Native American Society and Civilization Collapse Part I; Old World Diseases and Expansion/Collapse of Empires Not Unique to the European Colonization
January 3rd 2019- Many people who think about the Native Americans think of people that have been repressed and were given the short end of the stick. They believe that they lost all their land. Unfortunately, this seems to be very true. In their struggle to fight for their homelands they were not resistant to diseases brought from Africa and Eurasia, their population in the more temperate climates were too few, they often lacked modern weapons, and they suffered from brutal intertribal warfare distracting them from their common displacement. However, without a doubt they left behind a legacy of domestic crops such as corn, beans, watermelon, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, and tobacco.
They are the poster child for romantic notions of living with a wild and free land; admired as warriors that were quick, nimble, fought non-conventional warfare, could blend with the land, and had great hunting skills. They were deemed closer to earth; living with the earth in a way that many people seek after living in a complicated modern world. This simpler way of life is often seen as a portal to the supernatural; which is often seen to be cultivated through ritual ceremonies and observation of the natural world.
No doubt, many Native Americans were gifted with wisdom and intelligence. But, they suffered the same human nature that Europeans suffered; war, genocide, over consumption, abuse, and slavery. Just like European society they had peace makers, capitalists, warriors, teachers, reformers, and artisans. Their civilizations rose and fell. The more we viewed each other actions the more similarities we saw, perhaps why such savagery existed between both cultures is because we both saw what we did not like in ourselves. And it was not too long ago that Europeans were painting their faces, living in simple natural structures, practicing earth religions, and etc. Below is Berserkers fighting in the nude, and examples of Celtic and Nordic art.
Nor were some of their health and religious practices using sweat houses unique. “Tucked away in the back of many fields and in out of the way places in Ireland are small overgrown huts that look like miniature tombs. They are constructed of stone with small entrances and covered with sods, they are, in fact, sweat houses. It may come as a surprise to many that Ireland has its own tradition of the ‘sweat lodge', mostly we associate this with the Native American culture and, for some time, American style sweat lodges have been conducted here also. These are mostly based on the Inipi ceremony of the North American Plains Indians and a sweat is undertaken usually for initiation, purification or in preparation for the vision quest. Were our own sweat houses used for similar purposes?”
"Vapour baths were in use among the Celtic tribes, and the sweat-house was in general use in Ireland down to the 18th, and even survived into the 19th century. It was of beehive shape and was covered with clay. It was especially resorted to as a cure for rheumatism." These permanent structures were built of stone, and square or corbelled "beehive" versions are often found, mostly in the Irish and Gaelic-speaking areas of Ireland and Scotland, though most seem of relatively recent date.”
Even though many wish to blame the European Settlers for all the evils brought upon the indigenous people of North America. Europeans also carried scars from entire civilizations conquered, displaced, and enslaved such as several powerful Celtic tribes by Caesar of Rome. It is estimated Julius Caesar enslaved 1,000,000 people and killed a further 1,000,000 by the sword in the Gallic wars alone.
Nor was invasion, plundering, and warfare unique to Rome. Rome had its fair share of outside invaders; including the Huns, Visigoths, Franks, Vandals, Ostrogoths, and Carthage.
And many conflicts such as raiding Norsemen (793–1066 AD); invaded all corners of Europe with nimble new boats at the same time as the raiding parties of Saracens and Magyars. All three groups launched raids in Europe in the 9th and 10th century. It is also important to note that the Saracens were Arab plunders that were part of a vast series of Islamic invasions of Europe that continue to the present.
The Video below shows all the numerous Islamic conquests of Europe
Much of these raids and conquests resembled the same brutal warfare and plundering carried out by the Comanche and Apache raids into Mexico, Aztec Expansion, Inca Empire building, Pre-Columbia warfare among the Iroquois.
Many revisionists would like to paint some of these warrior cultures as misunderstood and peaceful.
"There was even an attempt at one point to deny that Indians were warlike. Comanches were incredibly warlike. They swept everyone off the Southern plains. They nearly exterminated the Apaches. And you know, if you look at the Comanche and you look back in history at Goths and Vikings or Mongols or Celts — old Celts are actually a very good parallel. In a lot of ways, I think we're looking back at earlier versions of ourselves. We — being white European — did all of those things. Not only that but torture was institutionalized during things like the Counter-Reformation and the Spanish Inquisition and the Russian Revolution."
