Contact and Conflict on the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts of Canada
An article by Upton suggests that Indians interacted with foreigners at the Atlantic coast in a number of ways over several years. In particular, the European anglers were constantly in contact with the Micmacs and Acadia in earlier years in the 14th century. By the mid 15th century, French colonialists had established their administrations in the region. In the subsequent years, other European powers migrated to the region, but the region received immense immigrants in the late 16th century.
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The author supports his argument by suggesting that the population of the locals was high by the time Europeans arrived in the region, but it reduced greatly when foreigners took over major economic and political activities. Most of the locals died while trying to defend their land. They could not match the Europeans since colonialists could easily combine forces to subdue them. Even though all Europeans arrived in the region through the sea, most locals never believed this fact. When Europeans first landed in the region, they were respectful of the locals since they were answerable to the native administration. They worked as employees of various small companies while their homes were boats. They were never interested in taking over lands that belonged to the natives. In terms of technology, Europeans were far much ahead because their boats could cover long distances, which was a surprise to a number of Indians. Technological advancements could not give them a high status, but instead, they were still treated as foreigners who were junior to the natives. Europeans started asserting their authority in the 16th century when they landed in North America in large numbers.
They were mostly interested in acquiring shelter and recovering from the tribulations they had encountered in the sea, as they traveled in search of greener pastures. Trade was one of the economic activities that could be practiced by the Europeans, but the major activity was the fishery. The major trade goods were fish. With time, Europeans established other forms of economic activities, including trading in animal products, such as fur and skin. Europeans had sophisticated technologies in terms of predicting weather and they could easily establish Indian trade routes each season. Europeans faced unfavorable competition from Indian traders who engaged in a number of businesses, including fishing and fur trade. Some Europeans engaged in different forms of trade, as they opened new businesses dealing with different commodities that they had brought with them. Colonialists hoped to acquire a new fur market in China, but their ambition was impossible.
The article gives some of the challenges that Europeans encountered in establishing their administrations on the Atlantic coast. Moreover, it outlines the difficulties that the locals went through. The author suggests that the population of the locals went down mainly because of the constant wars and lack of necessities.
The Collapse of the Beothuk World
The author starts by underscoring the fact that a number of studies, as well as historians, do not appreciate the culture of people living near the shore and the interior of the island. Historians extend their arguments by arguing that the archaeological data do not portray the aboriginal people of the island as people who had a specialized economic activity. For instance, available historic data do not show these people having been specialized hunters and fishers. However, the natives were mainly subsistence farmers because of the changes in animal stocks and tough climatic conditions. Strong offshore winds affected farming, which interfered with the economic development of the natives before and during colonialism. However, this did not affect their lives directly, as they devised other means of survival. The minorities were forced into extinction through murder and intimidation.
The author supports his argument by observing that it cannot be easy to trace the real figure as regards to the population of the natives before and during their first interaction with foreigners, particularly Europeans. The population of some natives was very low to an extent that Europeans neglected it, as they were counting other people in the region. Since many groups neglected the Beothuk population, its culture was never taken into account meaning that it could easily erode. In the early 19th century, this group of native people withdrew from performing major businesses with the Europeans, which contributed to its extinction. This process is considered unique in Canadian history, which has been attracting the attention of many scholars, both historians, and non-historians. Popular writers in the country are interested in establishing some of the reasons that led to the extinction of the group.
For instance, one of the geologists referred to as Howley James commented that the group was harassed and intimidated so much, which contributed to its extinction. The works of this scholar have been utilized comprehensively by other writers to define the position of the Beothuks in the early years. Some writers, such as Pierre Berton, were of the view that the group was murdered just for fun. A number of the locals interacted with European through trade, but this group was never given a chance to engage in any form of large-scale economic activity. As locals interacted with Europeans through trade, they were forced to abandon their traditional religions, their ways of life, oppression of women, and assault. In their regard, their engagement with Europeans came at a very high cost since they could be assaulted frequently in case they failed to obey the rules and regulations. The Beothuk community could not endure this behavior hence they refused to trade with Europeans. This played a role in their extinction. Europeans never wanted any form of resistance. An attempt by this group to protect their culture was interpreted to mean resistance. They paid the price with their lives since they were intimidated and murdered without mercy.
The article gives important information regarding the population and the economic activity of the natives before and during the colonial invasion. The population of the natives was very low meaning that it could not sustain conflicts with Europeans. Moreover, their economic activity could not generate enough finances to engage the British and French in armed conflict.
Indian-White Relations in Nova Scotia, 1749-61: A Study in Political Interaction
The historian follows the arguments of the other two by refuting claims that the native’s economic and political systems of various natives had already collapsed by the time colonialists occupied the region. According to the above historian, this claim is misleading because it denies people an opportunity to study the culture of the natives before European occupation. To the above author, such claims are simply meant to justify colonial occupation since they suggest that the natives were unable to exploit the resources. In this regard, political culture is discussed extensively whereby the locals were forced to abandon their traditional ways of doing politics in favor of the European system. The process of changing people’s political ideologies was very complex at the beginning, but they adopted the system in the long run. Indians in Nova Scotia were used o European culture with time. They were encouraged to interact with the French using European culture since they would definitely benefit from the relationship. French were friendly to the natives, which changed the perception of the locals towards outsiders. They had a different view since they were allowed to exercise their rights, as long as they dropped their culture in favor of the European culture.
The author supports his arguments by observing that the history of the natives, particularly of Nova Scotia, should be understood from the political framework of the mid 18th century. The old model portraying the struggle between the natives and the colonialists should be discarded. As Europeans were extending their influence through heavy investment, the natives were also trying to improve their standards of living, even though they were constantly frustrated through frequent attacks. The author brings out the interaction between Europeans and the locals through analyzing the political systems that existed at the time.
The article sheds light on the issue of the relevance of colonialism since it condemns a situation in which one race interferes with the sovereignty of the other by arguing that it has better policies and culture.