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COMMENT by Bryon L. Borup, Ph.D.
It has been my observation that the French came to trade with the American Indian and quite often intermarried. This would have produced an amalgamated and blended society, the land being settled by the offspring of both people.
The Spanish came to get Gold not land, and, although often by force, to convert American Indians to Christianity. As is observable in Central American, those cultures would have blended and settled as well. Not totally without problems, and of course modern greed, observable by many recent attempts at the genocide of the Mayans by several Central American governments still blended society.
Since those of British descent actually colonized the United States , it is their apparent opinion that the American Indian was simply in the way of their progress and land accumulation, and of no value to keep as people, blend with, or learn from. Therefore, the American Indians on the east coast were scattered, confined and almost entirely destroyed.
Had the French won the French and Indian war, or the Spanish settled most of the land area of North America, the fate of the American Indian would probably have been much different.
Use this paragraph as a basis for discussion with the students. Have them express their opinion on possible different scenarios if the French had won the war, or the Spanish had claimed and maintained their claim to the explored lands.
Essential Question 1: Why did some of the Iroquois Confederation of Tribes fight on the side of the Americans?
Give students in groups of six the article from the site below and have them read it aloud in their group. Ask them to list several reasons, from their reading, that some Iroquois might side with the colonists in the Revolutionary War and why most would side with the British.
Essential Question 2: How was territories West of the Appalachians affected by the fact that Americans won the war?
Teacher should lecture on history of Ohio Valley before and immediately after the arrival of Colonists to the area. Show maps and discuss events and their consequences. There was an extensive development of large villages and tribes living in the area who farmed the land and traded with peoples from the central America region.
Essential Question 3: How would life be different for American Indians if the French or Spanish had taken control of North America ?
Examine French-Indian, Spanish-Indian, and Colonist-Indian relationships through lectures and discussions.
Essential Question 4: How did the American Indian tribes view the Louisiana Purchase as it affected them?
Teacher will direct students to texts and websites with information on the Louisiana Purchase
Essential Question 1: Assessment
Essential Question 2: Assessment
Essential Question 3: Assessment
Essential Question 4: Assessment
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