Native Americans and the Colonists

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What was the lifestyle of Native Americans before White Settlers came?

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One interesting aspect of pre-European, Native American life is that most tribes (on the east coast anyway) did not understand the concept of ownership of land or of private property.  The Quinnipiac tribe of Connecticut did not realize that the white settlers wanted to exclude them from the land they...

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One interesting aspect of pre-European, Native American life is that most tribes (on the east coast anyway) did not understand the concept of ownership of land or of private property.  The Quinnipiac tribe of Connecticut did not realize that the white settlers wanted to exclude them from the land they “purchased” from the tribe.  In their culture, natives used land communally.  There were reports that when the colonists were gone to church for the day on Sunday, they would sometimes return and find Indians in their homes.  They saw that the white people were not using them at the time and felt that it was acceptable to use them while they were gone.

Some other things that Europeans brought to the Native Americans that they did not have before are horses, the wheel and small pox.

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This question is a little too broad to be able to answer in a brief space.  Mostly, the problem is that there were many different kinds of Indian lifestyles, depending on the place and the time.  The coastal Indians in Washington State, for example, had permanent villages, totem poles, etc while the Plains Indians were nomadic and had teepees.

Broadly, though, the only thing you can really say about all pre-contact societies is that they had no European technologies -- no guns, no cloth, no metal, etc.  Other than that, different places had very different ways of life.

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