Native Americans encountered by Columbus on the Caribbean Islands
The island was populated by handsome, strong, well-built and beautiful peaceful people who had simple weapons and who participated in various economic, social and cultural activities as described by Christopher Columbus. Worshiping and giving thanks was a great activity in their lives because they adored and revered Yocahu. The natives had a social order that provided the guidelines on they lived, the social order also stipulated on how they conducted themselves. “They hunted animals, cultivated crops, fished and gathered the abundant fruits that were found in their surroundings” (Columbus, n.p). They were clever for the reason that they had everything that was crucial for their survival. They had beautiful ceremonies that were held at different times for instance birth, naming, marriage, harvest and death among many other rites. They had respect for the things that were provided by nature and had a special reverence to the earth mother whom they referred to as Atabey. Due to the heat that was experienced in the Caribbean Island and its surrounding there was little need for clothing but upon attaining a certain age both females and male would wear a small woven clothing to cover themselves.
The inhabitants of the Caribbean had never seen white people who had clothes and ships and they were surprised upon seeing Columbus and his caravan. They even thought that the caravan was from heaven and came to welcome them bringing them food, drinks and gifts as it was their tradition. Columbus asserts that he was received by the inhabitants of the Caribbean islands in a manner that he had never seen before (n.p).
Those encountered by Cortes in Meso-America
The inhabitants sold a variety of animals including fowls, quills, wild ducks, Eagles, hawks, Turtledoves, parrots, sparrows among many others. There were all kinds of green vegetables especially onions, leeks, garlic, sorrel, fruits among many others showing that the inhabitants were farmers.
The inhabitants sold all kinds of merchandise in the streets; they used numbers and measures to ascertain the value of the merchandise (Cortez, n.p). There was also a building in one of the great squares that was used as an audience house where a number of people who were magistrates sat.
The people encountered by Cortez in Meso-America were religious for the reason that there was a temple and houses for the idols which were situated in different cities. They had priests who dressed in Black and never combed or cut their hair from the time they entered priesthood till the time they left. The priests also abstained from eating certain foods more at certain seasons of the year. The city contained many magnificent houses; they were accounted for from the fact, that all the nobility of the country, who were the vassals of Moctezuma, had houses there, in which they lived in a certain part of the year.
The Meso Americans were ruled by Moctezuma, they offered little resistance to the advances of the people from Spain (Aztec, n.p). The people considered Cortez to be a legendary God who controlled lightening and who according to earlier prophecies would return to reclaim the city. They saw him as having ties to their ancestors who they claimed descent to.
The residents of this city paid a greater regard to fashion in their manner of dressing than those of the other provinces and cities. This is because Moctezuma, their ruler had his residence in the capital, and powerful people, were regularly meeting there, a general courtesy of demeanor necessarily prevailed.
Paine’s most important arguments in the document of common sense was just a reminder to Congress and the people that they had done pretty well for themselves so far and thus, could continue on even better without the interruptions from Great Britain. Freedom and unity among the Americans encompass the ideas put forward by Paine.
Indecisiveness of the congress, It was unable to make a decision and he was calling people to action in a sense and to make the Congress to make a final break from the tyranny of Britain. Paine argued that the colonists have done well for themselves and the Americans did not need help from Britain for the reason that not a single advantage will come from being connected to Great Britain (n.p).
God is the true king of America, Great Britain ruled America with an iron hand and on this basis Paine argued that God was the true king of America.
Reconciliation, he argued that reconciliation cannot take place whereas the Americans are still being colonized and denied their basic rights.
The writing was so effective because it came at a time when the Americans were being treated unfairly by the colonialists and the wind of independence was flowing across America. The people of America were tired with the ruthlessness of the colonialists and agitations for freedom were taking place.
The declaration had great meaning to the Americans; they were now independent just like other people around the world and were now supposed to enjoy freedoms and rights that they did not enjoy before. The declaration sustained the claims that Americans as a people or as a group of people were entitled to exercise the same rights as their colonial masters. It provided a vehicle for announcing freedom to the people of America. It was also an inspiration to the soldiers who had bring freedom to the people the that had been declared and also evoked a commitment to the cause of nationhood. The reason behind the Declaration of Independence was to affirm before the world opinion the rights of the Americans who were organized in several states and had equal rights to other states which were similar. The Americans wanted to be free from their colonial masters and this could only be achieved through the declaration, they had entrusted the congress to do that for the reason that it had representatives from all corners of America thus every American was represented.
The declaration has been so important in the history of America for the reason that it is what resulted to the freedom of the Americans and gave them voice to be heard thus enabling them to present their grievances. It justified the rights of the Americans to rebel against the colonial masters who never safeguarded their rights and stated certain ideals that the colonialists believed were crucial to have. In the declaration it is put that, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”, (n.p). It has been so important in the American thought because it gave all men and women equal rights and without which they might never have enjoyed. It also marked the beginning of a new life to the Americans and this meant that they were free from oppression that their ancestors had gone through.
One of the greatest reforms in the history of America is the end of slave trade; the issue raised important questions with some opposing the elimination of slavery and others proposing its eradication. Additionally with every individual working to end the practice another one was working to preserve the practice which violated the rights of human beings.
Those who opposed slavery attacked the root of the problem explaining that the practice violated the basic political and social ideals of the US. The people who opposed slavery include William Garrison, David Walker, and Angeline Grimke among many others.
Religion played a crucial role in the abolition of slavery in the US; many Americans abandoned their hierarchical religion for an egalitarian society. The religion ministers did not change slavery but they ministered to everyone giving the message of egalitarianism. The slave owners initially resisted the Christians but as the Christian movement spread they realized of the rights of the slaves and even started teaching them about Christianity. The first generation of the African American leaders arose from the movement; they included Andrew Byran, David George, and George Liele among many others.
Thomas Jefferson in his document argued that the Negros was to be absorbed into the general population and emphasized on the prejudices that were entertained by the whites. He argued that the prejudices which were perpetuated by the whites, recollections by the blacks of the injuries they had sustained would divide the American people and produce convulsions which will never end. ‘The commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other” (Jefferson, n.p).
The pro slavery crusaders saw it as a positive good; they insisted that the Africans were like children in need of protection. They also argued that slavery provided a civilizing influence for the reason that it made the Africans to be more civilized. Other people who supported slavery argued that the Africans were inferior people to the white and were not able to assimilate freely in the society; still others claimed that slaves were necessary in maintaining the white society. Some people who opposed the end of slavery in America include Thornton String fellow, George Fitzhugh, and John Calhoum among others.
The issue of slavery was resolved by inserting a clause in the constitution that imposed taxes on those who participated in slave trade. “The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person”( US Constitution 1,section 9). This clause did not talk directly about the abolition of slavery but imposed unrealistic taxes on those who imported slaves. This made the business to be unattractive thus shunning away the proponents of slavery and those who put their investment in the business.
We also have other parts of the constitution that address the issue of slavery but the word is not mentioned, the framers of the constitution of 1787 used the word property to refer to slaves, they did not regard a slave to be a moral person but saw them as part of the properties owned by the white.
Aztec, Aztec account in the conquest of Mexico, 1519, web.
Columbus C., In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Journal of Columbus, 1492, web
Constitution of the United States of America, article 1 section 9, 1787, web.
Cortes H., Second letter to Charles V, 1520, web.
Declaration of independence in the congress, 1776, web
Jefferson, T. Jefferson on slavery, 1782, web.
Paine, T. Common sense, 1776, web.