Facts about native american genocide

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facts about native american genocide

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What does Thanksgiving mean to Native Americans?

Genocide of indigenous peoples

She became the first of some known cases of white captives, many of whom became pawns in an ongoing power struggle that included European powers, American colonists and indigenous peoples straining to maintain their population, their land and way of life. A group of Native Americans look at a sailing ship in the bay below them. By the close of the Indian Wars in the late 19th century, fewer than , indigenous people remained, a sharp decline from the estimated 5 million to 15 million living in North America when Columbus arrived in The reasons for this racial genocide were multi-layered. Settlers, most of whom had been barred from inheriting property in Europe, arrived on American shores hungry for Indian land—and the abundant natural resources that came with it. Even more fundamentally, indigenous people were just too different: Their skin was dark.

The genocide of indigenous peoples is the mass destruction of entire communities of indigenous peoples. While the concept of genocide was formulated by Raphael Lemkin in the midth century, the expansion of various European colonial powers such as the Spanish and British empires and the subsequent establishment of colonies on indigenous territory frequently involved acts of genocidal violence against indigenous groups in the Americas , Australia , Africa and Asia. He saw this genocide as a two-stage process, the first being the destruction of the indigenous population's way of life. In the second stage, the newcomers impose their way of life on the indigenous group. Some scholars, among them Lemkin, have argued that cultural genocide , sometimes called ethnocide , should also be recognized. A people may continue to exist, but if they are prevented from perpetuating their group identity by prohibitions against cultural and religious practices that are the basis of that identity, this may also be considered a form of genocide. The concept of genocide was defined in by Raphael Lemkin.

Was It Genocide?

Guenter Lewy, who for many years taught political science at the University of Massachusetts, has been a contributor to Commentary since Richard West, declared that the new institution would not shy away from such difficult subjects as the effort to eradicate American Indian culture in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is a safe bet that someone will also, inevitably, raise the issue of genocide. Thus, according to Ward Churchill, a professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado, the reduction of the North American Indian population from an estimated 12 million in to barely , in represents a"vast genocide. Stannard, a historian at the University of Hawaii, native Americans had undergone the"worst human holocaust the world had ever witnessed, roaring across two continents non-stop for four centuries and consuming the lives of countless tens of millions of people. Stiffarm and Phil Lane, Jr.

The issue of genocide and American Indian history has been contentious. Many writers see the massive depopulation of the indigenous population of the Americas after as a clear-cut case of the genocide. Other writers, however, contend that European and U. To a significant extent, disagreements about the pervasiveness of genocide in the history of the post-Columbian Western Hemisphere, in general, and U. Conservative definitions emphasize intentional actions and policies of governments that result in very large population losses, usually from direct killing. More liberal definitions call for less stringent criteria for intent, focusing more on outcomes.

Years before Christopher Columbus stepped foot on what would come to be known as the Americas, the expansive territory was inhabited by Native Americans. Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, as more explorers sought to colonize their land, Native Americans responded in various stages, from cooperation to indignation to revolt. Months after landing, Ponce de Leon is attacked by local Native Americans and fatally wounded. May : Spanish explorer and conquistador Hernando de Soto lands in Florida to conquer the region. He explores the South under the guidance of Native Americans who had been captured along the way. Hundreds of Native Americans are killed in the ensuing battle.


  1. Telly A. says:

    Native American Genocide and American Exceptionalism - The Greenlining Institute

  2. Apolline C. says:

    In , California had a Native American population of about ,

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