Describe the approach Spain, France, and England each took in settling the New World, including how they acted toward Indian populations.

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larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The Spanish came to the New World with the intent to find gold and as a decidedly minor task, to Christianize the Indians. They were quite greedy and ruthless in their relationships with the Indians, raiding Indian treasures and carrying away all the gold and other precious elements they could find. Hernan Cortes is quoted as telling Monteczuma II, "We Spaniards have a disease of the heart that only gold can cure." They often pressed Indians into service working in mines to search for gold and silver, and treated them especially cruelly. The first revolt in America was Pope's rebellion by the Pueblo Indians against the Spanish.

The French came primarily to search for furs, which they obtained primarily by trading with the Indians. By and large, they had much better relationships with the Indians than either the British or Spanish. Quite often French traders took Indian wives and wore Indian clothes. In one fateful event, Samuel de Champlain killed two Iroquois Chieftains, which alienated the Iroquois from the French. They fought with the British in the French and Indian War.

The British came to settle and make America their home. Although they were dependent at first on the Indians for survival, they soon adopted the typical Anglican attitude of superiority. They considered Indian use of land to be wasteful, and took it from them with abandon. In a number of battles with the Indians, they thought nothing of killing women and children. In one particularly gruesome event, a group of Indian chieftains were invited to Jamestown to discuss a peace treaty. After negotiations were completed, the British offered to celebrate the occasion with wine. Unfortunately for the Indians, the wine was poisoned. The only treaty the British wanted was elimination of the Indians.

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