American Holocaust: Colombus and the Conquest of the New by David E. Stannard

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 US persevered an endless firestorm of violence. in the course of that point the local inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere declined by means of as many as a hundred million humans. certainly, as historian David E. Stannard argues during this lovely new ebook, the eu and white American destruction of the local peoples of the Americas used to be the main monstrous act of genocide within the historical past of the world.

Stannard starts with a portrait of the big richness and variety of existence within the Americas ahead of Columbus's fateful voyage in 1492. He then follows the trail of genocide from the Indies to Mexico and primary and South the US, then north to Florida, Virginia, and New England, and at last out around the nice Plains and Southwest to California and the North Pacific Coast. Stannard unearths that anyplace Europeans or white americans went, the local humans have been stuck among imported plagues and barbarous atrocities, normally 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 solution: Christians. Digging deeply into historical eu and Christian attitudes towards intercourse, race, and battle, 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 recent World's unique population. Advancing a thesis that's certain to create a lot controversy, Stannard contends that the perpetrators of the yankee Holocaust drew at the comparable ideological wellspring as did the later architects of the Nazi Holocaust.

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In many places we have not B E F O RE . C O L U M B U S H passed the limits o f Indian farming a t all. . I n general, i t may b e said that the plant domesticates of the New World far exceeded in range and efficiency the crops that were available to Europeans at the time of the dis­ covery of the New World. . The ancient Indian plant breeders had done 'their work well. In the genial climates, there was an excellent, high yielding plant for every need of food, drink, seasoning, or fiber. On the climatic ex­ tremes of cold and drought, there still were a remarkable number of plant inventions that stretched the limits of agriculture about as far as plant growth permitted.

And the New England Indian nations-the Pennacook, the Nipmuk, the Massachu­ sett, the Wampanoag, the Niantic, the Nauset, the Pequot, the Mahican, the Narraganset, the Wappinger, the Mohegan, and more. Traditionally these native peoples were thought to have lived in very thinly populated settlements, but recent re-analyses of their population histories suggest that such separate nations as the Mohawk, the Munsee, the Massachusett, the Mohegan-Pequot, and others filled their territorial areas with as many or more residents per square mile as inhabit most western regions in the present­ day United States.

Even the small and subsequently uninhabited Santa Barbara islands, lying 25 to 70 miles off the coast-San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Santa Catalina, San Clemente, Santa Barbara, San Nicholas-were populated by "a great number of Indians" who greeted the Spanish ships in friendship and traded with them in ceremonies of peace. In all, from the islands to the coasts to the valleys and the plains that he observed, Cabrillo wrote, this "densely populated . . " 1 4 Just what the population o f California was a t this time i s unknown.

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