Originally posted by chaeone86
To say Europe declared WAR on the Indians is simplifying what happened. Trade (ie CAPITALISM), had more to do with the demise of native american
cultures than violent murder by the west.
Uh huh. I see. Those evil Capitalists at play again... can't even get away from them in the bowels of history, eh?
I'll wager dollars against donuts that the "Indian Wars" of Eastern North America didn't involve the belligerents throwing dollar bills at each
other in an attempt to cause fatal paper cuts.
Can one even lift a scalp using the keen edge of a dollar bill?
Economics yes, in the form of land grabs and subsequent displacements, but trade? Nope.
What was the worst thing for Native Americans in East North America?
The whole of Europe? No. Try one family- the Astors. look it up. By and large, Beaver pelts weren't pried from the dead hands of murdered Indians,
they were traded for.
I think we're back to those evil capitalists again. EAST North America - Astors - Beaver pelts?
Nope. Wrong era, and wrong area. The Astors were involved in the Rocky Mountain beaver trade of the early 1800's to mid 1800's. Around 1820 to 1840.
A 20 year subsegment of the history between the two peoples. The only time beaver pelts factored into the Eastern wars was the Beaver War in
Pennsylvania in the 1600's, strictly between indian tribes. Beaver wasn't a major commodity in Eastern North America. Astors factored in nary a
Trade created a detrimental social imbalance amongst natives already embroiled in the chaos of disease brought unintentionally (because we didn't
even know what disease was then) by European traders.
True enough, unintentional disease played a part, starting with DeSoto's expedition through the south east in the 1540's, and including that nasty
little outbreak in North Carolina in 1594. However, once the europeans got the hang of it, they turned it into a science. By the time of the French
and Indian wars, and the Revolutionary War, British agents were distributing smallpox laden blankets to the Great Lakes tribes on purpose - not in
strict "trade", but as payments under treaty obligations.
Oh, those wily British capitalists!
Were Natives in South America and Africa Enslaved? You betcha. But not like you described. You seem to imagine ships full of Europeans coming ashore
and tying of thousands of able bodied persons and forcing them into work. This would not be possible. It was mostly capitalist trickery that created
slavery of the periphery by the west.
Yeah, I "imagine" it a lot like that, but of course we are likely speaking of two different areas here. In eastern North America, it went exactly
like that, according to the testimony of Pocahontas (who died in England of those pesky British diseases, after having been captured and bound on the
Potomac river by a British captain, and "married" off to an Englishman), and Opechancanough, whose violent dislike of the English stemmed from a
slavish sojourn among the Europeans after capture. His escape brought on the near wholesale destruction of the tribe that gave him refuge by the
Spaniards on the York River (this was of course long before the foundation of Jamestowne). The Spaniards that attacked them sailed away with 7 of
their head men hung from the yardarm - but never came back.
Now I know there's a difference between Englishmen and Spaniards, and YOU know that, But Opechancanough didn't really make that distinction. They
all looked the same to him, dressed the same to him, rode the same sort of really big canoes, and most importantly treated the natives the same.
Trade you say? Capitalism? Most of the trade at that time involved Englishmen marching up to a village and saying "give us your corn, and we won't
raze your village to the ground." I wouldn't call that "trade", but I suppose it was in a sense. They were traded a wee bit of security (until
next harvest) in exchange for the food they needed to live on. Trade? Maybe. Capitalism? Nope. More like the Socialist notion of enforced
Sure, trade developed, but not until after the Europeans showed 'em who was boss, in a thoroughly Socialist manner, even if the concept didn't exist
yet! That's Europe, always ahead of it's time.
Incidentally, Opechancanough was shot in the back, when he was in his 80's and captive of the English, by a trigger happy English guard. His mistrust
of the Europeans, and failure to make a distinction between them, may not have been all that far off base after all.
Conquistadors, while brutes without doubt, did the most damage in the way they used trade to create hierarchies in their lands. By favoring one
Native over another as a trading partner, early colonists created an imbalance in once stable communities. A favored trade partner would likely
convert to Christianity, and with that is further elevated above his brothers. Encomienda would follow. Look that up.
I'll have to let you have this one, as I'm not as well versed in the history of the early European times "down there". I was always under the
impression that the Conqustadors were called that out of Conquest, rather than trading. You know, like Cortez did to the Aztecs, and Pizarro did to
the Incas. Not much trading, but a whole lot of bloodshed and forced conversion to Catholicism, rather than voluntary conversion to further
Capitalism. I reckon I'll have to look that up too, so I can attempt to figure out why all those indians got so torqued off, if they did it to
I am running out of space and am too disappointed to keep writing into another post.
Yeah, me too.