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The Conflicting Views of Colonizers and the Native Americans

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The reaction of Native Americans towards the white travelers was with curiosity rather than hostility. The manners and customs of the Native Americans were quite different from their own that many settlers were suspicious and afraid. Their mistrust and fear eventually came from lack of understanding of the cultural differences between the two groups. For Native Americans, no such word as ‘land ownership’ existed in their language (Geisler 56);In their view, the land, their air was freely everyone’s and their culture never supported the concept of private claim on it.

Unlike the Native Americans, settlers believed in individual private land ownership. They said they could claim any unsettled or unimproved land. But Native Americans believed that land was a gift, give for free from the creator. The land was to be shared and used by every living creature for mutual benefits. The settlers ignored the traditional systems of the indigenous people as well as communal property rights and established their own territories. Some settlers used treaties as a means of gaining control over Native American land. Even though sometimes these property rights came about peacefully through treaties, violent conflicts over property arose.

Because of these conflicting views, conflicts arose and the lives of the Native Americans were changed forever when the settlers arrived in those lands and claimed them as their own. In North America, conflicts started before Europeans had settled on the land. Evidently, the conflict occurred due to change in location and lack of understanding of the cultural practices. For the Native Americans and the settlers, the understanding of land and the related rights differed greatly, for most indigenous people unlike the bundle of rights associated with Western culture.

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