American Indians: Who to blame?



  • I just finished reading a great historical piece on the indians entitled- Bury my heart at Wounded Knee…
    After reading this, i wonder, was the indians destruction really all the whites fault? I believe that guerilla indian parites such as the Souix(sorry with spelling) and apaches instigated numerous massacres of innocent tribes like the cheyannes. When 1 group of guerilla indians would kill some miners near the black hills, the US government would target many groups of indians! :roll:
    I noticed the discussion of the American Indians is rarely brought up, so here it is!
    What do you people think?



  • I believe that guerilla indian parites such as the Souix(sorry with spelling) and apaches instigated numerous massacres of innocent tribes like the cheyannes.

    The Souix where a nation of Indians not a guerilla party. In fact by the time Indian/White conflict reached the plains states the US was big enough to bully the plains Indians which is what they did. Note that US society had very little interest in the Black Hills until gold was discovered. Further, the Black Hills was recognized in treaties by the gov’t as Souix land, but later violated this to protect the rights of illegal miners in the area.

    I wouldn’t even rely heavily on the actions in the Plains region of the US. In the East the whites actively sought to exterminate powerful tribes like the Pequot which prior to 1700 ruled Connecticut, but today the Pequot no longer exist. Now here’s the problem I see most Americans place blame on Indians for their own destruction yet condemn South African apartheid, but when compared against each other both policies are remarkably similar. So, MuthaRussia are you in favor of Apartheid? That is to say would you have or did you condemn SAfrica for Apartheid back when it still existed.



  • As someone who is part Indian (Cherokee) I will put in my two cents. It is hypocritical to say that when one European nation conquers another that is wrong, but when European conquers non-European, that is justified by “Manifest Destiny” or whatever. There is really no qualitative difference between Manifest Destiny and Lebensraum. Hitler wanted more land to the east, and intended to get the Russians and other Slavs off it by any means necessary. The white Americans had the same notion with the Native people on this continent. Somehow, the idea of Europeans being the ones conquered and displaced less tolerable to some people, which is bs plain and simple.

    Its like this great little story I head once: During WWI a British officer was recruiting for the Queens African Rifles in Kenya. One of the Kenyans asked him why he should sign up to go fight in Europe. The Englishman tried to explain it to him in condescending terms: “The chief of the Germans wants to rule the French and the British tribes. Only an Englishman should be chief over the English, and only a Frenchman chief over the French.”…The Kenyan said “I think I’ve got it! Only a man from a certain tribe should rule that tribe!”. “Exactly!” said the Englishman. “Then why are you English here trying to be chiefs over my people?”, asked the Kenyan. Bing! Nail on the head!



  • well, darthmaul, the prevailing logic being that Indians werent a recognized state. wont agree or disagree with that, just stating. also, they had no concept of ownership of the land (or at least far less than Europeans). is that right or wrong? again, up to you to decide.

    however, you say you are part cherokee? how much? becuase so many people say they are, and it turns out they are like 1/10%. please tell me its some significant part



  • Well, the european nations were not recognized by the inhabitants of a lot of continents. That argument is totally useless, and not a “prevailing argument”. It even wasn’t at that time, by the US, though by imerialistic european states.
    For the “no concept of ownership” …. it seems you take that as an indication for their “inferiority”, just by “different to western standards”.
    I have regards for you admitting, open and honest position about the US foreign policies of today (though i totally disagree with it), but these two points you brought are … weak the least.



  • like i said Falk, i dont agree or disagree with those statements, they are simply arguments i could see for what took place.



