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Lon
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Post by Lon »

From a historical viewpoint, I have always been interested in the integration or displacement of various groups of people by the invasion of new settlers. The American Indian and the different Polynesian peoples for example. White people have oft times been maligned for STEALING the Red Man's land and in some cases, literally killing off whole tribes. Here in New Zealand, the local indigenous people (Maori) have all pretty much been displaced by Enlish, Irish & Scottish settlers of the early 19th century. There are very few (if any) full blooded Maori's today. The Maori's by the way, originally came from Hawaiii and displaced the very original indigenous people living there. In fact, they killed them off and ate them. Hawaii, Tahiti and all the South Pacific Islands have been at one time or another taken over by Bigger Tribes with Bigger Weapons.

While I am in total sympathy with the American Indian who got screwed on so many of the treaties that were made with the white man. And I certainly do not condone wanton killing of any of the Indian peoples. I feel no guilt however, about living on land that might once have been so callled Indian Lands. Is it not a fact that ALL the different Indian & Polynesian peoples warred with one another, over land, food, females etc. The bigger tribes with the best weapons and most people always seem to have won and taken over. The white man just happened to have more people and better weapons. This doesn't make it right, but that is what has happened historically all over the world. Sometimes it is even referred to as "Advancing Civiliization. What would the world be like today if Rome had stayed home?
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Post by gmc »

posted by lon

Here in New Zealand, the local indigenous people (Maori) have all pretty much been displaced by Enlish, Irish & Scottish settlers of the early 19th century.


I've always thought it ironic that having been displaced themselves they then do the same to others, twas ever so.
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Post by Bill Sikes »

Lon wrote: From a historical viewpoint, I have always been interested in the integration or displacement of various groups of people by the invasion of new settlers. The American Indian and the different Polynesian peoples for example.

(snip)

The bigger tribes with the best weapons and most people always seem to have won and taken over. The white man just happened to have more people and better weapons.


I was under the impression that imported disease and displacement/starvation killed far and away more people that did battles.
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Post by capt_buzzard »

Very true Bill.
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Post by Hawke »

With the exceptions of some Chinese and African groups, no culture can claim to have a truly "native" land. The history of civilization can be viewed as a series of cultural integration and separation. For example:

Native Americans are tied through mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) and dental evidence to SE Asian cultures.

Modern Britons are an amalgamation of Norman, Anglo, Saxon and other cultures.

Scandinavians are tied to earlier Finno-Ugric cultures.

Several Far East cultures are tied to ancient Iranic Horse Pastoralists.

Heck, most of Europe is tied to the Celtic (Keltoi) culture, which is tied to the Proto-Indo European culture, and so on.

Obviously, hardly any of us are 'native'. In addition, it's fun to trace back culture histories. Yay anthropology!
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Post by gmc »

http://users.ox.ac.uk/~magd1368/archive ... istory.htm

Week Five: The Materialist Interpretation of History



Ten years ago, in a book about German discussions of the Nazi past, Harvard history professor Charles Maier compared and contrasted two major historical museums, the Smithsonian museum of American history and its East German counterpart in East Berlin.

"[T]he Museum of American History has one feature in common with the more disciplined but far less opulent DDR museum... Their intentions may be opposed, but the collections on the Mall and on Unter den Linden both presuppose that material and technological forces underlie historical change. These impulses are conflictual, sometimes constraining, ultimately collective in the East Berlin version; energetic, liberal, compatible with small-town values according to the Washington exhibits -- but in each case progressive".

[Charles S. Maier, The Unmasterable Past, Harvard, 1988, p.126]

In a sense, the thought that material forces drive history in an ultimately progressive manner is is the central claim of historical materialism, which is a common name for the Marxian theory of history. The American capitalists and the East German communists may disagree over the details, but the structure of their presentations is identical, and impeccably Marxist. So what kind of a theory is historical materialism, and what can its revolutionary potential possibly be if a version of it is presented up to the American public by its state museum as the most official kind of American history that there is?


