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 continued 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 beautiful new ebook, the eu and white American destruction of the local peoples of the Americas was once the main titanic act of genocide within the background of the world.

Stannard starts with a portrait of the large 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 imperative 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 at any place Europeans or white american citizens went, the local humans have been stuck among imported plagues and barbarous atrocities, usually 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 historic ecu and Christian attitudes towards intercourse, race, and warfare, he reveals the cultural floor organized through the tip of the center a long time for the centuries-long genocide crusade that Europeans and their descendants launched-and in areas proceed to wage-against the hot World's unique population. Advancing a thesis that's guaranteed to create a lot controversy, Stannard contends that the perpetrators of the yankee Holocaust drew at the related ideological wellspring as did the later architects of the Nazi Holocaust.

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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. 46 Still, wildly inaccurate though the popular historical perception of In­ dian America as an underpopulated virgin land clearly is, on one level-a comparative level-the myth does contain at least a shred of truth.

Throughout the world, among the largest shellfish middens known to exist are those at Ertebelle in Denmark, where they range up to 30 acres in size and almost 1 0 feet in height. In comparison, shell middens from Calusa areas throughout southwest Florida have been found covering up to 80 acres of land and reaching to heights of 20 feet­ that is, many times the cubic volume of the largest Ertebelle middens. And yet, enormous as these deposits are-testifying to extraordinary concentra­ tions of population�thnohistorical and archaeological evidence indicates that shellfish were not a major component of the Calusa diet.

At first glance this appears to be an inhospitable area for the founding of a major population center and civilization, but periodic flooding of the region's rivers created a marshy environment and the rich­ est agricultural lands in Mexico-land that often has been compared to the Nile delta in Egypt. C. C. the center of Olmec culture was located in what is now known as San Lorenzo, after which it was moved to La Venta. Here, in the symbolic shadow of their Great Pyramid-about 3,500,000 cubic feet in volume, a construction project that is estimated to have taken the equivalent of more than 2000 worker­ years to complete-the Olmecs farmed extensively, worshiped their gods, enjoyed athletic contests involving ball games and other sports, and pro­ duced art works ranging from tiny, meticulously carved, jade figurines to enormous basalt sculpted heads more than ten feet tall.

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