How did the three major European colonial powers differ in their relations with Indigenous peoples? What changes from the 16th to the 18th century? In your examples, be specific about time, place, and which peoples are involved.

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The relationship between the indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Australia, and Asia and the European imperial powers is far more complex than what is often demonstrated in movies and popular culture. How each European power determined policy toward the indigenous people depended on that power's culture, religious ideals, and...

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The relationship between the indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Australia, and Asia and the European imperial powers is far more complex than what is often demonstrated in movies and popular culture. How each European power determined policy toward the indigenous people depended on that power's culture, religious ideals, and economic purpose. The three major European powers of Spain, France, and Britain differed greatly in their relations with the indigenous people.

Spain's primary focus in the New World was conquest and the extraction of wealth under the banner of spreading the Catholic faith. Conquistadors such as Hernando Cortes and Francisco Pizzaro in the 1500s brought small armies with powerful weapons to conquer and enslave the existing peoples. They and many other Spanish conquistadors discovered that there was great wealth to be gained by forcing the native population to mine silver and gold, as well as plant and harvest cash crops.

Arriving on the scene in the 1600s, France was left with North America. Its riches weren't to be mined, but rather traded. The French found their wealth in fur trading. The French befriended many indigenous tribes, established missions to spread the Catholic faith, and often intermarried with the indigenous people. Several settlements around the Great Lakes region in the seventeenth century, such as Mackinac, Green Bay, and Peoria, were of metis ("mixed-blood") culture. The French missionaries, traders, and explorers would integrate themselves with the indigenous culture more than the Spanish or the British.

The British came to the Americas, South Africa, and Australia to settle. The indigenous people were not to be enslaved or befriended as trading partners; they were to be pushed into the frontier. This isn't to say that the British fought wars with all indigenous peoples. The British and the Iroquois were famous allies during the French and Indian War (1756–1763). When the British established their colonial societies, the native population was seen as a threat from which to protect British settlers.

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