By David E. Stannard
For 400 years-from the 1st Spanish attacks opposed to the Arawak humans of Hispaniola within the 1490s to the U.S. Army's bloodbath of Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee within the 1890s—the indigenous population of North and South the USA continued an never-ending firestorm of violence. in the course of that point the local inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere declined by way of as many as a hundred million humans. certainly, as historian David E. Stannard argues during this beautiful new publication, the eu and white American destruction of the local peoples of the Americas was once the main great act of genocide within the historical past of the world.
Stannard starts off with a portrait of the big richness and variety of lifestyles within the Americas ahead of Columbus's fateful voyage in 1492. He then follows the trail of genocide from the Indies to Mexico and critical and South the USA, then north to Florida, Virginia, and New England, and eventually out around the nice Plains and Southwest to California and the North Pacific Coast. Stannard finds that anyplace Europeans or white american citizens went, the local humans have been stuck among imported plagues and barbarous atrocities, generally leading to the annihilation of ninety five percentage in their populations. what sort of humans, he asks, do such horrendous issues to others? His hugely provocative resolution: Christians. Digging deeply into old eu and Christian attitudes towards intercourse, race, and warfare, he reveals the cultural flooring prepared by means of the tip of the center a long time for the centuries-long genocide crusade that Europeans and their descendants launched-and in locations proceed to wage-against the hot World's unique population. Advancing a thesis that's certain to create a lot controversy, Stannard contends that the perpetrators of the yank Holocaust drew at the similar ideological wellspring as did the later architects of the Nazi Holocaust.
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Additional resources for American Holocaust: Colombus and the Conquest of the New World
These, then, are just some examples of the great multitudes of perma nently settled societies that constituted what commonly and incorrectly are thought of today as the small and wandering bands of nomads who inhab ited North America's "virgin land" before it was discovered by Europeans. In fact, quite to the contrary of that popular image, as the eminent geog rapher Carl 0. Sauer once pointed out: For the most part, the geographic limits of agriculture have not been greatly advanced by the coming of the white man.
But the Aztec empire, with its astonishing white city of Tenochtitlan, was at the end of the fifteenth century only the most recent in a long line of magnificent and highly complex cultures that had evolved in Mesa america-where more than 200 separate languages once were spoken over the course of nearly three thousand years. C. villages were being established in the Valley of Oaxaca, each of them containing probably no more than a dozen or so houses surrounding a plaza that served as the community's ceremo nial center.
The people living in these state-like communities largely were nourished by enormous fields of corn, beans, and other produce that they harvested in two or even three crops each year and stored in corn cribs and granaries. They were superb basket-makers, carpenters, potters, weavers, tanners, and fishermen. 27 The Calusa, in fact, are especially intriguing in that they defy conven tional rules of political anthropology by having been a complex of hunt ing, fishing, and gathering societies that also were sedentary and highly stratified, with politically powerful and centralized governments.