Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Bane of Racism

In my research paper on Florida, my main subject is on racism. Not just racism according to the Native American side, but on the part of the European side. More specifically my research paper will explain the cultures of both sides, compare and contrast the cultures and explain what contributed most to diplomatic failure. The European nations I will include in my paper are Spain, France and England. I will explain the nation's reason for exploring and settling in Florida, and their systems of trade, military, and law. I am going to strongly point out why the Europeans evolved from respecting the natives to detesting them as cruel savages. From a view of both sides, I will explain what terrible prejudice was encountered. I will explain the prejudice stemmed from European countries misunderstanding native culture, the European views on religion, ethics, and civility. I will explain the problems some Native Americans tribes had with mistrust, prejudice, and acceptance of peace from France. I will include why some of the behavior, customs, and manner of some native tribes were found to be revolting, and even intrusive in their point of view. I will also include the problem 1560’s France had with some thieving tribes and why it prevented further trust among their cultures. I will talk about the behavior, customs, dress, appearance, and values of the natives from their own cultural interpretations. Many nations such as France resorted to slavery, harsh punishments, and even killing in order to make the natives into more civilized people. That did ruinous destruction upon their culture and religion because the old, beautiful Native American values were lost in time as they grew more civilized by 1760’s Anglican society, losing their values by strict means of conversion.
I will thoroughly discuss the impact British law had upon the Native Americans, its discriminatory aspects, and disrespect it generated upon them as human beings. I will include the failed attempts by the Catholic Spanish in the 1510s-1560s to convert the pagan, matrilineal, and open Calusa and Timacuan tribes. I will include the early French trade and diplomatic expeditions and why diplomacy failed because of abuse of power, which included slavery and disobedience of the King’s word. All of the European nations failed to bring peace to the Native Americans because their cultural values clashed with the indigenous people. Natives were misunderstood as savages and animals, not caring human beings. But on the other hand, the natives failed to commit to peace offered by the French and sometimes acted with wild behavior towards settlers without considering the consequences of their actions. Here is an image depicting Columbus and his meeting with the Native Americans and his misunderstanding of who they really are.

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