Why were there different indigenous tribes

The colonization of America

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America's explorers

When Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492, he gave the Indians their name. He believed he had landed in India. When he met the indigenous people, he called them "los indios". More and more settlers from today's Europe followed suit and traveled to America. First there were Spaniards, then there were French, Dutch and English people. They needed food and gave the Indians barter goods for it. A brisk trade began.

Unfair trade

The immigrants wanted to buy the land they lived on from the Indians. The North American natives didn't want that. They lived in harmony with nature. It was not in their culture for a person to consider a river, forest, or piece of land as his property.

Therefore, many Indians refused to sign the contracts that the immigrants presented to them. The settlers didn't like that, so they finally forced the Indians to sign by force of arms. As a result, many Indian tribes lost their land and thus their homes and many their lives.

The immigrants began to colonize the country. They cleared forests, built farm houses and hunted bison. They often shot many more bison than they needed to live. But the bison herds were the livelihood of the Indians.

Displacement of the indigenous people

This is how the displacement and extermination of the North American natives by the settlers began. By 1850 they had almost completely disappeared from the eastern part of North America. Because twenty years earlier a law was passed that forced the Indians to live on reservations.

This resettlement law enabled the settlers to evict the Indians from their homeland. They offered them a "swap": their tribal area for new land (reservations). The new land was mostly barren and offered little livelihood. When the Indians resisted this relocation, many were killed and some tribes completely exterminated.

New home

Initially, the reservations were like prisons, the North American natives were only allowed to leave them with the permission of the settlers. Today, many Indians organize the reservations themselves. Some Indians also tried to live outside the reservations and earn money in the cities.

But it is often difficult for them to find work there. Today the largest Indian reservation in the American Southwest is New Mexico - it is about the size of Bavaria. Much of the Indian culture is preserved and still alive in the settlements of the Pueblo Indians and the reservations of the Navajos and Apaches.