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Posted on April 24th, 2014, by

The conquest of America by Europeans raised a number of issues related to the physical elimination of the native population of America and the destruction of the traditional lifestyle of Indians. In this regard, the oppression of Native Americans persisted throughout the colonization. Indians were secondary class for European colonists. Therefore, their human rights were totally neglected, while their existence was the mere matter of the policy of Europeans, who, being Christians, invaded America and eliminated the native population, if necessary.

At first, European colonists treated Indians as being under-developed. A priori, Europeans felt their superiority over Native Americans. In this regard, their faith was one of the factors that made them feel being superior to Indians. European colonists believed they had to convert Native Americans into Christianity because they believed Christianity to be the only true faith. In such a way, they neglected traditions and beliefs of Native American population. This trend persisted throughout the epoch of colonization because Europeans always believed in their superiority and inferiority of Native Americans.

As a result, Native Americans turned out to be in a disadvantageous position. They were deprived of basic rights and Europeans established their rule in America. In such a situation, proponents of human rights of Native Americans were quite few. For instance, Bartolome de las Casas was one of the proponents of Native Americans’ rights. He believed that Native Americans should be granted with equal rights compared to European colonists. At this point, his concept of equality of Native Americans and Europeans matched the traditional Christian concept of equality of all people in face of God.

However, efforts of proponents of Native Americans’ rights were insufficient to change the colonist policies of Europeans in America.

 

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