Red, White and Black: Race in Colonial America

Colin Calloway has produced a detailed study of the impact of European exploration and settlement on the Native American societies of North America. He examines the transformation this cultural contact had on indigenous peoples, tracing the changes which took place with the influx of European settlers during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Likewise he examines the ways in which European culture was altered through the process of colonization. Calloway argues that the arrival of Europeans in North America created a “new world for all,” and that Europeans and Indians alike “were compelled to combine old and new ways, to experiment and innovate as well as adhere to traditions” to adjust to one another’s presence and create new identities for themselves.
Discuss this transformation, as Calloway outlines it, examining in particular changes in the environment, the introduction of trade goods, new ideas concerning spirituality, warfare and diplomacy, and racial and cultural intermixture. Using examples from the book, demonstrate how “the clash of Indians and Europeans was a conflict between two ways of life, but even as the protagonists fought to preserve or impose their own way of life, each…was undergoing substantial changes as a result of contact with the other.” Ultimately, both societies became “American,” a cultural amalgamation. Explain.