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 United States persisted an never-ending 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 attractive new ebook, the eu and white American destruction of the local peoples of the Americas used to be the main mammoth act of genocide within the background of the world.
Stannard starts off 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 primary and South the USA, 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 anywhere Europeans or white american citizens went, the local humans have been stuck among imported plagues and barbarous atrocities, mostly 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 historic eu and Christian attitudes towards intercourse, race, and struggle, he reveals the cultural floor organized through the top 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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Additional info for American Holocaust: Colombus and the Conquest of the New World
17 This hostile attitude of stubbornly determined ignorance, it should be noted, is not confined to textbook writers. ")19 It should come as no surprise to learn that professional eminence is no bar against articulated racist absurdities such as this, but if one example were chosen to stand for all the rest, perhaps the award would go to Hugh Trevor-Roper, the Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford Univer sity, who wrote at the start of his book The Rise of Christian Europe of "the unrewarding gyrations of barbarous tribes in picturesque but irrele vant corners of the globe," who are nothing less than people without his �ory.
41 In addition, most natives of this region, stretching from the densely settled southern shores of the Great Lakes (with a pre Columbian population that has been estimated at close to 4,000,000) across to northern Maine on down to the Tidewater area of Virginia and over to the Cumberland River in Tennessee, displayed to their neighbors, and to strangers as well, a remarkable ethic of generosity. As the Jesuit Joseph Fran�ois Lafitau, who lived among the Indians for six years, observed: "If a cabin of hungry people meets another whose provisions are not entirely exhausted, the latter share with the newcomers the little which remains to them without waiting to be asked, although they expose themselves thereby to the same danger of perishing as those whom they help at their own expense so humanely and with such greatness of soul.
And there is clear evidence that European diseases had a serious impact on California's native peoples throughout the six teenth and seventeenth centuries. 1 6 Since, as we shall see in a later chapter, during those same two centuries the native population of Florida was re duced by more than 95 percent, primarily by Spanish-introduced diseases but also by Spanish violence, it is likely that the indigenous population of California also was vastly larger in the early sixteenth century than it was in 1 769.