  • @Janus1:

    well, darthmaul, the prevailing logic being that Indians werent a recognized state. wont agree or disagree with that, just stating. also, they had no concept of ownership of the land (or at least far less than Europeans). is that right or wrong? again, up to you to decide.

    however, you say you are part cherokee? how much? becuase so many people say they are, and it turns out they are like 1/10%. please tell me its some significant part

    I don’t see how it matters to you what percentage Cherokee I am, the argument stands on its own even if I were Martian. Nevertheless, to satisfy your curiosity, I am roughly 30% (far from “full-blood”, but way more than 1/10).The weak imperialist justifications for seizing the land don’t hold water at all, especially considering the fact that the US made numerous treaties with various Native American nations throughout the continent promising them sole ownership of certain tracts of land in perpetuity, and broke every one of them, just as Hitler tossed out certain “pieces of paper” when it suited his agenda to do so. The Cherokee even won the right to keep their land in the US Supreme Court, but the racist law enforcement agencies wouldn’t uphold the decision and remove the white squatters. Again, some people who are apalled by Hitler’s conquering France, Poland, or Norway aren’t bothered at all by various Western powers conquering parts of Africa, Asia, Oceania, or the Americas, and that is hypocrisy plain and simple.



  • Comparing North American expansion to Hitler is stretching it a bit don’t you think. There is a great deal of misinformation towards colonialism in the new world and how it affected the natives there. First people tend to think the natives did not want the Euros to set foot upon one square inch of North America. In fact natives often wanted the whites to be around for trading purposes. The problem is that trade invariably brings permanent settlers, and these settlers tended to disrupt the ecosystem by doing things like deforesting the eastern woodlands. Understanably, the natives were not as thrilled with this as you can imagine. Case in point, when the Pilgrims/Puritans landed in Mass Bay they were generally well recieved and there was little hostility between the settlers. However, when English settlers began to push into Connecticut which was Pequot territory there were problems.

    Additionally, there existed an enormous cultural divide not just between Europeans but between the native groups themselves. Add into this that both Natives and Europeans used competing national identities to play against one another and this led to more conflict. For example, the French hated the English, the Algonquin hated the Iroqois. The Algonquin were the Allies of the French, and the Pequot were Algonquin therefore the Pequot hated the English. In this way a near continous cycle of violence led to ongoing conflicts which decimated native populations, but more importantly eroded their political structure. This also set the stage for future American policies towards natives which tended to offer land for peace by placating one group with the land taken from another. The residual effect was that after a while the tribes of the East were so displaced that land ownership had little or no meaning anymore. Especially, for the Cherokee who started in the Carolinas, got pushed back to WTennessee and were finally sent to Oklahoma to live on Reservations.

    Of further importance is the chaos white influence wrought upon native political structures. There was in fact no unified opinion among natives even in their own tribes of how to deal with white aggression/expansion. While warrior chiefs like SittingBull, Tecumseh and Blackhawk are legendary, chiefs like Keokuk that advocated peace recieved more legitimacy among white Americans. In fact in the state of Iowa where I live there are many things named after Keokuk, but few named after Blackhawk. In truth natives were often fighting a war from within or a civil war at the same time they were fighting white expansion. Imagine how the US would’ve turned out had Britain invaded America during our Civil War.

    In the end the native Americans did not lose this struggle because they lacked ability, but because they lacked politcal cohesion when it counted most. It wasn’t European technological achievements that led to the downfall of the Indians, but their ability to form large state societies with which to formulate cohesive social, politcal, economic and cultural ties for which the native Americans had no counter for.



  • Well said Agent Smith.
    The North American people were a “conquered” one. To the victor belongs the spoils yada yada yada.
    To what degree was this an “honorable victory”? And does it even matter?
    True there were many terrible atrocities perpetuated by Europeans on the North American natives. This was compounded by US federal and state, as well as Canadian federal and provincial authorities who mis-used their authority - either through reprehensible commissions, or through ill-thought-out ways of improving the lot in life of the native people.
    I did not reply to this poll as it is inaccurate and irrelevant. There is plenty of blame to go around to EVERYONE.
    The questions are what do we do about it?