So where do you stand in the great debate about the forces of history? Personally i have an eclectic approach as all have their merits. Coming up with one theory that answers all the equations is impossible.

Consider for instance what would have been the case of their had been a comparable draught animal in the americas to the horse? How differently things might have turned out, maybe they would have invaded us. Climate change plays a major part as well.

I started getting interested in history when a child and was fascinated by warfare. especially in napoleonic times, what would make men walk in a line to within a hundred yards of each other stand and fire again and again until the other line broke or they did or they were killed. Such insanity cannot be explained by materialism there is much more to it. Same with the first world war, it's inconceivable that we would ever fight like that again, or is it?

On the other hand i take great delight when some one of tory leanings (right wing conservative) opines that all history can be explained by economics of saying aha! you hold to a marxist viewpoint. Typically they get upset and insist they have never read marx.

Actually you tend to find that most left wingers haven't either they like to pretend they have when spouting from the last pamphlet they read.

http://www.economist.co.uk/world/na/dis ... id=1988940

One of the things I think you learn studying history is that there are usually more than one side to any question and things and events often turn on the most apparently insignificant thing,
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Post by gmc »

posted by yoshman

Yes, I am native american. Half


I can safely claim to be a celt though probably with a viking from norway somewhere along the line. The British are a truly mongrel nation and arguably all the better for it. If you keep your eyes open you can see different tribal types in different parts of the country although as time goes on that becomes less and less so as people intermingle more and more. Be interesting how it all pans out.

What tribe? if you will pardon my curiosity
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Post by Raven »

half seminole here. with the rest english, irish, french and dutch. kinda reminds you that there was once just one land mass called PANGEA.
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Post by capt_buzzard »

Raven wrote: half seminole here. with the rest english, irish, french and dutch. kinda reminds you that there was once just one land mass called PANGEA.OMG, Irish too:D
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Post by Raven »

Great grandparent named Dugan. Came over cause irish potatoes werent doing so good.
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Post by capt_buzzard »

Raven wrote: Great grandparent named Dugan. Came over cause irish potatoes werent doing so good.Surely potatoes weren't they only food?
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Post by BabyRider »

Lon wrote: While I am in total sympathy with the American Indian who got screwed on so many of the treaties that were made with the white man. And I certainly do not condone wanton killing of any of the Indian peoples. I feel no guilt however, about living on land that might once have been so callled Indian Lands. Is it not a fact that ALL the different Indian & Polynesian peoples warred with one another, over land, food, females etc. The bigger tribes with the best weapons and most people always seem to have won and taken over. The white man just happened to have more people and better weapons. This doesn't make it right, but that is what has happened historically all over the world. Sometimes it is even referred to as "Advancing Civiliization. What would the world be like today if Rome had stayed home?
There is no reason for anyone today to feel guilty about living on Native American land, just as no one should feel guilty about slave ownership in the past. No one in this day and age is directly responsible for it. But I do take issue with calling it "advancing civilization" just to give it a pretty label. If that were the whole truth, if the white people had had only the best interests of everyone at heart, the advancement of society, things would have turned out much differently. At what price do we obtain our advancement? Take the stories of what happened to the Natives. This scenario would be unacceptable today. It would have never happened that way. There could have been an easier, more peacful way to live together, but the greed was what drove white people to do what they did, and I'd say that's pretty barbaric. From an "advanced" civilization. :yh_think
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Post by A Karenina »

BabyRider wrote: There is no reason for anyone today to feel guilty about living on Native American land, just as no one should feel guilty about slave ownership in the past. No one in this day and age is directly responsible for it. But I do take issue with calling it "advancing civilization" just to give it a pretty label. If that were the whole truth, if the white people had had only the best interests of everyone at heart, the advancement of society, things would have turned out much differently. At what price do we obtain our advancement? Take the stories of what happened to the Natives. This scenario would be unacceptable today. It would have never happened that way. There could have been an easier, more peacful way to live together, but the greed was what drove white people to do what they did, and I'd say that's pretty barbaric. From an "advanced" civilization. :yh_thinkI totally agree that we shouldn't inherit guilt, but I'm not so sure about the rest of it. As a country that threw the Japanese in camps 60 years ago, and has allowed a 1600% increase in violence against US Muslims today, as we keep people imprisoned (and torture them for information) without charging them...if we can do all of these things, then how "civilized" are we at this point?



