' evil plans to spread disease.

However, many of the herbs were cathartics and emetics, and the profuse sweating often caused dehydration. Thomas Sydenham, suggested that heat therapy in the form of both steam and warmed blankets made sores worse. Furthermore, a stay in the sweat lodge was usually followed by plunging oneself into cold water, which often caused shock, cardiac arrest, "violent fevers", and generally lowered immune resistance to infection. Other early treatment of smallpox involved the formation of curing societies and village rituals, including fasting and dreaming.

Bear oil was used as a natural emetic to stop the disease's spread by the Hudson Bay area Cree during the epidemic. Other indigenous treatments were not recorded by Europeans because the knowledge was considered sacred. By the early s, Native Americans had begun developing additional methods to prevent infection. Southeastern Native Americans avoided diseased villages and educated others about traveling into infected areas.

Another indigenous method to avoid further infection was sending the disease to an enemy via the shaman. By , Cree used both indigenous and European medicinal techniques in their smallpox treatments. By the late s, there was also a major and effective change towards quarantining infected individuals. Earlier, natives viewed quarantine as abandoning family and often crowded around the sick to attend to them, spreading the disease further. Some argue, however, that smallpox did not spread so easily and had to be acquired through intimate contact. Infected individuals were quarantined and homes were either burned or cleaned.

At this time, many were not nursed back to health and inevitably starved to death. Cherokees moved infected individuals to fields on the village's periphery. The switch to quarantine helped slow the spread of the disease, but curious children often contracted the disease after snooping around abandoned houses and burial grounds. Although many vaccination attempts were ineffective at preventing smallpox, most vaccinations helped protect Native Americans. An intense debate concerning inoculations against smallpox in the Americas took place in the s. Colonists in America quickly learned of inoculation efforts and spent nearly years debating whether people should risk death to avoid the disease. In the early s, the Spanish crown sent vaccinations to the colonial clergymen.

Francisco Xavier Balmis started the vaccination program. Young children were infected with cowpox, which Edward Jenner had proved effective as a vaccination against smallpox. This program vaccinated more than individuals in Cartagena de Indias, , in Peru, and 20, in the Philippines. President Thomas Jefferson started an additional vaccination program during the epidemic. Some North American populations such as the Sioux embraced vaccination programs, although many were uncomfortable with the idea of abandoning their indigenous medicinal methods.

Often, the efforts of traders in vaccinating Native Americans were much more intense than the Bureau of Indian Affairs' attempts, which often stalled for economic gain or pushed to protect the neighboring white settlers first. European vaccination programs in North and South America greatly contributed to Native American population recovery. Christianity's missionaries were moderately successful in assisting with disease treatment and may have even gained a few converts along the way, but after the disease abated in their area, many Native American groups returned to their traditional indigenous beliefs, giving their earlier indigenous rituals full credit for their population's survival.

However, in some instances, survival convinced individuals to believe in the Christian God. The loss of cultural knowledge aided Christian missionaries' attempts at conversion, as many rituals and sacred bundles fell into disuse when shaman and other elders died. In the late 19th century, a mix of Christian converts and those with indigenous religious beliefs often co-existed within one village. In this case, the Christians obtained European medical treatment, but the indigenous believers would not accept it, although the European treatment by this time may not have been any more effective. Many non-Christian Native Americans kidnapped family members taken to hospitals by Europeans.

The non-Christian indigenous individuals receptive to European medicine were often labeled "progressive", whereas the "conservatives" would not accept Western medicine in their treatments. Many of the "progressive" families sent students overseas to English schools, adding an additional source of infection when the student returned home. Genevieve across the river in today's Missouri. The geographical limits of Upper Louisiana were never precisely defined, but the term gradually came to describe the country southwest of the Great Lakes. A royal ordinance of may have featured the broadest definition: all land claimed by France south of the Great Lakes and north of the mouth of the Ohio River , which would include the Missouri Valley as well as both banks of the Mississippi.

A generation later, trade conflicts between Canada and Louisiana led to a defined boundary between the French colonies; in , Louisiana governor general Vaudreuil set the northeastern bounds of his domain as the Wabash valley up to the mouth of the Vermilion River near present-day Danville, Illinois ; from there, northwest to le Rocher on the Illinois River , and from there west to the mouth of the Rock River at present-day Rock Island, Illinois. This boundary remained in effect through the capitulation of French forces in Canada in until the Treaty of Paris in , after which France surrendered its remaining territory east of the Mississippi to Great Britain.

Although British forces had occupied the "Canadian" posts in the Illinois and Wabash countries in , they did not occupy Vincennes or the Mississippi River settlements at Cahokia and Kaskaskia until , after the peace treaty was ratified. Thomas Gage then commandant at Montreal explained in that, although the boundary between Louisiana and Canada was not exact, it was understood that the upper Mississippi above the mouth of the Illinois was in Canadian trading territory. Following the transfer of power at which time many of the French settlers on the east bank of the Mississippi crossed the river to what had become Spanish Louisiana the eastern Illinois Country became part of the British Province of Quebec , and later the United States' Northwest Territory.