  • Of course the two situations had their differences, separated as they were by centuries, but this does not make valid comparisons impossible, or even a “stretch”. To begin with, “Lebensraum” and “Manifest Destiny” are kindred philosophies. They are both attempts to justify the expansion of Nazi Germany and Colonial America respectively by claiming that the will of a higher power (Providence or God) is being fulfilled. Also, the attitude of the British colonizers of North America and the Germans who intended to colonize Eastern Europe were essentially the same: Get the untermenschen out of the way by any means necessary! (Waiting for F_alk to correct my German! 😄 ) Since both the colonial Americans and the Nazi Germans felt that they were dealing with adversaries who were something less than fully human, they had no qualms about uprooting them, or liquidating them if necessary. Take for example the wiping out of entire Pequot villages down to the last person, or the distribution among certain Algonquin tribes of blankets known to be infected with smallpox. These were attempts at eradication. The phrase “The only good Indian is a dead Indian!” became popular among American colonists. Why not “The only good Dutchman is a dead Dutchman!”? Although the English colonists were also competing with the Dutch for land and hegemony at this time, no one would think to question whether or not the Dutch were the equals of the Anglos in humanity. Not so with the Natives. So therefore, a comparison with the idea of the untermensch is valid.

    You made some good points about how the Europeans took advantage of the rivalry of different tribes among the Natives. We are all familiar with the history that you mention. No one would attempt to make the point that the Native Americans were a monolithic society, or that there was a uniform mode of resistance to European expansion. In fact, there are more languages spoken today in Oklahoma than there are spoken in Europe! But the idea that the Native societies became so eroded as to deserve displacement and removal to reservations is not only morally bankrupt and reprehensible, but also factually incorrect. This is especially true in the case of the Cherokee. In fact, at the time of the removal to Oklahoma, the Cherokee not only had farms and business, but also treaties with the government and deeds to their land. When white squatters tried to move in, they took their case as far as the US Supreme Court, which ruled that the whites had to get off. The ruling was unenforced by the executive branch, however, because Jackson was a flat out racist who made public his contempt for Native Americans, and his desire that they be removed west. Georgia proceeded with the land lottery of 1832 and gave Cherokee land to whites who began to move in. Furthermore, even if a particular Native American society became so decimated by white aggression as to render it less than functional, this would in no way justify its removal or elimination so that whites could appropriate the land.

    The comparison remains valid. Both were cases of expansion by powers which viewed their rivals as impediments to progress, and less than fully human. My purpose in making this argument is to expose the hypocrisy of those who feel that European colonial expansion was “natural” or “progress”, but that German expansion in Europe was wrong. I’m not accusing you of holding to this hypocritical point of view. If the Germans had won the war, surely all the little school kids in Europe would be learning about how German expansion in the 1940’s was perfectly natural, and in the end, best for everyone involved. The victors write the history books and shape the minds of the future generations.



  • as i understand them, Darthmaul, they are not kindred philosophies.

    manifest destiny was the belief that it was “ordained by god” that we should expand to the west coast. native americans (which is an ironic term btw) had to deal, or die, unfortunately. European societies were not known for their tolerance of other cultures. indians were percieved to be savage, and undeserving of their land, which they made no formal claim to anyway. it wasnt seen as any kind of negative thing at the time (except by certain people) and was expected.

    Lebensraum was the desire for “living space”. Hitler felt the Reich needed more space, for the aryan race to thrive and prosper. at the time, the land he would “expand” into, was heavily populated by very developed societies (buildings, infrastructure, etc), quite unlike the Indian tribes, who were relatively far between in comparison, and were far les developed.

    again, i dont say this to justify what happened, it was terrible, im simply contrasting the ideas, and trying to understand the reasoning.

    also, Darthmaul, how much you are does matter. i dont care about actual percentage, and the fact that you arent “fullblood” doesnt matter, but to often people call themselves native american, and try to act like it, when one person somewhere in their past was a native american (like me, someone somewhere in my heritage was a Cherokee, but i dont walk around calling myself an Indian)



  • You both missed the point of the above post. A necessary component of genocide is that it must be a conscience effort in the case of native americans this is suspect. The biggest problem I see with you arguments is that they are based on the same flaws in thinking about the native Americans. Originally, people posted why they thought the native americans lost etc, but this generalizes a situation that was unique to every tribe and every time period. To compare the events of the Pequot War to that of the events of Wounded Knee homogenizes the plight of Native Americans too much. In the case of the Pequot as I said they were an Algonquin people and as such their final doom was brought about not so much by the English, but by their Iroquis allies.

