New Worlds for All: Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of Early America - Colin G. Calloway In his book New Worlds For All, Colin Calloway pulls together the information provided by multiple scholars in interdisciplinary fields, to form a framework illustrating the radical changes in Indian and European life during the early years of American settlement. He states in the preface that his purpose is to show how the Native American assisted in the formation of the American identity without painting them as some “exotic subcategory in American history.” (xiv)Calloway pulls information from many well documented scholars in academia to support the influence on American culture by the Native American and European inhabitants of colonial America. Much of the information provided to the young students in American textbooks paints a picture of the Native American as a helpless victim to the tyrannical oppression of the invading Europeans. This book is one of many that shed a new light on the battle of cultures between the native inhabitants and invading colonists.Calloway stresses that the American revolutionists maintained that their culture and that of the Native American was not as different as it appeared. The Europeans adopted the customs, attire, farming, and hunting techniques of the Native American. As they became more Indians, they began to transform themselves into what would be the early prototype of the American identity. Essentially, the European was no longer a man of his birth country, but became someone not quite wild and yet still far from his civilized former identity. The amount of mixture between the European and Native American cultures depended on the region in which they lived. Spanish settlers were less resistant to the absorption of Indian customs into their society. The definition of “American” was also different depending on the era of colonization in which a settler lived. In the early settlement time period, Native Americans were the sole individuals identified with the term “American.” By the early nineteenth century, colonists had formed their own political identity which classified them as “American.”In explaining how the Native Americans arrived on the continent, Calloway uses the Bering Strait theory which states that the Native Americans migrated to America via the Bering Strait land bridge. Then they began an adaptation to their respective climates that would lead to “a diverse array of lifestyles.” (9) Each group molded it’s lifestyle in accordance to the area in which it resided. When Europeans encountered this land of multiple cultures on a seemingly untouched landscape, they were forced to rethink the world as they knew it. To them the mere existence of this land went against everything they knew about geology. However, some of their old world could not be left behind. Europeans often renamed New World regions with names that they were familiar with in the old world; they often tacked on the world “new” at the beginning of the place name. This method of renaming allowed the Europeans to retain a part of their old world in their new landscape.Calloway notes that the Europeans took advantage of the depopulation of Indians due to disease. The Europeans would often take over previous Indian villages. They would replant crops or introduce new plants from their native country, build fences to border their land and hold in livestock, and begin other measures to “civilize” the area. The introduction of these new plants and animals changed the land itself by increasing erosion, depleting the soil of important nutrients, and changing the visual aspect of the land. Their hunting of animals to be skinned and the furs sold had a great impact on the ecosystem of the area. Without beavers building dams and wolves controlling the animal population the land itself began to change through erosion and an over abundance of creatures that would consume their crops.The Native American way of life was centered on a religion that valued nature and respected animals as equals. The Indians hunted only what they needed to survive. When the Europeans arrived they began a commercialized eradication of animals for their skins. Their religion, Christianity, stated that man was superior to the animal kingdom. The Europeans presented this concept to the Indians and pushed them to conform to their lifestyle and religious beliefs. Many Native Americans rebelled against this, but many conformed out of dependence on the Europeans for items such as weapons, textiles, and cooking utensils. Conforming also made it easier to live on a day to day basis in a world that was no longer entirely theirs.The Europeans and Native Americans borrowed warfare tactics from each other. The Native American warfare was based on weaponry that took advantage of the silent ambush; European weaponry consisted of guns which would make an ambush incapable. Native Americans also used the terrain of the land to their advantage when engaging in warfare. This method came in handy for the Europeans when they battled the British for their independence during the American Revolution. But Calloway does not mention the interactions between the European and African slaves. This missing piece would be of great importance in illustrating how the American identity was formed through cultural exchange between all cultures involved in the early American record and give evidence of the Native Americans racially mixing with the African slaves.