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The Shocking Savagery of America’s Early History

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posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 08:42 AM
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Where do we put Historical threads on ATS? While the good ol' US of A may not yet be regarded as an Ancient or Lost Civilization, this article from the latest issue of Smithsonian Magazine is sure to stoke debate with analyses such as the following:

“The savagery of the [theological] struggle, the bitterness of the main contenders and the deep stain it left on the region’s collective memory” were driven by “elemental fears peculiar to what was experienced as a barbarous environment—fears of what could happen to civilized people in an unimaginable wilderness...in which God’s children [as they thought of themselves] were fated to struggle with pitiless agents of Satan, pagan Antichrists swarming in the world around them. The two [kinds of struggle, physical and metaphysical] were one: threats from within [to the soul] merged with threats from without to form a heated atmosphere of apocalyptic danger.” Read more: www.smithsonianmag.com...

A revealing testament that the good old days weren't all turkey and pumpkin pie with happy injuns.




posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 08:46 AM
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that would be the droning sound of democracy now being exported around the world



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 08:47 AM
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My area of speciality actually and I agree that it would be nice to have a forum just for historical topics. I've ran into the same problem you mentioned while wondering where to post something.

Yes America's past was very savage in many respects, even before the settlers arrived here the Native Americans were particularly savage not only to each other but also the environment in many cases.

It continued with the struggles bewtween the indigenous people and the Europeans and continued on with the Revolution. North America did not have a peaceful beginning.

However this is true in pretty much all cultures although maybe not to such a high degree. It can be argued that Asia and Persia were relatively mild in their progress through the early formations of society as compared to the West.



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 08:47 AM
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Nothing has changed in America. And nothing is shocking about how savage they were(are).



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 09:34 AM
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Great thread!

I love reading historical fiction and nonfiction. And from what I read, things certainly weren't all roses.

S&F



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 09:43 AM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


In one form or another it's still going on.





posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 09:47 AM
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reply to post by Hopechest
 


Disagree entirely about Persia and Far East. Persia, for example, was built on the subjugation of various disparate tribes (even before Xerxes, of Thermopylae fame). China, as another example, was subjugated by the First Emperor who joined the tribes through conquest and politics (always an option when other states witness the conquest option!).

Korea was its' own separate, aggressive kingdom. India, well where to begin? The Steppes - raiding (cattle, women), war and conquest.

It goes on and on. Basically, North America had the violent beginnings that all the other continents had. Interestingly enough, some of the early leaders in the Jamestown colonies were completely against any aggressive actions against the Natives. Indeed, before they had even set off, Raleigh had briefed them at his home in London as to the nature of relations with any native tribes. He cautioned that a colony could not exist without co-operation from the natives so everything must be done to accomodate the Indians and to make them feel welcome and accepted.

One of the things he railed about whilst in the Tower (following the succession of King James) was that many of the original colonists hadn't listened to a word he had said. I thoroughly recommend anyone interested reads through "Big Chief Elizabeth" by Giles Milton. It contains all sorts of diary extracts and Elizabethan source material.



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 10:15 AM
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reply to post by Jefferton
 


Actually at the time refered to in the artical, America was under English rule.Just staying on topic.



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 10:31 AM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


Most certainly! I have been regularly shocked by entries from old family journals and diaries that I find posted by contributors on ancestry type sites.....many often written by mere children that recorded horrific events they had witnessed and survived !

I now have a much less romanticized view of the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the colonization of the 'new world' and the 'wild west' than I got from much of the history taught in school...or presented in movies!
edit on 22-2-2013 by frayed1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by rockymcgilicutty
reply to post by Jefferton
 
Actually at the time refered to in the artical, America was under English rule.Just staying on topic.

I'd tend to think it was more of a free-for-all at that point. Spain was calling dibs in the south, the Dutch were early in New York, the French of course...even the Swedes were looking for a piece of the action. In the earliest days, 'rule' was something of a misnomer.

And it helps to remember that the Puritan Fathers were pretty much a bunch of cranks that were busy being 'much Godlier than thou'. Colonisation was a pretty messy business all over...confounded by irritated locals and such.



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 11:07 AM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


I stand corrected, your thought's on the people involved is suerior.



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 11:11 AM
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Originally posted by rockymcgilicutty
reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 
I stand corrected, your thought's on the people involved is suerior.
No problem...I've done a lot of research on the fur trade and European/Native interaction so this stuff pops up early. Hence my interest in the topic.



