Early Encounters

Native American/European Encounter History

Of all the themes encompassed by the U.S. I comprehensive exam, probably the most difficult one to present in a balanced light is that of the Native Americans and their first encounters with Europeans. Surviving written records are almost exclusively those of the Europeans; even most written accounts of the Native American viewpoint are European translations that may or may not present accurate sentiments.

But that hasn’t stopped historians specializing in this area from attempting to bring forth an accurate portrayal of the interactions between the Native Americans and the Europeans, and the repercussions of their encounters.

The primary way to explore the theme is by the books, the titles and reviews of which are accessible from the pulldown menu under the Early Encounters tab. Additionally, however, you can explore the theme visually, by timeline and by the ThematicGrid, which may enhance your understanding of the readings.