    In fact many of your examples of atrocities towards the native Americans come from the plains/western indian area, and aren’t applicable to the first 250 years of European/Native American encounters. The phrase “the only Indian is a dead Indian” has been attributed to Phil Sheridan circa 1875. I also believe there is some doubt as to whether or not he actually said it.

    But the idea that the Native societies became so eroded as to deserve displacement and removal to reservations is not only morally bankrupt and reprehensible, but also factually incorrect. This is especially true in the case of the Cherokee

    I wasn’t implying they deserved removal only they were victims of larger socio-economic forces which they had no control over. The Cherokee for example did manage to resist white invasions for a long while. In fact if you look at the history of the settlement of the deep south, Alabama was the last state settled because the Cherokee presented a bulwark against settlement from Tennessee. The point I was making here was that white settlement caused dislocation of native peoples which eroded their concept of land ownership. In previous posts others mentioned the Indians were pushed off their because they had no concept of land ownership which isn’t true at all, but when your homeland changes 2-3 times in 100 years it becomes less important to hold on to for purely nostaglic reasons. By in large comparing Indian displacement to Lebensraum is totally inaccurate when I think a better comparison is to that of land enclosure of peasants in England.



  • also, Darthmaul, how much you are does matter. i dont care about actual percentage, and the fact that you arent “fullblood” doesnt matter, but to often people call themselves native american, and try to act like it, when one person somewhere in their past was a native american (like me, someone somewhere in my heritage was a Cherokee, but i dont walk around calling myself an Indian)

    You both illustrate an important aspect of what happened to Eastern Indians, they were assimilated. The traditional view of European/Indian interaction is to assume these cultures were so diametrically opposed they could never get along, but in truth they often did, although I would agree that by in large native americans were far more the loser in this process and were the whites. However, countless white americans do have indian blood, and its far more likely to be true if you can trace ancestors in America prior to 1830.



  • @Janus1:

    as i understand them, Darthmaul, they are not kindred philosophies.

    manifest destiny was the belief that it was “ordained by god” that we should expand to the west coast. native americans (which is an ironic term btw) had to deal, or die, unfortunately. European societies were not known for their tolerance of other cultures. indians were percieved to be savage, and undeserving of their land, which they made no formal claim to anyway. it wasnt seen as any kind of negative thing at the time (except by certain people) and was expected.

    Lebensraum was the desire for “living space”. Hitler felt the Reich needed more space, for the aryan race to thrive and prosper. at the time, the land he would “expand” into, was heavily populated by very developed societies (buildings, infrastructure, etc), quite unlike the Indian tribes, who were relatively far between in comparison, and were far les developed.
    again, i dont say this to justify what happened, it was terrible, im simply contrasting the ideas, and trying to understand the reasoning.

    They most certainly are kindred philosophies. They even sound alike the way you describe them. The Americans believed that they were “ordained by God” to expand to the west. The Nazis believed that they were “ordained by Providence” to expand to the east. The Americans regarded the Native Americans as “savages” who had to, as you say, “deal or die”. Hitler regarded the Slavs as an inferior race who also had to “deal or die” when the Aryans moved into the neighborhood. The white Americans regarded themselves as the racial and cultural superiors of the Native Americans. The Nazis regarded themselves as the racial and cultural superiors of the Slavs. The white Americans, as you say, didn’t see this expansion as a negative thing at the time. Neither did the Nazis see what they were doing as a negative thing, or they wouldn’t have done it.

    It sounds like what you are saying is that the Nazis rolling over the Slavs was worse than the Americans rolling over the Indians simply because the Slavs had European buildings, technology, and civilization. That would certainly be a boneheaded and hypocritical argument, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that this is not what you are saying.