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 11:29 AM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


Yea, I have looked into it too. Hand's down the biggest killer of Native Americans or any aboriginal people.Is disease pass on through contact. But I digress S&F on topic.



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 11:53 AM
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Originally posted by rockymcgilicutty
reply to post by Jefferton
 


Actually at the time refered to in the artical, America was under English rule.Just staying on topic.




You are now reaping the benefits of English rule are you not? No English, no America.



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 12:13 PM
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There is nothing shocking about humans history. If anything History has shown us that the more technology we gain the more sinister we become. Early humans are no exception. Did you just open a history book for the first time?

If anything you'll find my comment more shocking than what I read in your OP.

No star for you~



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 11:21 PM
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Originally posted by alldaylong

Originally posted by rockymcgilicutty
reply to post by Jefferton
 


Actually at the time refered to in the artical, America was under English rule.Just staying on topic.




You are now reaping the benefits of English rule are you not? No English, no America.


But the English went to Germany and recruited settlers to 'put on point', or to serve as buffers between the English folk living along the coast and the Indians further inland.....kinda back fired when the Revolution came along and the residents of 'Germantown' didn't feel much loyalty to the British king.....



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 01:53 AM
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Every civilization, people, nation, tribe, clan, etc., has blood on their hands. Everyone's ancestors were savage brutes and you don't need to good very far back to find them.

Just do your own pedigree chart and you'll find violence and blood shed with in a few generations or less. My family has some stories and I'm sure everyone's does.



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 02:22 AM
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I think this is the mentality that comes up whenever expansion happens. It is the fear of unknown.

Once I Googled my name and found a dissertation someone had written, which used my story in examples of similarities between the mindsets of people who experienced alien abduction and that of the earlier european settlers in Australia. It was wierd to see my statements compared to those of these much earlier people in a different place!

They were frightened of savages in an unknown land... they saw them creeping around in the middle of the night, they claimed to have been taken in the night by them. It was a rather fascinating observation.

In my personal case, (and I do not think she noted this fact ) I was in a foriegn country, where I could not speak the language, feeling extremely isolated and vulnerable. This I had in common with early settlers (though to really make her hypothesis stand, I should have seen french people abducting me...).

But I thought a lot about the expansion that happened to most of us as the Internet became a common tool.
Like explorers and settlers of new and wild lands of the mind, we suddenly found ourselves having to communicate with people from completely different cultures, with different values, different perspectives.. the familiar rules for interaction no longer applied, and if our physical being wasn't at risk, our ego, our mental sense of being as an individual was suddenly under pressure to survive a crazy jungle!
It would make sense that around the turn of this century, people started getting paranoid, and violent, and civil wars and revolutions began to happen..........and we find ourselves being conspiracy theorists and stuff.....
edit on 23-2-2013 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 02:23 AM
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reply to post by Flavian
 


Disagree entirely about Persia and Far East. Persia, for example, was built on the subjugation of various disparate tribes.

From J.M. Roberts' History of the World:


Cyrus's was the largest empire the world had seen until that time. Its style was different from its predecessors; the savagery of the Assyrian seems muted and, instead, Cyrus was careful to respect the institutions and ways of his new subjects. The result was a diverse empire, but a powerful one, commanding loyalties of a kind lacking to its predecessors... He based his government upon provincial governors who were the forbears of the later Persian satraps, and required from his subject provinces little beyond tribute—usually in gold—and obedience.

Thus began the empire which, though with setbacks in plenty, provided for nearly two centuries a cultural tradition that grew to nourish itself from both Asia and Europe. Large areas knew longer periods of peace than for centuries under it and it was in many ways a beautiful and gentle civilisation.

The testimony of the best-known of the Persians' subject peoples is also pertinent:


Thus says the Lord to His anointed,
To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—
To subdue nations before him
And loose the armor of kings,
To open before him the double doors,
So that the gates will not be shut:
'I will go before you
And make the crooked places[a] straight;
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
And cut the bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places.'
Source

All empires begin with subjugation and conquest. It is what happens afterwards that matters.



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 11:35 AM
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Originally posted by Bluesma
I think this is the mentality that comes up whenever expansion happens. It is the fear of unknown.
I once read a quote regarding the early settlers of Toronto (York), which very eloquently described a backdrop of the sound of the wind traveling through thousands of miles of primordial forest. This wasn't the Garden of Eden, life was harsh and the very earliest folks to be dropped off on these shores must have been consumed with dread.

No excuses...just an observation.






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