The European discovery of America was not a discovery of an empty land. For thousands of years the Native Americans have been living there, in the so called “new land”. Thus, the Europeans inevitably came in touch with the native peoples of America when discovering and exploring the land and also during the time of settlement. Before 1700 there were many different encounters between the Europeans and the native peoples of America: peaceful and non-peaceful contacts, trade relations and fights, alliances as well as kidnapping. The first written down contact between Europeans and Native Americans is the myth of the Vikings, also known as the Medieval Norse. Later the first European explorers of North America Jacques Cartier, Martin Frobisher, Samuel de Champlain met the Natives. The life of the Native Americans changed radically after the Europeans had come over. It changed not only because of struggles with the newcomers and the new trading opportunities but also due to new diseases and the different religion that came over. Natives started questioning their old way of life, their traditions and religion. Read the rest of this entry »

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