    @Janus1:

    also, Darthmaul, how much you are does matter. i dont care about actual percentage, and the fact that you arent “fullblood” doesnt matter, but to often people call themselves native american, and try to act like it, when one person somewhere in their past was a native american (like me, someone somewhere in my heritage was a Cherokee, but i dont walk around calling myself an Indian)

    Thanks anyway, but I don’t need your approval to determine my own identity, and I hope that these people who “try to act” like Native Americans don’t either. Just out of curiosity, what do they do to try to “act like” Native Americans? In retrospect, I shouldn’t have even answered your initial question. I hope you realize that you aren’t the final authority on who is Native American and who is not. Being Cherokee is about being part of a family that identifies itself as such. I have Cherokee relatives with blonde hair and blue eyes, and others that might look Black to you. Such classifications are man made and rather arbitrary anyway.



  • @AgentSmith:

    You both missed the point of the above post. A necessary component of genocide is that it must be a conscience effort in the case of native americans this is suspect. The biggest problem I see with you arguments is that they are based on the same flaws in thinking about the native Americans. Originally, people posted why they thought the native americans lost etc, but this generalizes a situation that was unique to every tribe and every time period. To compare the events of the Pequot War to that of the events of Wounded Knee homogenizes the plight of Native Americans too much. In the case of the Pequot as I said they were an Algonquin people and as such their final doom was brought about not so much by the English, but by their Iroquis allies.

    In fact many of your examples of atrocities towards the native Americans come from the plains/western indian area, and aren’t applicable to the first 250 years of European/Native American encounters. The phrase “the only Indian is a dead Indian” has been attributed to Phil Sheridan circa 1875. I also believe there is some doubt as to whether or not he actually said it.

    It is definitely true that each conflict is unique, especially since in many cases there are decades separating the events in question, and no one would deny that each Native American nation constitutes a distinct cultural and linguistic unit, just as any European ethnic group does. Nevertheless, certain generalizations can be made which hold true in all cases, especially when we are talking about the kinds of philosophies which motivated the white Americans. These are worthy of comparison with the racist attitudes of the Third Reich. The idea that one group in superior in race and culture (white Americans/Germans) and has been ordained by a higher power (God/Providence) to displace and conquer the other (Native Americans/Slavs) is certainly a common theme. Of course, how this idea was applied in each case was radically different.

    I did not accuse the Americans of engaging in a systematic programme of genocide comprable to that of the Nazis, but there can be no doubt that attempts at wiping out entire Native tribes were made by certain groups of colonists at certain times (And that a general attitude was prevalent that the Natives should alternately be assimilated or annihilated). I don’t think that the colonists can be exonerated simply by blaming their Indian allies for their role in the destruction of the Pequot. Consider these words by Cotton Mather:

    “In a little more than one hour, five or six hundred of these barbarians
    were dismissed from a world that was burdened with them.”

    “It may be demanded…Should not Christians have more mercy and
    compassion? But…sometimes the Scripture declareth women and children must perish with their
    parents… We had sufficient light from the word of God for our proceedings.”

    -Puritan divine Cotton Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana

    The Pequot are not extinct, but they certainly feel that an attempt at genocide was made against them. I e-mailed a Pequot friend of mine about this discussion, and he recommended the book AMERICAN HOLOCAUST, CONQUEST OF THE NEW WORLD
    Oxford Press, 1992 for anyone interested.

    I never compared the slaughter of the Pequot to Wounded Knee, but such a comparison could be made without homogenizing the Native American nations involved, just as one could compare the Armenian Holocaust to the Shoah without homogenizing Europeans. Such is the nature of historical survey.

    Also, I am aware that some have attributed the “dead Indian” quote to Sheridan, but he was certainly not the first to say it. Vine DeLoria and other imminent historians have reported that it was prevalent in the 18th c., long before Sheridan’s time.

