Indigenous Texas history goes beyond the Texan region into the various neighboring states and foreign territory. The Texan history dates back to over 50,000 years ago. In studying the history of Texas, the term Native refers to the inhabitants – indigenous – of the various regions within mainland Texas, the Tasmania area, and the adjacent islands. There have been a number of changes that have taken place over the years. Ancient Texan culture has faded away in most of the regions of the Texan continent due to a number of factors. The main aim of this paper is to look into the native Texan culture and the various changes that have taken place through the years. This will be done through looking at the elements that defined ancient Texan culture and the impact of modernization on these cultural elements (Bradford).
The birth of the superiority complex exhibited by the Europeans over the Native Americans is evident in the manner through which Columbus named the Natives. In 1492, there were different stops that were made by Columbus and his team of explorers as they sought to learn more about America and the areas close to America. In his description of the natives he found there, Columbus brings out a major misconception that has existed since that era. Christopher Columbus – upon arriving in North America - referred to the Native Americans as being Indians. This reference by Christopher Columbus is a great topic of debate and has given rise to major arguments within the topic and other areas beyond. Christopher Columbus had been to different places before and as a result of this, he had learned about different cultures and what they entailed. His knowledge about Indians was advanced and he was well informed about the lifestyle of the Indian people. Upon his arrival in America, it only took a few hours of interaction between his group and the Native Americans to find out that the Natives were more than just Indians. The indigenous peoples of America were different – in more than one way – from the Indians. The discovery – by Columbus and his fellow explorers - that North America and the regions around the continent were occupied by Indians was the background through which the superiority background was not only birthed, but also nurtured and developed further. The labeling of the Native Americans as being Indians was fueled by the original intent of Christopher Columbus and other explorers when they set out for the Southeast Asia. It is important to note that, the intent to explore the East Indies was the main factor behind labeling the Central America region and the islands therein as the West Indies (Irving).
The study of native Texas goes back to as far as 1789. During the 18th century, the various indigenous people of Texas were referred to – collectively – as native Texans. In English, the term native is used to refer to the earliest known or first known indigenous people. The term is associated with colonialism and is avoided in some instances. There have been a number of changes that have taken place with regards to these ancient times. These changes can be classified as being political, economic, or socio-cultural. The political and governmental setting has been one of the major areas where the changes have taken place (Irving).
In the early years, there were a number of elements that defined the Texan society. The Texan society was structured in the same manner as the British society. This was evident in the manner in which the Texan society was structured on the frontier. Here, the Texan society reproduced the structures that were founded on a British background. The term Aborigines was used by the British in identifying the natives as well as other disorderly elements in the society. In the early 19th century, this aspect of the Texan society changed. The British would refer to the aborigines as being normal human beings but they were still looked down upon in the societal setting (Gunderson).
The letter that Columbus wrote on his first voyage to Madrid royal court was exaggerated. This influenced the inhabitants and visitors of Madrid into the establishment of an inferiority mindset over the Natives in America. Here, the people were brainwashed into thinking the Natives of America were equal to the account brought forward by Christopher Columbus. The letter stated that he had arrived at Asia which was clearly Cuba, and an island found off the China coast (Hispaniola). It is important to note that the overall perception developed and presented by Christopher Columbus was not only confined to a limited area in which he had conducted exploration, but also dented by his ego and perception of the inhabitants he found in North America and the neighboring regions. Some of these information’s were facts and others were fiction. He stated that Hispaniola is simply magnificent, wide rivers, mountains, and plains. He continued that some of the wide rivers in the island are full of gold. In his letter he claimed that there are better mining of gold and many species of metal too. This means that his main objectives were to convince the royal court of his discoveries whether true or false. He was willing to script anything that he believed could make anyone accept what he was saying (Bradford).
The British culture played an important role with regards to ancient Texas. In the nineteenth century, the Texan population began to grow. The manner in which the population grew was evidence of the impact of British culture in the Texan society. The Texan community grew with regards to the settles in the various regions. The ancient growth had a pattern and there were elements that defined this growth. Unlike the modern population growth trends, the ancient population growth in the Texan society would be traced back to the major economic activities. Growth in the Texan society was driven by the scramble for settlement land. The growth that took place in the nineteenth century was settler-driven. The Texan population during the nineteenth century was founded on the British settler activities. In the nineteenth century, the Texan population grew with regards to the British imperial hegemony and the British origins (Gunderson).
Ancient Texas had to deal with racism in various capacities. The issues of interbreeding and social classes were some of the ancient challenges that were encountered by the aborigine Texans. In some cases, a person who was born from interracial parents encountered hostility from their immediate environment. This hostility ranged from rejection to murder. It was better for a child to be born purely black than being born from interracial parents. Over time, these opinions about race have changed and people have learnt to live with each other regardless of their racial background. In modern day Texas, people from the different walks of life meet and interact with each other in productive ways without the fear of being looked upon. Unlike in ancient Texas where the social class was defined by the various races, modern day Texas has overcome this mindset. Today, a person’s race will play no role in dictating their place in the society. In ancient Texas, the society was filled with a form of hate that was founded on the boundaries established by race. Here, the white male would interact with the Native women but this form of interaction remained passive (Gunderson).