Louis This became a French fur-trading center, connected to trading posts on the Missouri and Upper Mississippi rivers, leading to later French settlement in that area. French explorers and frontiersmen, such as Pedro Vial , were often employed as guides and interpreters by the Spanish and later by the Americans. The Spanish lieutenant governors at St. Louis maintained the traditional "Illinois Country" nomenclature, using titles such as "commander in chief of the western part and districts of Illinois" and administrators commonly referred to their capital St.

Louis "of the Ylinuses". A unique dialect, known as Missouri French , developed in Upper Louisiana. It is distinguished from both Louisiana French and the various forms of Canadian French , such as Acadian. The dialect continued to be spoken around the Midwest, particularly in Missouri, through the 20th century. It is nearly extinct today, with only a few elderly speakers still able to use it. In , France started a policy of expansion into the interior of North America from what is now eastern Canada. The objectives were to locate a Northwest Passage to China; to exploit the territory's natural resources, such as fur and mineral ores; and to convert the native population to Catholicism.

Fur traders began exploring the pays d'en haut upper country around the Great Lakes at the time. Priests founded missions , such as the Mission of Sault Sainte Marie in They reached the mouth of the Arkansas River , and then returned upstream, having learned that the great river ran toward the Gulf of Mexico, not toward the Pacific Ocean as they had presumed. A permanent settlement was made by They sealed alliances with the Quapaw Indians. In April , they arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi. Cavelier eventually returned to Versailles , where he convinced the Minister of the Marine to grant the command of Louisiana to him.

He claimed that Louisiana was close to New Spain by drawing a map showing the Mississippi as much farther west than it really was. With four ships and emigrants, Cavelier set sail for Louisiana. Cavelier did not find the river's mouth in the Mississippi River Delta and tried to establish a colony on the Texas coast. Cavelier was assassinated in by members of his exploration party, reportedly near what is now Navasota, Texas. It was not easy for an absolute monarchy to administer Louisiana, a territory several times larger than European France. Louis XIV and his successors tried to impose their absolutist ambitions on the colony, often without giving the colonial administration enough financial means to do its work. Henry IV, the first Bourbon king, was personally interested in foreign affairs.

In the 17th century, the ministers Richelieu and later Colbert advanced colonial politics. Louis XIV and his ministers were worried about the size of the kingdom, over which they constantly competed with other European nations. European rivalry and a game of political alliances greatly marked the history of Louisiana, in direct and indirect ways. Within those shifting conditions, the French desire to limit British influence in North America was a constant issue in royal politics.

Louis XIV took care to limit the appearance of intermediary bodies and countervailing powers in North America. He did not want an assembly of notables or parliament. In the s, the colony was royal property. Between and , the French possession came under the control of Antoine Crozat , a rich businessman, then under that of the Mississippi Company created by John Law , which recruited immigrants to settle the colony.

In , Louisiana reverted to royal rule. In contrast to Metropolitan France , the government applied a single unified law of the land: the Custom of Paris for civil law rather egalitarian for the time ; the "Code Louis", consisting of the ordinance on civil procedure [23] and ordinance on criminal procedure ; the "Code Savary" for trade; and the Code noir for slavery. But, the centralised government had difficulty maintaining communications over the long distance and sailing time that separated France from Louisiana. Toward the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th, the colonists on the Gulf of Mexico were left almost completely to fend for themselves; they counted far more on the assistance of the Native Americans than on France.

The distance had its advantages: the colonists smuggled goods into the colony with impunity. He dissolved the trading companies and took care to increase the production of the country and the colonies. Being a mercantilist , he believed it was necessary to sell as much as possible and to reduce reliance on imports. He imposed a French monopoly on trade. Colbert wanted to reduce the expenditure of the monarchy. It was, however, necessary to invest much money and to mobilize important human resources retain the American colony. Much work was done on the economic infrastructure factories, ports in metropolitan France, but the investment was not enough in Louisiana.

No plan to facilitate the movement of goods or men was ever carried out. The French budget was exhausted because of the wars in Europe, but the colonists in Louisiana did not have to pay royal taxes and were free of the hated gabelle. New France was initially ruled by a viceroy in , the Duke of Ventadour. The colony was then given a government like the Bourbons ' other possessions. Its capital was Quebec City until A governor-general , assisted by a single intendant , was charged with ruling this vast region. In theory, Louisiana was subordinate to Canada, and so it was explored and settled chiefly by French-Canadians rather than colonists from France.