    @AgentSmith:

    But the idea that the Native societies became so eroded as to deserve displacement and removal to reservations is not only morally bankrupt and reprehensible, but also factually incorrect. This is especially true in the case of the Cherokee

    I wasn’t implying they deserved removal only they were victims of larger socio-economic forces which they had no control over. The Cherokee for example did manage to resist white invasions for a long while. In fact if you look at the history of the settlement of the deep south, Alabama was the last state settled because the Cherokee presented a bulwark against settlement from Tennessee. The point I was making here was that white settlement caused dislocation of native peoples which eroded their concept of land ownership. In previous posts others mentioned the Indians were pushed off their because they had no concept of land ownership which isn’t true at all, but when your homeland changes 2-3 times in 100 years it becomes less important to hold on to for purely nostaglic reasons…

    I don’t disagree with this, so long as it is not used as a justification for displacement after displacement. You realize that apologists for Americans expansion could warp this argument to suit their purposes.

    @AgentSmith:

    By in large comparing Indian displacement to Lebensraum is totally inaccurate when I think a better comparison is to that of land enclosure of peasants in England.

    I disagree, based on the similarities that I pointed out in my previous post to Janus. The feelings of racial and cultural superiority over the displaced which was present in both Hitler’s move east and America’s move west was lacking in the land enclosure of the English peasants. Perhaps my comparison would seem a little more accurate if Hitler’s move east would have been more successful, and the area was now populated by Germanic settlers.



  • The Americans regarded the Native Americans as “savages” who had to, as you say, “deal or die”

    And many native americans thought they were superior to the whites. Does that mean they to were guilty of the same crimes. What you continue to ignore as the crucial difference between Nazism and Manifest destiny is that nazi policies were state policy for Germany and cannot be explained away to lessen guilt. However, manifest destiny was never an enacted policy in American gov’t. Sure it was a belief many held, but MD didn’t begin to develop until after the Eastern woodlands were secured up to the Mississippi, but most telling is the natives west of the Mississippi tend to have retained greater cultural and ethnic identity than did those in the East. However, to conclude the fate of the Pequot was the result of this idea, manifest destiny, which did not even exist yet is unfair. In terms of interation between whites and Indians there tends to be a great deal of revisionist history in that wrongs committed on the Plains get applied to what happened in the East despite the reality that the two time periods are seperated by almost 150 years. This is akin to trying the Spanish at Nuremburg for the Inquisition because it was too much like what the Germans had done during WWII despite that it was a historical anachronism.



  • @AgentSmith:

    The Americans regarded the Native Americans as “savages” who had to, as you say, “deal or die”

    And many native americans thought they were superior to the whites. Does that mean they to were guilty of the same crimes.

    That is a ridiculous question. Some Jews may have felt superior to the Germans, but they cannot be accused of being guilty of a Holocaust. There is a big difference between feelings of superiority and putting those feelings into action.

    @AgentSmith:

    What you continue to ignore as the crucial difference between Nazism and Manifest destiny is that nazi policies were state policy for Germany and cannot be explained away to lessen guilt. However, manifest destiny was never an enacted policy in American gov’t. Sure it was a belief many held, but MD didn’t begin to develop until after the Eastern woodlands were secured up to the Mississippi, but most telling is the natives west of the Mississippi tend to have retained greater cultural and ethnic identity than did those in the East. However, to conclude the fate of the Pequot was the result of this idea, manifest destiny, which did not even exist yet is unfair. In terms of interation between whites and Indians there tends to be a great deal of revisionist history in that wrongs committed on the Plains get applied to what happened in the East despite the reality that the two time periods are seperated by almost 150 years. This is akin to trying the Spanish at Nuremburg for the Inquisition because it was too much like what the Germans had done during WWII despite that it was a historical anachronism.