In a nutshell, the traditional approaches to the various elements of culture are different in Native approaches and modern societal approaches. Unlike modern approaches, the different native approaches had a resemblance with regards to the manner in which they viewed the various events and myths. This resemblance was also common in the various Native approaches to myths, history, and other remembered events. These approaches were founded on identity and were usually charged with deep and strong feelings. The various native approaches have an attachment with regards to the local occurrences. Here, the different approaches deal with the local references in explaining the various cultural and historical elements
The explorations by Christopher Columbus are discussed throughout the world. The discussion is conducted differently from one discussion platform to another. The explorations by Christopher Columbus draw attention from both sides of the divide. While there are people singing praises about Christopher Columbus’ explorations, critics are looking for the elements of failure and fault through which they can argue otherwise. When Christopher Columbus set out to explore the world, he stumbled on a completely new world. For Christopher Columbus and his European neighborhood, the exploration brought to light a world that had never been discovered. There were people living in the vast lands that Christopher Columbus discovered and there was nothing new about the land that other people saw as new. For instance, while Texas might have been new for the Europeans, this region of America was home to handful tribes. The Tonakawa, Comanche, Caddo, Coahuiltecan, Karankawa, and Appache tribes were some of the inhabitants of Texas long before Christopher Columbus discovered America. Before they knew it, the various tribes in Texas and the rest of the American society had to share their land with other communities. America not only became a meeting point for extremely diverse people and cultures, but also a platform through which the various societies learned to handle and live with each other’s uniqueness. The explorations of Christopher Columbus and the early settlement are foundational in the evolution of the American society to what it has become today (Irving).
When Columbus dropped his anchors on the American beaches, they received a warm welcome. Men and Women from the Arawak tribe ran to them within almost nothing covering their bodies. The villagers came to the beaches in hundreds and before Columbus knew it, there was a multitude of people holding gifts and food for them. Columbus and his voyage were armed and spoke a language that the natives were not familiar with. From the account by Christopher Columbus, it is evident to note that the natives were friendly to Christopher Columbus and his crew members. According to Christopher Columbus, the natives came out carrying spears, parrots, balls of cotton, and other items that they sought to trade with the hawks’ bells and glass beads which Columbus and his crew members carried. The natives were so excited that Christopher Columbus recalls how they were willing to trade all the things they owned. In the course of the initial contact, Christopher Columbus recorded the physical appearances of the natives. From his account, it is evident to note that the natives were unarmed and conducted their business in a polite manner. The natives are also presented as having been well-built and excellent physical statures. Christopher Columbus also provides an account of the nature and level of ignorance portrayed by the natives. In his journal entry, he spoke about how he showed a sword to one of the natives and he took it by the native took it by the sharp side and cut himself. Christopher Columbus went on to analyze the raw materials owned by the natives. He talks of how they lacked iron and made their spears out of cane. He ends this part of the journal entry by citing how the natives would make fine servants and the manpower required to subdue the entire native territory. According to Christopher Columbus, fifty men was all the manpower required to take down the entire native territory and secure the maximum number of slaves (Zinn).
The nature of hospitality Christopher Columbus and his men received from the various regions they toured was an important classification tool whenever they sat back to review their exploration. The Bahama and Arawaks Islands have bee n classified as being full of people who were remarkable for their hospitality. There were European observers present in the group that travelled with Christopher Columbus and one of their major responsibilities was to provide such analysis and other important details that would be molded into a report. The natives in the Bahama Islands were not only hospitable, but steadfast to their strong belief in sharing. In the Europe that existed during the course of the Renaissance was not only dominated by the government of kings, but also had a religion of the popes and frenzy for possession and money. Christopher Columbus was a messenger of the western civilization and came attached to the traditions that defined his birth environment and similar civilizations. According to a journal entry by Christopher Columbus, the explorer explains how he had to take some of the natives by force. When he first arrived in the Indies region, he proceeded to employ force in coercing the natives to give him information with regards to different subjects (Gunderson).
In his initial exploration expeditions, Christopher Columbus had set his focus on gold. Whenever he met with the natives, he would ask them information about gold before he proceeded to any other topic. Christopher Columbus wanted to know about gold and any information related to this subject would get his attention on any day. He wanted to know the mines, their location, and the entire process of how gold was refined by the natives. His special attachment to gold was fueled by the process he underwent to persuade the leaders of Spain to help him finance his exploration expedition. The king and queen of Spain had agreed to provide the financial backing for Christopher Columbus’s expedition after Christopher Columbus had persuaded them that it was worth investing in. In Spain, the number of people who owned 95% of the land was less than 2% of the entire population. The rest of the population was mainly composed of poor peasants. The poor peasants worked for the noble people and there was little to admire from the work they did (Irving).
Christopher Columbus was lucky he stumbled on the Americas because there was no chance of him making it to Asia. Asia was not only far to reach according to his calculations, but there were also no resources to enable him sail all the way to such far a region. The report provided by Christopher Columbus to the court back in Madrid was not only extravagant, but also funny. He stated – with authority – that he had reached Asia while he was in Cuba.