I think if we wanted the land today, we'd take it.



I'm also not sure that greed is the sole reason for it. I agree that it plays a role, but if you consider the people who moved to Indian lands, there's a lot more to it. On the east coast, the people who lived on the outskirts, the people who fought Indians so they could live there were poor. Often they were indentured servants who'd served their time. They wanted independence, they wanted control over their own lives, and they didn't want to be subject to the whims/demands of an English crown.



Sure, and wasn't that how America was founded? People wanting more independence and control over their own destiny. They wanted something more, something better for themselves and their children. And they took it.



This kept happening. We became an independent country, and yet all was not peaceful - much as we like to think so. The poor still had to take the worst areas, including Indian lands, in order to gain material wealth - which doesn't always translate to greed. It also translates to security, opportunity, and freedom. We have to take it in context. Without the ability to raise food for yourself, you were likely to starve to death. There wasn't a job around the corner nor was there a government hand-out available if you failed.



So on one hand, we admire the courage of the pioneers, we hold them up as an American ideal. At the same time, we condemn them for stealing land.



JMHO
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Post by BabyRider »

A Karenina wrote: We have to take it in context. Without the ability to raise food for yourself, you were likely to starve to death. There wasn't a job around the corner nor was there a government hand-out available if you failed.



So on one hand, we admire the courage of the pioneers, we hold them up as an American ideal. At the same time, we condemn them for stealing land.



JMHO
An interesting perspective, AK. But in the interest of playing devil's advocate, the Native Americans had no jobs and no government to help them out, either, yet they thrived. What if the pioneers had learned from the Natives, as opposed to ousting them?

Perhaps a blanket statement of "greed was the reason" was too vague on my part. But America is a big friggin' place, and the population of Natives at the time was not so huge that the pioneers couldn't find a way around them. Or even among them. I guess I just really have a problem with "survive, even at the cost of the ones who were here first". Heck, not long after the Natives were "under control" if a man stole a horse, he'd be hung for it. Sounds a tad hypocritical to me. As though the survival of one race was perceived as more important than the survival of another. Also, JMHO. :yh_bigsmi
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Post by A Karenina »

BabyRider wrote: An interesting perspective, AK. But in the interest of playing devil's advocate, the Native Americans had no jobs and no government to help them out, either, yet they thrived. What if the pioneers had learned from the Natives, as opposed to ousting them?

Perhaps a blanket statement of "greed was the reason" was too vague on my part. But America is a big friggin' place, and the population of Natives at the time was not so huge that the pioneers couldn't find a way around them. Or even among them. I guess I just really have a problem with "survive, even at the cost of the ones who were here first". Heck, not long after the Natives were "under control" if a man stole a horse, he'd be hung for it. Sounds a tad hypocritical to me. As though the survival of one race was perceived as more important than the survival of another. Also, JMHO. :yh_bigsmi
Muah! I adore you when you're being devilish. :-4



It's an interesting question. History is chock full of stories. Some people were able to be friends with the Natives. Others were not. Probably the majority were not - too alien, too much fear. I guess to answer that question, we'd have to know if the Natives would've been willing to let settlers stay without harming them.

There is also the contradiction of cultures here - one part is that settlers tended to stay in smaller areas while Natives moved about in very large areas. Natives were not passive people, no matter what Kevin Costner says about them. (LOL). They were able to survive for centuries on their own wit and skills. Being fierce fighters and being territorial, would the Natives have allowed settlers to live on their lands in peace?



I do believe that the way we handled the "Manifest Destiny" thing was horrible. But I believe this from the safety of today. I'm not sure what I would think if I were in that time and place.