    First of all, I don’t believe that you can “explain away” or “lessen” American guilt any more than you can German guilt. Secondly, although the term Manifest Destiny may not have been an official state policy, it was certainly a de facto policy, and you cannot deny that feelings of racial and cultural superiority contributed to American treatment of Native peoples in all of the incidents we have discussed. American westward expansion and displacement of Native Americans was certainly policy whether it was termed Manifest Destiny at a given time or not. And it was certainly glorified and reveled in.

    Also, if someone doing a study of anti-Semitism through the ages were to compare and contrast the Inquisition and the Holocaust and examine the common underlying current of anti-Semitisim latent in both incidents, that would not be tantamount to trying Torquemada alongside Goering. Comparisons of philosophies can be made without saying that they are the exact same thing.

    My bottom line is that Europeans conquering and killing Europeans is not worse than Europeans conquering and killing non-Europeans. Unfortunately, some seem much more disturbed by the one and willing to offer a defense of the other.



  • The Pequot are not extinct, but they certainly feel that an attempt at genocide was made against them. I e-mailed a Pequot friend of mine about this discussion, and he recommended the book

    Umm actually they are. There is a group that claims to be Pequot, but in actuality they are people of European descent that use distant Indian heritage to gain advantage, primarily casinos. The Pequot war in and round 1630 from which the end result was the decimation of the tribe. For over 150 years, in fact over 200+ years no group claimed tribe affiliation as Pequot, yet now they’ve come back. Did the Pequot have some secret time traveling technology we didn’t know about? Your friend should try reading the “the Pequot War”

    And that a general attitude was prevalent that the Natives should alternately be assimilated or annihilated).

    But this is true of all cultures. All cultures inherently seek to annihilate other cultures, and assimilate its followers, but this is not genocide. Genocide is a systematic state level attempt to wipe from the earth an entire group based on ethnic or religious identity. The reality is that the Americans preferred to put Indians on reservations rather than exterminate them. By no means does this exhonerate what happened, but don’t belittle the greatest human tradegy, the holocaust, by arbitrarily throwing around the word genocide.

    The feelings of racial and cultural superiority over the displaced which was present in both Hitler’s move east and America’s move west was lacking in the land enclosure of the English peasants. Perhaps my comparison would seem a little more accurate if Hitler’s move east would have been more successful, and the area was now populated by Germanic settlers.

    I guess this is the point of debate then did European racial beliefs cause colonialism or did they merely use them to justify current socio-economic trends. Again I feel you over simply the plight of native Americans, and underestimate their willingness to accept outside influences. Forget what you know about colonialism during the 17th century Europeans were not the global hegemonic force they were in the 19th century. In fact the Portugese were confined to minor trade outposts in Africa, China totally rebuffed European influence, and India had nothing more than a few small trade outposts. The primary enclaves of early european colonialism were the Americas, and trade with the Indians there helped to cause economic development in places like England, Holland and France. The Spanish however cared very little for trade with the natives, and consequently became one of the poorer countries in Europe. In the end though while this trade caused great economic development in Western Europe it led to dependence by the natives on Europeans. A trend very analogous to Americans and the Arabs today in that we are dependant upon their supply of oil. In the end this early example of ‘globalization’ caused the Indians to become susceptable to the larger socio-economic forces they had no control over, and is why they lost out in the long run. I’m sure racism didn’t help, but even with a kinder gentler form of colonialism the end result would’ve been the same.

    Also, I would add that you overemphasize racism in the historical context. Up until very recently racism was common and accepted among virtually every single race on Earth. In fact the Iroquis and Algonquin had some very racist view towards each other, yet you haven’t marginalized their conflict as genocide or a race war. To understand something as a race war you have to be able to proove there exists an us versus them mentality, and since I have shown there was no such thing as a cohesive understanding of ‘Indian’ there were hardly racist motives. In fact the Europeans tended to treat Indian tribes as they would any other nation in Europe which led to many of the problems you describe. The English for example would always make peace with the Iroqois tribes they met because to them the Iroqois were like any other nation in Europe friendly to them.



  • My bottom line is that Europeans conquering and killing Europeans is not worse than Europeans conquering and killing non-Europeans. Unfortunately, some seem much more disturbed by the one and willing to offer a defense of the other.

