Why Didn't the Settlers Get Along With Their Neighbors?

The settlers did not get along with their neighbors because their neighbors were Native Americans who had lived on the land long before the settlers and did not appreciate the settlers attempting to change their way of life. The first settlers to permanently settle North America did so in Virginia and encountered approximately 50,000 Native Americans living on the land.

It is thought that these Native Americans had been living there for as many as 12,000 years. The Native Americans attacked the settlers as time went on and more and more settlers moved into the area. Eventually, treaties were signed in 1646 to help divide the land between the new settlers and to promote peace. However, fighting continued.

Not all Native Americans were upset to have the settlers come to their land, however. The Powhatan leader, Wahunsenacawh, recognized that they could be dangerous but also thought that they could provide new goods for trading. He also thought that making peace with the settlers could mean additional allies against rival tribes. Initially this was a good fit as the settlers needed food and could trade sophisticated tools for it.

Wahunsenacawh came to despise the settlers when he felt that they had come to invade the country and take control of all Native American people. This hostility grew out of the fact that the Native Americans became dependent on the settlers for all of their advanced tools while the settlers no longer relied as heavily on the Native Americans for food.