REJECTION OF EUROPEAN CULTURAL SUPERIORITY CLAIMS
Throughout their history Europeans have tended to equate civilization with the tools of technology and war rather than with human values. The ability to invent a tool that efficiently killed and disable came to be seen as the mark of civilization.
The tenacity of Native Americans in refusing to accept these foreign models of "civilization," and to fight to preserve their own cultures and lifestyles, was probably for European leaders the most frustrating of their colonizing experiences. This frustration was compounded whenever the observation was made by some of their own intellectuals that certain of the social values inherent in American civilizations were superior to their own.
Historian Cornelius Jaenen reports that an Amerindian Chief responded to the European insistence on the superiority of their practices with this simple retort:
"You can have your way and we will have ours; every one values his own wares."