    Yes and I agree many do put a great emphasis on the former rather than the latter.

    Secondly, although the term Manifest Destiny may not have been an official state policy, it was certainly a de facto policy, and you cannot deny that feelings of racial and cultural superiority contributed to American treatment of Native peoples in all of the incidents we have discussed.

    Yes it was de facto, but your statements are still inaccurate. True MD was later used as a justification, but was it the cause of? I still assert there were greater socio-economic forces in play here. Its particulary inaccurate to talk about MD prior to 1800 as American hegemony west of the Alleghenies didn’t exist then. So prior to that what was the motivation? It couldn’t be purely racism as the whites coexisted with certain tribes, but not others. If you are so racist that you want to exterminate an entire race you don’t make peace with and therefore let exist many of the people you hate.



  • Agent_Smith,

    Despite our voluminous writings to the contrary, we really don’t disagree on all that much as far as the facts are concerned. In a way, we have been talking past one another because we are analysing two different aspects of the same question. You seem to be primarily concerned with the hard facts of each individual case, while I am more concerned (in this instance) with the philosophical and moral underpinnings of the communities involved and how that contributed to their behavior in a broader sense. Historical case study vs. historical survey, if you will.

    This being the case, I suggest that we take a repast from the battlefield, and concentrate on other endeavors. I, for one, have finals to grade (and unfortunately, most of their authors are not as erudite a yourself! 😉 ) In any case, well met, my friend!

    P.S. - I’ll mention your last remark to my Pequot friend. Amazing how this fact has escaped the US government! You’d think they’d be more careful in their classification.



  • I’ll mention your last remark to my Pequot friend. Amazing how this fact has escaped the US government! You’d think they’d be more careful in their classification.

    Well don’t push it too hard most people don’t take too kindly to being called a fraud. :lol: The US gov’t sort of has its hands tied because these people do have a claim of sorts as Pequots because they are descendants of those Pequot who did intermingle with whites. However, there was no Pequot tribe for quite a long time recognized or seeking recognition.

    This being the case, I suggest that we take a repast from the battlefield, and concentrate on other endeavors. I, for one, have finals to grade (and unfortunately, most of their authors are not as erudite a yourself! ) In any case, well met, my friend!

    But does this have to necessarily be antagonistic? Are these high school finals or college finals? If these are college finals perhaps I should transfer to your school, take your class and you can give me an A. 😉

    I have finals to take, but I’m barely going to study, get little sleep beforehand, and probably still get an A. Ahh, the fun of college.



  • Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t take it as being antagonistic! In fact, it has been fun. 😄 Quite honestly, if I had more time, I’d love to do a point by point rebuttal and keep it going. Unfortunately, after I get these finals graded, I have to start right away teaching a summer one course. You’d certainly get your A. I always tell my students, you can disagree with me or the text as vociferously as you like, so long as you can support your contensions with verifiable facts. Perhaps we’ll renew this discussion in July. I’m not teaching any summer two courses (that I know of).



  • You never answered me or perphaps you did, was this a college level course? If so what school?



  • darthmaul, your hostility is very unnecessary.
    im not “giving you my approval” and i dont “consider myself the authority” on it. i was expressing disapproval over people who have one “native” american ancestor, and try to exploit that by taking advantage of things granted to native americans (such as the right to open a casino).
    i meant no disrespect to you, and sorry if i somehow offended you, but you know what, F*** off. you want to be offended by it, fine, go ahead



  • @Janus1:

    i was expressing disapproval over people who have one “native” american ancestor, and try to exploit that by taking advantage of things granted to native americans (such as the right to open a casino).

    I agree 100%, people with ancestry of native indians in them use it as an excuse to gamble, or be an achoholic! :roll:

    Janus1, this i guess we could incorporate into our discussion in Fed Up…
    This is one type of american that uses something to be lazy, and sit there like coconuts! :-?

    I’m glad we finally found something we agree on!


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