Conflict Between Settlers and Native Americans


US History European Colonization Conflict Between Settlers and Native Americans
Students examine some of the reasons for conflict between settlers and Native Americans. They learn how the relationship was complex and changed over time and by location. They identify a modern issue in order to address how different worldviews can cause conflict among groups.

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Overview

In this experience, students examine some of the reasons for conflict between settlers and Native Americans. They learn how the relationship was complex and changed over time and by location. They identify a modern issue in order to address how different worldviews can cause conflict among groups.

Students work in small groups for scenes 2–4.

Objective:

  • Identify reasons for conflict between settlers and Native Americans.


The Europeans may have “discovered” a new world, but that world was already inhabited by many indigenous tribes. The arrival of European colonists would start a long-running relationship of conflict.

Objective:

  • Identify reasons for conflict between settlers and Native Americans.
Look at the following political cartoon from 1910, almost 300 years after the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth.




The crafty traders and the easy Indians


What do you think the cartoon is trying to say?

Post your answer

Discuss with students the stereotypical image of Native Americans as a “simple” people who lacked culture. According to this cartoon, they were easily fooled by European traders. Explain how Native Americans had a rich culture with many languages, folklore, and a sensitivity to the environment. The problem wasn’t lack of culture, but a lack of understanding on the behalf of the Europeans.


Divide students into their small groups. When everyone is ready to continue, unlock the next scene.

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The Complete List of Learning Experiences in European Colonization Unit.
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