The very first Europeans who came to the New World came to establish colonies and explore the vast land. There were explorers from Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and England, mostly Christians. Many of them came to the “New World” in search for riches and religious freedoms. Little did they know that arriving in the New World they were also invading the home of millions on Native Americans. Four of the very first explorers to arrive here Christopher Columbus, Bartolome De Las Casas, Captain John Smith, and William Bradford all conflicted with the Native Americans in their own ways. Here is a over view on their journeys to the New World and those conflicts.
The first explorer to discover the New World and to find out that Native Americans were already established here was Christopher Columbus. He was born into a wool workers family near the Mediterranean port of Genoa. Columbus was turned on to the sea at a very young age and developed a plan to find a commercial trade route across the Atlantic to Asia. In 1492 he gained the support of the Spanish monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, and embarked on his first of four voyages. Columbus never reached Asia, however he discovered the West Indians.
Bartolome De Las Casas first heard about the “new discoveries” as a student in Seville in 1493. In 1502 Bartolome made his way to the Hispaniola, an island part of the West Indians, as a member of the new governor’s royal party. This was his period of moral blindness as he wrote in History of the Indies “went about his concerns like the others, sending his share of Indians to work fields and gold mines, taking advantage of them as much as he could” (36). In 1515 he took the story of the mistreatment of Indians to Spain where the government appointed him the “protector of Indians” after hearing of the harsh treatment of them. It wasn’t until 1542 that Emperor Charles V followed suit in the New Laws of the Indians, this gave the Native Americana full protection of...