Given the enormous distance between New Orleans and Quebec, communications outside cities and forts were limited. French settlements were widely dispersed, which afforded them de facto autonomy. The government decided to break up governance of the vast varied colony of New France into five smaller provinces, including Louisiana. Mobile served as French Louisiana's first "capital". The seat of government moved to Biloxi in , and then to New Orleans in , where the governor lived. While the office of governor general was the most eminent, it was not the most powerful.

His was a military position that required him to lead the troops and maintain diplomatic relations. The second provincial authority was the commissaire-ordonnateur. His was a civil post with similar functions as that of the intendants in France: the king's administrator and representative, he oversaw justice, the police force, and finances. Appointed by the king, Louisiana's commissaire-ordonnateur had broad powers that sometimes conflicted with those of the governor general. The military outposts of the hinterland were directed by commanders. The French possessions of North America were under the authority of a single Catholic diocese, whose seat was in Quebec. The archbishop, named and paid by the king, was spiritual head of all New France.

With loose religious supervision, the fervor of the population was very weak; Louisianans tended to practice their faith much less than did their counterparts in France and Canada. The tithe, a tax by the clergy on the congregations, produced less revenue than in France. The Church nevertheless played an important part in the exploration of French Louisiana; it sent missions, primarily carried out by Jesuits , to convert Native Americans.

It also founded schools and hospitals: By , the Ursulines were operating a hospital in New Orleans. The church and its missionaries established contact with the numerous Amerindian tribes. Certain priests, such as Father Marquette in the 17th century, took part in exploratory missions. The Jesuits translated collections of prayers into numerous Amerindian languages to convert the Native Americans. They also looked for ways to relate Indian practices to Christian worship, and helped show the Natives how these were related. A syncretic religion developed among new Christians. Sincere and permanent conversions were limited in number; many who received missionary instruction tended to assimilate the Holy Trinity into their belief of "spirits", or rejected the concept outright.

It is difficult to estimate the total population of France's colonies in North America. While historians have relatively precise sources regarding the colonists and enslaved Africans, estimates of Native American peoples is difficult. During the 18th century, the society of Louisiana became quite creolized. It is associated with the misnomer the Cajun French dialect and with Louisiana Creole French, a related creole language.

Spoken widely in what is now the U. Colonial French is conventionally described as the form of French spoken in Lower French Louisiana prior to the mass arrival of Acadians after the Great Upheaval of the midth century, which resulted in the birth of the Cajun dialect. The prestige dialect still used by Creoles and Cajuns is often identified as deriving from Colonial French, but some linguists differentiate between the two, referring to the latter as Plantation Society French.

Historically spoken by Louisiana Creole population in lower French Louisiana, Colonial French is generally considered to have been adopted by whites, blacks and Cajuns. Some scholars suggested that it survived as the prestige dialect spoken by Creoles, both white and of color, into the 21st century. There are populations of Creoles and Cajuns among other ethnic groups in the parishes of St. Charles, St. Landry, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Plaquemines, and other parishes south of Orleans, that still speak this prestige dialect.

However, linguists have pointed out this prestige dialect is distinct from the pre-Upheaval Colonial French, and is largely derived from the standard French of the midth century, Spanish, African languages, and Native Americans languages. As such, in linguist Michael Picone of the University of Alabama introduced the term "Plantation Society French" for the prestige dialect. Plantation Society French, at any rate, is quite close to the Standard French of the time of its origin, with some possible differences in pronunciation and vocabulary use. It is still spoken by the Louisiana Indians, such as the Houmas, Avoyelles, Choctaw, and other tribal remnants, all present in pre-Acadian Louisiana and still present in contemporary Louisiana.

According to the demographer Russel Thornton, North America contained approximately seven million native inhabitants in The population plummeted from the 16th century onward, primarily because of the new infectious diseases carried by Europeans, to which the Native Americans had no acquired immunity. At the end of the 17th century, there were likely no more than , to , Native Americans in Lower Louisiana. French colonists forced a small number of Native Americans into slavery, in spite of official prohibition. These slaves were persons who had been captured by rival tribes during raids and in battle, and sold to French colonists. In Louisiana, planters generally preferred using African slaves, though some had Native American servants.

His objective was to develop the plantation economy of Lower Louisiana. The Royal Indies Company held a monopoly over the slave trade in the area. It imported approximately 6, slaves from Africa between and A small portion of these were sent to the Illinois Country to cultivate the fields or to work the lead mines. The economy of Lower Louisiana consequently became slave-dependent. As in other French colonies, the treatment of the slaves was regulated by the Code Noir.

The slaves often had a degree of autonomy beyond that suggested by the code. Initially, during public holidays, slaves were permitted to sell a portion of the crops they had cultivated. Some would hunt, cut wood or keep livestock far from the plantation. Lastly, although interracial marriages and regroupings of slaves were prohibited, planters often kept slave mistresses. The life and work of the slaves was difficult, with the intense harvest season and processing of sugar undoubtedly the hardest.