The hypocrisy thing...yes, but also no. Generally speaking, people believe that their way is superior to other ways. We see it all the time. The US against third world countries, for instance. Christians against non-religious. Rich against poor. White against black...and so on. If we had to choose between "our people" and another people, we'd almost always choose our own.



I'm not making a judgment call on that; I'm just pointing it out. It makes sense that people would react this way, otherwise we'd have no cohesive groups at all. Chaos (?)



I agree with what you're saying in principle. It would be better for us all if we could find a way to live in harmony. I think that could happen eventually. But I don't think we can get from here to there without understanding our own realities. So, I tend to point out odd side things that I see...like these posts. :)



I'm sorry if it sounds like I have no sympathy for Natives. That's not at all true.
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Post by Jives »

I'm half Norweigan, half Swedish. You guys need to read "Guns, Germs and Steel."

It explains quite clearly why some cultures take over others. Mostly because they have easily domesticated plants and animals. Why did Africa remain hunter /gatherer when Europe became industrial? Because you can't tame a Zebra, that's why.

Once you have domesticated animals and agriculture, you can begin to sit around and discover technology and viola! You have guns and the others don't. End of story. It's Mother Nature's way.
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Post by BabyRider »

Jives wrote: I'm half Norweigan, half Swedish. You guys need to read "Guns, Germs and Steel."



It explains quite clearly why some cultures take over others. Mostly because they have easily domesticated plants and animals. Why did Africa remain hunter /gatherer when Europe became industrial? Because you can't tame a Zebra, that's why.



Once you have domesticated animals and agriculture, you can begin to sit around and discover technology and viola! You have guns and the others don't. End of story. It's Mother Nature's way.
Mother Nature's way? Hmmm... That's a pretty simplistic answer, don't ya think, Jives? Being Cherokee and Blackfoot, I kind of cringe at the thought of being an easily removed hindrance to the advancement of another culture's way of life.
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Post by A Karenina »

Jives wrote: I'm half Norweigan, half Swedish.
I'm half Swede, too. I'll add the book to my list. I keep a Word doc of all the books i want to read...somedayyyy. For now, I should read my textbook for my mid-term next week. Haven't even opened it yet. (sigh) On the Mayans...icky people.
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Post by BabyRider »

AK, I don't think it's lack of symapthy for the Native Americans. I think it's an interesting subject to debate, and one with lots of viewpoints. It's also my idealistic attitude that makes me wish the pioneers had done things differently. The only way to change it would be to jump into my handy-dandy time warp ship and go back and enlighten people!

And generally speaking, you're right. People do think "my way is the best way." And that is probably not going to change. We aren't going to wake up one day and say "Well, shucks, we HAVE been wrong all this time and our efforts would be better expended trying to find a way to live in harmony." Is it possible to be idealistic and cynical at the same time?? :yh_think
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Post by A Karenina »

BabyRider wrote: Is it possible to be idealistic and cynical at the same time?? :yh_think
Why yes! Throw in some pragmatism, and you're in my world! LOLOL Freaking weird in here, ain't it?



Seriously, I'm glad that you know I feel the same way about it. I would feel awful if I hurt you.



Meaningless side note: I knew about the Trail of Tears before I was 9. I didn't find out about the Holocaust until I was 15. I didn't know that reservations today often lack running water and electricity until I was 36. And all of it makes me feel anger. I can run around in useless circles, or I can try to be smart about it, and encourage change where I can. That's all I know...not very much for a lifetime, is it? :(
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Post by Jives »

Simplistic, yes. But then a lot of things in nature are simple and logical. It's not anyone's fault that your people were still in the hunter - gatherer stage when the Europeans showed up with cannons, horses, and diseases.

It has to do with the fact that North American mammals like the buffalo are notoriously hard to domesticate. No cows, no cow manure, no breeding ground for bacteria, and hence...no resistance to disease. Simple.

