Indian Lands and Sovereignty
In 1492, on both sides of the Atlantic, concepts of land and sovereignty were primarily sacred. American Indians, Europeans, and Africans, from their different religious perspectives, perceived that the human use of the earth was subordinate to spiritual forces, even if this premise was not always practiced. Spiritual beings were held to be sovereign, the ultimate authorities. However, with regard to the land there was a significant difference between American Indian and European religious conceptions.