1. At the time of contact, how "civilized" were Native Americans compared to Europeans? (Full answer requires discussing all relevant information in your text and the “Natives” document in your folder)
Many scholars considered the Native American culture being static, unchanging until they encountered the European invaders. Thanks to the recent archeology and anthropology, we can see that the Europeans encountered a big variety of diverse people. Unlike Europeans' belief, the Indians had a complex and dynamic history in America long before 1492.
Since there are no accurate facts about their way of living and new discoveries are made daily, we can not make any exact assumptions and everything has to be treated provisional. Plus, many native people reject the scholars' explanation of native origins.
Some people see the native's way of living as living in perfect harmony with each other and with nature, until the first Europeans set their foot on the American land. Europeans considered them as being “uncivilized”, but I believe they were always civilized. Some tribes waged war more than others, but some Europeans were very warlike as well; some tribes were very vicious in war but that also applies for the Europeans also. Most tribes fought for their land when they were invaded by the Europeans, but so would the English, Spanish and French fight for their land if they would be invaded by a different nation.
Besides the war they started with the natives in order to conquer their land, they also brought a new,unheard or unseen major problem with them: smallpox. Many European trade sellers were known for purposely selling infected blankets
By the simple fact that they fought to defend their territory, Europeans look at natives like they were savages, uncivilized and cruel, but they forget that they are the ones who are causing all of this.
In the same time, we can not make the Europeans look like they were worse than natives nor we can say that the natives were more...