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Impacts of Protestant and Christian Missionaries on Native Americans

By , Seattle, WA
The forceful and influential attitude of the protestant Christian missionaries compared to the subtle and dignified way of the Roman Catholic missionaries made big impacts on the Native Americans in many ways. From causing 30 year wars to successfully teaching Native American tribes about modern religions, the attitudes from both groups of missionaries had long lasting effects that can still be felt today. Roman Catholics were known to be significantly more successful than their protestant counterparts however Protestants such as the Whitman’s, the Lee’s and the Spalding’s were successful in forever changing the Indians view of the American new comers. Roman Catholics and protestant missionaries may have had the same goal but the outcomes to their teachings were very different.

Roman Catholics also sent priests to work with the Native Americans and built mission sites. Some of the most famous and important Roman Catholic missionaries were father François Blanchet, Father Modeste Demers, and Father Pierre jean DeSmet (Lambert 138). Most historians believe that Roman Catholic missionaries were significantly more successful than their protestant missionary counterparts because of several reasons. The most important of these reasons would be that roman Catholics traveled among the Native American tribes rather than requiring the Native Americans to live at or close to the mission sites (Lambert 141). Another reason would be that unlike the protestant missionaries they did not attempt to convert the Native Americans to Christianity or attempt to change the Indians to fit the “white American mold”.




The Roman Catholic missionaries successfully taught and changed the Indians view on Christianity, while they traveled alongside and lived with the Native Americans. By the time the Roman Catholics had finished with the Native Americans, the Native Americans had come to understand and abide by some of the Christian concepts and beliefs. Famous protestant missionaries had successfully increased immigration to Indian territories, increased the Native Americans knowledge of Christianity, and helped the Native Americans with their medical knowledge. The forceful and influential attitude of the protestant Christian missionaries compared to the subtle and dignified way of the Roman Catholic missionaries made big impacts on the Native Americans in many ways. Both groups of missionaries had very similar and very different impacts on the Native Americans.
Work Cited:
Lambert, Dale A. The Pacific Northwest. Fourth Edition ed. East Wnatchee: Directed Media, 1998. Print.


Pelz, Ruth. The Washington Story. Fouth Edition ed. Seattle: Seattle Public Schools, 1998. Print.



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emmasunshine said...
Nov. 29, 2012 at 3:01 am:
I seriously love you. Did you go to Washington Middle School and have Mr. Schmitz? I had to write this exact essay last night. Great job, by the way! This is really well written and it sounds formal without being snobby.
 
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