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Comparison of Iroquois & California Indians

Both the Iroquois, in what became the northeastern United States, and the various bands of Native Americans in what became southern California underwent a long process of domination by colonizing European peoples--and by 1900 all of them were subjected to life on reservations. In the terms of the geopolitical analysis of colonialism these two groups passed through stages of colonization which have been characterized as competitive, hegemonic, and administrative. But, as Champagne has pointed out, these stages are descriptive terms and the processes of colonization "will vary according to the power of the colonizing nation as well as the resources and political organization of the colonized nations" (Multidimensional 6). Thus, in order to understand the colonization of the southwest, he says, it is necessary to recognize the differing traits and goals of "Spanish, then Mexican, and after 1848 American colonial administration" as well as "features of market relations and incorporation" and events such as epidemics (Multidimensional 5). Each case of transsocietal impact can only be understood "within historically specific contexts," and in a comparison of Iroquois and southern Californian Indians' colonization it becomes clear that the forms of change in the two groups owe a great deal to differences in the conquerors' identities and the social organization of the Native American groups (Champagne, Race 237).

One of the most striking differences between the Iroquois and the Californian Indians was their traditional occupations and the manner in which the colonizers related to the exploitation of their skills. In the northeast the most significant economic interaction took place prior to hegemonic domination. The Indians of the northeast were hunters whose skills in capturing game made the introduction of trade an essential interaction between colonizer and colonized. Early impact consisted, therefore, of a combination of drivi...

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Comparison of Iroquois & California Indians. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:05, June 19, 2019, from