AMERICAN HISTORY 6
TheAlgonquin Indians are also commonly referred to as the AlgonkinIndians. They were a small tribe that occupied the area betweenMichigan and Canada. This is specifically Eastern Ontario andSouthern Quebec. The name Algonquin is commonly mistaken forAlgonquian-it refers to a vast number of Native American languages.The Algonquin is hence one of the tribes that speak the Algonquianlanguages in the Northern part of America. Although they occupied thecurrent day America, they were forced to move from their originalsettlements after the formation of the Iroquois League, which tookover their area (Dallek,2008)
TheAlgonquin tribe was led by chiefs known as Ogema and Ogima. TheChiefs were chosen by tribal council from the late chief’s maledescendants including the sons, sons-in-law and nephews. The chiefshad to be men.
TheAlgonquin wore clothes made from animal hides. The clothes werefurther decorated using shells, beads and paint. The clothes werebrightly colored with paint which was made from berries, soot, rootjuice or charcoal. They occasionally wore cloaks that were almostentirely covered with feathers. The Algonquin women wore leatherdresses and shirts that were held up using belts.Their heads weredecorated with acap or a cloth band. Men used Moccasins andbreechcloths. Although women wore a long hair, especially braids,which entailed one bunch of hair that was longer than the rest, themen had a varying unique hair style from one to the other. Some ofthe men shaved one half of the head. Meanwhile they left theremaining part to grow long. Some shaved everything but left a smallline that ran down the center of the head (Dallek, 2008).
Dueto their location- too far in the north, they could not fully rely onagriculture. Their livelihood entailed collecting plants, fruits, andhunting animals. Nevertheless, there were groups among the Algonquianthat carried out Agriculture which are the Ottawa, Abenaki and theAlgonquin who grew squash, Beans, and corn. They also hunted animalssuch as Racoons, Bears, Squirrels, Beavers, Mooses, Seals, andCaribous. The existent wildlife determined the type of animals huntedin their area. In hunting, the hunters used tools that were made frombark or wood. Bows and arrows and lances were used to hunt largeanimals. Traps, deadfalls, and snares were used to hunt smalleranimals. Hooks, Weirs, nets, leisters were used in fishing. They weremade from forest material. Cooking was done in containers made ofwood and bark made from birch trees (Dallek, 2008).
Therewere many factors that determined the response of the Europeans tothe Native Americans and vice versa. There were motivations,political, social structures, expectations, religious beliefs, andperceptions of wealth and the concepts of civilization (Dallek,2008).
Floridawas settled for a long time before the invasion of the Europeans. European voyages of discovery began after the discovery of the newworld by Columbus. The Spanish settled in Florida by the year 1513.Their expeditions began near the present day St Augustine Tampa andFlorida Keys. The French later followed them in the year 1562 whosettled near Huguenots. The settlement was later conquered by theSpanish who were later overthrown by the English colonies from thenorth.
Thesettlement of European colonialist in Florida exposed the existentcommunities to forced labor, Christianity, expulsion from land anddiseases. The decline in the American Natives was due to their lowimmune from the epidemic diseases. Smallpox was one of the mostdevastating diseases. Others included malaria, cholera, yellow fever,mumps, bubonic plague, influenza, measles, typhus and whooping cough.The common phenomenon was called the Columbian Exchange- the transferof diseases between the old and the new worlds. The Spanishintroduced brutal practices that were applied through the encomion dasystem. It was set up to protect the communities from intertribalwars, teach the Spanish language and establish the Catholic Religion.However, the system was equivalent to slavery. Barttolome de lasCasas well documents the atrocities committed by the Spanish. Heestimated that the American population was approximately 6 millionbefore the European in 1492. By the time of the study, the populationhad declined by almost 90% to around 1-2.5 million people. Inaddition, similar to areas such as s Peru, the native Ameri Indianpopulation before the Europeans was estimated to be approximately 6.5million and further declined to 1 million by the beginning of the17th century (Dallek, 2008).
TheEuropean further established conflicts that had further devastatingeffects on the Native Americans by introducing the Seminole Wars. TheSpanish brutalized the people who did not convert to Catholicism.
Thestudy of history provides insights that are useful in understandingpeople and various societies. It helps one to understand how peoplebehave. History is most appropriate in such areas, the currentinformation would not be of much help because societal behaviorsevolve and take many years to change. For example to understand whythere is so much peace in a country, one needs to get back in time tohow it came to be. Hence history provides a list of experiences thatare required in building Knowledge (Dallek, 2008).
Historyprovides inspiration in people’s lives and hence it is important.The study about how people have built nations, empires, and theirbasic lives provides inspiration to the reader in a bid to followsuch a path and achieve their goals. In addition, there is the beautyand excitement from understanding how people behaved in the past andthe contribution in the way they behave in the current.
Historyserves as a source of identity. This is the main reason manycountries emphasize that its nationals be informed about the historyof their nation. It is so that they can understand how the state cameto be and the main contributors. Consequently, they can identify withthe current conditions. It is the identity that helps in passing ofand preserving values that have been observed in the past (Dallek,2008).
Historycreates royal citizens. Nations educate their citizens about thehistory of their nation in a bid to encourage them to be supportiveof the nation’s current efforts. From the history, citizens areenlightened about the historical advances of the country so they canlearn the lessons and the pillars that have supported the nation forappreciation. Consequently, it lays the foundation for patriotism bylaying down the foundations for the emergence of states. It furthereducates the citizens on the recent and prospective changes in thecountry and the possible effects on the life of fellow citizens. Ofimportance, is the ability to encourage habits that are vital to aresponsible public behavior among the residents (Dallek, 2008).
Historytransfers valuable skills to the student. First is the ability toassess evidence. The student obtains the skills to assess and indealing with different kinds of evidence.
Secondis the ability to assess conflicting situations. The student canfilter valuable information from diverse and often conflictingsituations. The student can hence easily understand how societieswork. History enables the student to assess arguments and hence theability to engage in a debate that can attain a perspective. Historyallows the student to develop a comparison capacity by requiring themto provide comparisons of particular changes to relevant examples inthe past. The student attains the ability to assess past examples ofchange that is vital to assessing and understanding the change intoday’s society. Finally, history is the laboratory of humanexperience and has a variety of applications in a student’s lifeexperiencing. (Dallek, 2008).
TheNative Americans were defined by certain stereotypes such as savage,bloodthirsty, half-breed and Noble savage. The misrepresentation ofthe North American people reflects the popular minority cultureopinion held by the current dominant white society. In addition, itcontributes to the growth of the casual desensitization in whiteculture to injustices directed to this group currently (Dallek,2008).
Dallek,R. (2008). Americanhistory ([Teacher`sed.). Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell.