In the discussion thread: US should return stolen land to Indian tribes, says United Nations [View all]
Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #13)
Sun May 6, 2012, 07:27 PM
sofa king (8,975 posts)
39. There's a good reason for that.
As Jared Diamond has eloquently pointed out, North America was lacking in several things which were critical to the establishment of an agrarian, property-owning society. Pre-Columbus Indians had no draft animals to turn soil or move heavy loads. The largest domesticable animals were turkeys and dogs. No domesticable crop supplied enough protein to replace hunting.
So the Indians moved, in pursuit of game and areas where annually planted crops had been left in years past. Indian "ownership" of was an ever-changing zone of control which ebbed and flowed according to dozens of factors beyond the control of the Indians themselves.
The sale of Manhattan, like virtually all of our soundbite history, is mostly bullshit, based on one Dutch letter recording a land sale for 60 guilders' worth of goods from "the Indians," and amplified by jingoistic Americans in the 19th Century.
But yeah, whomever did sell Manhattan to the Dutch probably did laugh, not because they were blissfully unaware children, but because they knew what the Dutch and George Washington were going to have to find out the hard way: that Manhattan is indefensible and the very best place to place a new neighbor if you're thinking about rolling in and killing them all some day. (Wall Street was an actual wall, which wouldn't have saved them.)
Relations between the tribes and the Dutch steadily declined through the 1600s, beginning with them provoking the absolute worst possible enemy, the Mohawks, but New Amsterdam's day of reckoning at the hands of the Indians was averted in 1664 when the English ran them out. By then all tribes on the Eastern Seaboard were wracked by disease and internal conflict, and lacked the numbers needed to run the new colonists out.
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
There's a good reason for that.
|sofa king||May 2012||#39|
|Auntie Bush||May 2012||#8|
|era veteran||May 2012||#14|
|Speck Tater||May 2012||#17|
|Speck Tater||May 2012||#40|
|Judi Lynn||May 2012||#19|
|a la izquierda||May 2012||#31|
|Behind the Aegis||May 2012||#27|
Please login to view edit histories.