Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Why did Columbus call Native Americans "Indios"?

Columbus believed he had reached the coast of India or else an island off of the coast of India. The physical characteristics of the Native American tribes was similar enough to those of residents in India to add to the misidentification.

2. How did European ideas about land ownership and the sovereignty of the crown conflict with the Native American ideas about the use of the land?

The Europeans believed that their kings were sovereign meaning that they had a God given right to own what ever was claimed in the King's name. Further, Europeans believed that the king could grant land rights to whomever they chose and those grantees could remove anyone else from the land. Indians however believed that they were only stewards of the land and did not comprehend the idea of land ownership.

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