History of Ideas

Which had more impact: post-columbus America on Europe or Europe on America
Indian is another word for Native American, but Native American is right expression. Columbus, who travel the world and found American continent, thought the continent that he found was India, so he called the people who lived there before they came ???Indians??™. Native American had totally different surroundings, life style, and appearance. After Columbus, big amount of settlers came to America to have a new life, and they settled in Native Americans territory without asking. They even killed them if they had to, and they also hunted too many buffalos that supplied foods for Native American. Europeans almost destroyed Native American??™s life. The settlers justifies this situation by saying that they taught Native American new culture, life style, and what they thought better than Native American??™s way. Accordingly, Indians gradually vanished away, and nowadays Indians are hard to see around the world. A lot of people think that they disappeared because they could not adjust the evolution on America. Also many people in the world say that European settlers had great effects on America, but they tend to ignore what Native Americans gave. Native American actually did have some strong impacts. They gave them agricultural technology, new medicament, and new path and transportation. Those 3 things help settlers to settle in, and have impacts on Europe and its people.
There are many examples about Indian agriculture techniques have impact on Europe and the whole world. Genaro Herrera is a small village located in Amazon River. What makes this village different from others is that there is research center which researches traditional Indian farming technology. Indians taught the people, who wanted to learn, their agriculture techniques, building, and storage method. The Indians around Genaro Herrera now teach the scientists how to cultivate and then how to utilize plants (82). Another example is milpa, which is small field that was not cultivated by plowing or planting in near and organized rows. The small mound loses less soil to rain runoff and helps to stabilize the soil. European settlers adopt this milpa, and also the way how Indians clear a field which is girdle tree than cutting it. The Indian way helps to stop destroying nature, and gives more efficient way to cultivate. Last, European settlers also adopted the skill that selects the seeds rather than just grabbing a random seeds and throwing them. At first this major innovation appears to be too minor to mention, but this process allowed developing the varieties of each plant that they cultivated. Even though Indians did not know the scientific reason of the ways, they knew exactly how to plant, and their ways are very natural and good for the nature.
Indians were also great natural doctors even better than modern doctors
First of all, Indians found one of their traditional medicines, Peruvian bark, which offered relief from symptoms. Europeans use the word ???quinine??? when scientists proved the active ingredient from the bark. The quinine had major effect on Europeans??™ settlement on America because no one died from malaria after incorporation of quinine. Second, Ipecac, which made by Indians, used as cure for amoebic dysentery. The Ipecac killed the harmful amoebas and helped patients to recover. Last, Indians also gave Europeans coca. Coca had no physical cure ability on human body, but coca helped to refresh the mind and spirit. Coca today uses as one of the most important and powerful anesthetics in the world. From the very first contacts between the Old and the New World, European doctors recognized that the Indians held the key to the world??™s most sophisticated pharmacy (183). For the old world, it had no protection against disease from different world at all. The medicine that Indian made by themselves became too precious for Europeans to allow Indians use it.
Indians also had and impact on field of transportation. They used canoe for transporting warriors, goods, and other stuffs. European, on the other hand, used small boats that need the power of oars to ride them. Because of structure of the boat, oarsman could not see where he was going, but canoe allowed people to see the direction of their travel. Europeans found that the canoes are much more useful and faster than their boats. After that the Indian boat spread to the world. Another example is the Inca highway. The highway helped the communications of messenger runners. Without the expert highway system in place, the European conquest of America would have been significantly slower than it was (245). Indians had already known about the way, develop a canoe system, and also built roads and paths even before Europeans came. Indians helped Europeans to settle in America, which was Indians??™ territory.
Agricultural technique, medicament, and transportation are just 3 examples how Indians had huge impact on Europe and its people. They are not all, but there are more that Indians gave. Europeans learned many things from Indians, and used them for their profit. However, Europeans destroyed the peaceful Indians??™ way of living, drove them out of their territory, and even killed them if they had to, instead of appreciating what Indian gave to them. That was not right. Europeans who are living in America should feel shame about that, and thank to the Indians even if it is too late.


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