There are four voyages brought out in the discussion of Christopher Columbus and his navigation. Each of these voyages is different from the others with regards to how they were undertaken and the impact therein. Although the four voyages are of great importance in the discussion brought out in American history, this topic has narrowed down its focus to the first voyage and the impact it had. Background information on the first voyage is important in bringing out the greater picture attached to the establishment and development of a superiority complex within the Europeans. The first voyage was made up of three ships. Christopher Columbus had named these ships Pinta, Santa Maria, and Nina. On the third day of August in 1492, the first voyage by Christopher Columbus departed from Palos de la Frontera which is also referred to as the Castilian Palos de la Frontera. Assessment of the first voyage is majorly under four main headings. These headings bear a lot of importance in the discussion of the superiority complex – especially its establishment – which is founded out of explorations by Christopher Columbus. The first voyage was made up of different activities. Here, there was the section of the journey that took place smoothly and the section that was rocked by waves and turbulences. Background information on the first voyage presents the route that was adopted for navigation throughout the course of the exploration. Here, Christopher Columbus majored with the Atlantic Ocean before he set his eyes on further seas and lands for exploration. In the first voyage, Columbus sailed out to the Canary Islands of the Atlantic Island and explored the vast coasts lined up in the continent of Africa. During most of the exploration activities that took place in the Canary Islands and the Atlantic Ocean coast, the Crown of Castile was the major administrative power. Columbus was in good terms with this administration and this benefitted the explorer with regards to restocking and repair processes throughout the course of his exploration in the Canary Islands (Columbus & Clements)
Columbus exploration of the Northern part of America and the islands within the region had a number of implications on his background perception of the region. Upon reaching the American region, the setting of North America and the lifestyle of the Natives fell way below his expectation. This led to the Europeans feeling superior over the Native Americans. The Europeans also developed an element of superiority over the Native Americans as a result of the level of development that had taken place in the American region at the time of Columbus’ explorations. Christopher Columbus found out different details about the American region and the neighboring islands and out of this he made a detailed conclusion about the Native Americans who he had referred to as being Indians. This influenced his crew and his countrymen into a mindset where the American regions that had been explored were referred to as being underdeveloped and inhabited by Indians. In the course of time, this mindset spread and it was adopted by other European nations. Before long, Europe was actively involved in – and practiced – superiority exercises over the Native Americans and the various inhabitants in the region. Although Christopher Columbus arrived in America long after people had settled in the country and region around, he had received a lot of credit with regards to the discovery and exploration of this great nation (Gunderson).
Christopher Columbus made sure that when he went back to his country, he had evidence to convince and boast around about his discoveries. His discoveries are the background through which the Europeans developed a superiority complex over the Native Americans. During his first voyage, Columbus went to San Salvador a place he clearly thought was Japan, Hispaniola and Cuba. All these explorations were clueless adventures which all turned out to be important milestones in the global exploration. After over 29 days without the sight of land, one of Columbus sailors by the name Rodrigo de Triana was able to see a land. Columbus on the other hand claimed that, that was part of his discovery- which meant that he was the first to see the land. He was given a reward of ten thousand maravedis. The island was named San Salvador. The people that occupied the land had already named the land but he did not approve of that, instead he went on and named it again. The people in that particular island were his discovery and therefore had no power to oppose his activities on the island. This clearly shows how people appreciated his discoveries to a point of awarding him (Columbus & Clements)
The owners of the land that Columbus came across were happy and friendly to see Europeans visiting their land. This was the homeland of three Native American people- the Leeward Island, Taino, and the Bahamas. Columbus studied made sure that he understood the culture of the people so that it could be easier to attack them when he needed to. Columbus went on into exploring Cuba on it northeast coast. The people on the land received him well and allowed to leave a number of his men on the island. Columbus wrote a letter to the king and told replied asking Columbus to meet him in Vale do paraiso located in north Lisbon (Irving). Upon his arrival, he was a hero in the eye of Spain. This was because of what he had discovered and the things he displayed- some of which included tobacco plants, gold, pineapple fruit, the hammock, and a number of indigenous persons. Columbus was keen not to bring the species East Indies. He explained this in his log in which he stated that aji was available and was used as pepper. He continued by saying that it was expensive compared to black pepper. South America Spanish still refers chili pepper as aji to show appreciation to the discoveries of Columbus (Irving).
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Bradford, Ernle Dusgate Selby. Christopher Columbus. Place of publication not identified: E-Reads, 1973. Print.
Gunderson, Jessica. Christopher Columbus new world explorer or fortune hunter?. North Mankato, Minnesota: Capstone Press, 2014. Print.
Irving, Washington. Voyages and discoveries of the companions of Columbus. Escondido, CA: Book Tree, 2000. Print.
Irving, Washington. The life and voyages of Christopher Columbus. New York, NY: Cosimo, 2007. Print.
Irving, Washington. The life and voyages of Christopher Columbus. New York, NY: Cosimo, 2007. Print.
Zinn, Howard. A people's history of the United States: 1492-present. 3rd ed. Kondon: Pearson/Longman, 2003. Print.