The maintenance of canals for rice irrigation and travel also involved much labor. Slave residences and furnishings as supplied by planters were modest. The slaves were given simple straw pallets as beds. They typically had some trunks and kitchen utensils. The condition of the slaves depended on the treatment they received from their masters. When it was excessively cruel, the slaves often fled and hid in the marshes or in New Orleans.

The Maroon societies that runaway slaves founded were often short-lived; Louisiana did not have the larger and semi-permanent Maroon villages that developed in the West Indies. Meanwhile, slave revolts were not as frequent in this area as they were in the Caribbean. The possibility of being set free was rather low; the slaves could not purchase their freedom. One of the first slaves to be freed was Louis Congo , who, in , received freedom, land, and compensation in exchange for becoming the public executioner of New Orleans.

Slaves contributed to the creolization of Louisianan society. They brought okra from Africa, a plant common in the preparation of gumbo. While the Code Noir required that the slaves receive a Christian education, many secretly practiced animism and often combined elements of the two faiths. The commonly accepted definition of Louisiana Creole today is the community whose members are a descendant of the "native-born" individuals of la Louisiane. Some individuals may not have each ethnic heritage, and some may have additional ancestries.

It is estimated that 7, European immigrants settled in Louisiana during the 18th century—a hundredth the number of inhabitants of the Thirteen Colonies on the Atlantic coast. Initially, creole was the term used for Europeans and sometimes, separately for Africans born in Louisiana, in contrast to those who immigrated there. Louisiana attracted considerably fewer French colonists than did its West Indian colonies.

After the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, which lasted several months, the colonists had several challenges ahead of them. Their living conditions were difficult: uprooted, they had to face a new, often hostile, environment. Many of these immigrants died during the maritime crossing or soon after their arrival. Physical conditions were harsh, and the tropical climate was difficult for colonists. Hurricanes, unknown in France, periodically struck the coast, destroying whole villages.

The Mississippi River Delta was plagued with periodic floods and yellow fever epidemics, to which malaria and cholera were added as part of the Eurasian diseases that arrived with the Europeans. These conditions slowed colonization. Moreover, French villages and forts were not necessarily safe from enemy offensives. Attacks by Native Americans represented a real threat to the groups of isolated colonists; in , their attacks killed in Lower Louisiana.

Forces of the Native American Natchez people took Fort Rosalie now Natchez, Mississippi by surprise, killing, among others, pregnant women. The French responded with warfare during the next two years: some Natchez were captured and deported as slaves to Saint Domingue ; others left the area if they escaped. Colonists were often young men, volunteers recruited in French ports or in Paris. Many served as indentured servants ; they were required to remain in Louisiana for a length of time fixed by the contract of service to pay off their passage.

During this time, they were "temporary semi-slaves". They were given a dowry financed by the King. This practice built upon the 17th-century precedent when Louis XIV paid for transport and dowries for about filles du roi King's Daughters to emigrate to New France to encourage marriage and formation of families in the colony. Most quickly found husbands among the residents of the colony.

These women, many of whom were most likely prostitutes or felons, were known as The Baleine Brides. Communities of Swiss and German peoples also settled in French Louisiana, but royal authorities always referred to the population as "French". After the Seven Years' War , in which Britain defeated France, the settlement attracted a variety of groups: Spanish settlers, refugees from Saint Domingue particularly after when the slave uprisings began , opponents of the French Revolution , and Acadians. In , people of Acadian origin were brought from France to New Orleans, 30 years after having been expelled from Acadia by the British.

Other Acadians were transported there by the British after they were expelled from Acadia. About 4, are thought to have settled in Louisiana, gradually forming the Cajun community. Social mobility was easier in America than in France at the time. The seigneurial system was not imposed on the banks of the Mississippi, although the long lot land division scheme of the seigneurial system was adapted to some of the meandering rivers and bayous there. There were few corporations treated hierarchically and strictly regulated. Certain tradesmen managed to build fortunes rather quickly. The large planters of Louisiana were attached to the French way of life: they imported wigs and clothing fashionable in Paris.

In the Country of Illinois, the wealthiest constructed stone-built houses and had several slaves. The largest traders mostly wound up settling in New Orleans. The King sent the army in the event of conflict with the other colonial powers; in , the colony of Mississippi counted soldiers out of people Havard G, Vidal C, History of French America , p. However, the colonial army, like that of France, suffered from desertions. Certain soldiers fled to become coureurs de bois. There were few mutinies because repression was severe. The army held a fundamental place in the control of the territory.

Soldiers built forts and frequently negotiated with the Native Americans. The coureurs des bois literally "runners of the woods" played an important part, though not well documented, in the expansion of French influence in North America. By the end of the 17th century, these adventurers had journeyed the length of the Mississippi River.

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