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 via as many as a hundred million humans. certainly, as historian David E. Stannard argues during this beautiful new e-book, the ecu and white American destruction of the local peoples of the Americas used to be the main colossal act of genocide within the historical past of the world.
Stannard starts with a portrait of the large richness and variety of existence within the Americas sooner than 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 americans went, the local humans have been stuck among imported plagues and barbarous atrocities, ordinarily 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 historical eu and Christian attitudes towards intercourse, race, and struggle, he reveals the cultural floor ready by means of the tip of the center a while 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 absolute to create a lot controversy, Stannard contends that the perpetrators of the yank Holocaust drew at the related ideological wellspring as did the later architects of the Nazi Holocaust.
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Extra resources for American Holocaust: Colombus and the Conquest of the New World
Others continue on. Some have had their remains so badly plundered that virtually nothing of them any longer exists-such as the once-massive Spiro Mound, a monument of an eastern Oklahoma people, that was looted of its treasures in the 1 930s by the farmer who owned the land on which it stood. Literally tons of shell, pearl, and other precious objects were hauled out in wheelbarrows and sold by the side of the road. 44 In contrast, other large communities have left immense and permanent reminders of their past glories-such as the huge earthen mound at Ca hokia, Illinois.
At one location during his travels in the southeast de Soto was met by the female leader of the Cofitachequi nation who was carried in a sedan chair, was wrapped in long pearl necklaces, and rode in a cushion-filled and awning-covered boat. She commanded a large area of agriculturally productive land, once settled with dense clusters of towns and filled with impressively constructed ceremonial and burial sites. In plundering those sites de Soto's men found elegantly carved chests and art objects, pearl inlaid and copper-tipped weapons, and other valuables (including as many as 50,000 bows and quivers) that at least one of the conquistadors com pared favorably with anything he had seen in fabulously prosperous Mex ico or Peru.
We will never know how many hundreds more such sites are buried beneath the modern cities and suburbs of the northeastern United States, but we do know that these early sedentary peoples lived in towns with houses that were circular in design and that ranged from single-family dwellings as small as twenty feet in diameter to multi-family units up to eighty feet across. These residences commonly were built in close proxim ity to large public enclosures of 300 feet and more in diameter that mod- 18 AMERICAN H O LO CAUST ern archaeologists have come to refer to as "sacred circles" because of their presumed use for religious ceremonial purposes.