There were no easily domesticated grains either. No wheat, no rice, and now you must move with the herds. You can't sit in your village through the winter and tinker up new technologies and discover metals because you are busy migrating and going out each day to find food. Simple.

It all makes sense when you think of it. If you'd like to understand why civilzation grew up first in the Tigris and the Euphrates region, it has to do with their winters. Winters that were short and mild, allowing plants to begin growing seeds like wheat and flax. Easily harvested and high nutritional value. It makes it possible to survive the winter in one spot. No more migrating and thus begins a city.

Your people just drew the short straw on domesticated animals, plants, and weather. Sorry. :cool:
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Post by BabyRider »

Jives wrote:

Your people just drew the short straw on domesticated animals, plants, and weather. Sorry. :cool:
I have this vision in my head now of a bunch of different races, standing around with God (or whoever), and God's holding this handful of plastic straws. :yh_rotfl



So, your explanation makes sense, and I still don't like it! But that stems from simple frustration over things like African Americans wanting (and believing they deserve) reparations for slavery that happened 200 years ago and similar current events. It's hard to swallow your explanation, as reasonable as it is. Does that make sense?
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Post by BabyRider »

A Karenina wrote: Why yes! Throw in some pragmatism, and you're in my world! LOLOL Freaking weird in here, ain't it?



Seriously, I'm glad that you know I feel the same way about it. I would feel awful if I hurt you.



Meaningless side note: I knew about the Trail of Tears before I was 9. I didn't find out about the Holocaust until I was 15. I didn't know that reservations today often lack running water and electricity until I was 36. And all of it makes me feel anger. I can run around in useless circles, or I can try to be smart about it, and encourage change where I can. That's all I know...not very much for a lifetime, is it? :(
VERY weird, and that's what makes it so great.

And I know better than that about you AK. Just reading what you write tells of your compassion. I think we'd probably be friends in "real" life.



And I don't think your side note is meaningless at all. We learn about what interests us. And what is taught to us in school. The Trail of Tears is standard American History. Somehow, the Holocaust is getting lost in history classes. You read the thread about how some 65% of people over 35 don't even know about it, right? And yet, for those who have been educated about these things, there's still so much intolerance in the world. Kind of makes a person wonder; how far have we come? Not real far, in my opinion.
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Post by john8pies »

This is a fascinating page, with many excellent points and explanations (particularly the one from GMC - there, I`ve agreed with a Scotsman so I can`t be all bad! The history of the world has generally been one of people moving to different countries and cross-breeding, possibly wiping out previous inhabitants along the way.

One thing that I always consider is that history is told by the victors (and of course, the vanquished may have and re-tell their own versions, but these aren`t generally recognised universally.

I remember from school being taught that the Mongols, etc were only building up their empires, etc to barbarically kill people and / or enslave the natives. The British Empire of course,however, was stated to have started to spread the message of Christianity to heathens (and any grabbing of natural resources merely a sideline I suppose?)

Similarly at the time of the Cold War we were told all about the evil Soviet empire and the great American one. This may have been true, but I expect that children in their Soviet schools were told the exact opposite!

Developments indicate that we as a world will either produce more powerful and estructive weapons and blow ourselves all up, along with the planet, or learn from history and live in peace. I wonder which?! :cool:
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Post by gmc »

posted by john8pies (what all of them?)

Developments indicate that we as a world will either produce more powerful and estructive weapons and blow ourselves all up, along with the planet, or learn from history and live in peace. I wonder which?


You may live to find out, most wars have an economic reason for them somewhere-even the second world war, have a look at the need for oil in the world, never mind there is more oil to be found demand is beginning to grow rapidly with both China and Russia likely to become major users in the years to come. Who has the most who needs it the most and what are they going to do to preserve their supply and will their peoples go to war over it.

Leaving environmental concerns to one side not developing alternatives to oil for fuel before it runs out is just sticking your head in the sand and hoping it won't happen.

http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/oil.html

Maybe you should be nicer to canadians

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