Huns Huns were not only brutal and violent. They were also very successful plunders and empire builders. They lived fairly nomadic and horseback way of life that was very similar to the roving bands of Comanche warriors. They were excellent horseman and their religious beliefs were very shamanistic, which was fairly similar to Native American Plains beliefs. Their belief is now referred to Tengriism or Tengrism is a shamanistic religion practiced in Central Asia. Tengriism was also followed by many other nationalities apart from the Mongols such as the Huns, Bulgars, Turkic, and Altaic people. It is characterized by shamanism, totemism and animism. It is both monotheistic and polytheistic.
Mongols Mongols were very much like the Huns in many ways. Like the Huns, they shared similar lifestyles and religious beliefs as the North America Plaines Indians. They also live in self-sufficient moving nomadic tribes that lived completely off horse back. They also conquered the largest continuous land empire in history in the 13th and 14th century.
Though Mongols were entirely not European, but shared the most common culture and belief system with the Comanche. Never less, their bloody pursuit of world domination killed as many as 40 million people or 10% of the earth's population at that time, making them responsible for the largest massacre to ever take place. Khan revolutionized warfare and rule of law. He rewarded loyalty regardless of social status, distributed the spoils of war throughout his ranks and banned infighting within the empire. But, they brutality murdered close to 4 million people in modern day Afghanistan/Iran and Baghdad alone. Some scientist even noticed a noticeable decrease in Carbon Dioxide in atmosphere during this time due to the global reduction in the population and return of forested areas. They can also be contributed to the ending of the Islamic-Golden Age and Giving rise to the Timurid Empire.
“The Mongol invasion herded a bunch of Mongols and Turks into the Islamic heartland where they converted into Islam and carved out a succession of dynasties, some of which ballooned into massive empires through successful conquest. These Mongols (who were few in numbers but at the top) and Turks (who liked to pretend to be Mongols) had limited respect for Greek and Persian “higher learning”, unlike the largely Persianized kingdoms and empires of the Golden Age, but managed to syncretize their expansive nomadic spirit with Islam’s jihadist zeal. Turco-Mongol derived empires from the 13th century onward include the devastating Timurid Empire”
Aztecs Aztec were no less brutal then any of them. In their own way they had rituals and rites as every bit brutal and more disturbing as the gladiatorial games of Rome.
“The central ritual act of "Tlacaxipehualiztli" was the gladiatorial sacrifice of war prisoners, which both began and culminated the festival. On the next day of the festival, the game of canes was performed in the manner of two bands. The first band were those who took the part of Xipe Totec and went dressed in the skins of the war prisoners who were killed the previous day, so the fresh blood was still flowing. The opposing band was composed of daring soldiers who were brave and fearless, and who took part in the combat with the others. After the conclusion of this game, those who wore the human skins went around throughout the whole town, entering houses and demanding that those in the houses give them some alms or gifts for the love of Xipe Totec. "Gladiator sacrifice" is the name given to the form of sacrifice in which an especially courageous war captive was given mock weapons, tied to a large circular stone and forced to fight against a fully armed Aztec warrior. As a weapon he was given a macuahuitl (a wooden sword with blades formed from obsidian) with the obsidian blades replaced with feathers. A white cord was tied either around his waist or his ankle, binding him to the sacred temalacatl stone. At the end of the Tlacaxipehualiztli festival, gladiator sacrifice (known as tlauauaniliztli) was carried out by five Aztec warriors; two jaguar warriors, two eagle warriors and a fifth, left-handed warrior.”
"The Spanish records relate mostly to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, where sacrifices took place 18 times every year, with around 60 victims each time. A human sacrifice was dedicated to one of the gods, so the form of sacrifice varied accordingly. The god Tlaloc, for example, demanded that children have their throats cut, and to please Chicomecoatl, a girl was beheaded. Huitzilopochtli preferred to have the beating hearts of men cut out and placed in front of his statue, while the severed head was put on a rack on the temple walls. It is possible that around 20,000 people were sacrificed a year in the Aztec Empire. Special occasions demanded more blood – when a new temple to Huitzilopochtli was dedicated in 1487, an estimated 80,400 people were sacrificed."
Just as the Romans, Mongols, and every empire that predated the Aztec Empire they expanded for more resources, slaves, and power. Below is map showing their empire growth from 1428-1520. One might ask what might have happened if they acquired the firearm, horse, and weren’t decimated by disease before the collapse of their empire. Would the Comanche of been able to hold them off? Would they conquer all of Mexico?
Inca Across the Mountain Tops of the Andes a massive empire was being built in South America from 1230-1525 without even using horses. They never less built intricate road systems, irrigation systems, terraces, and complex military and political paradigms. Their reliance on roads, territorial expansion, professional army, and easily defended mountain range was not too different then the empire building of Rome. They also succumbed to outside invaders, internal weakening by civil wars, and were not too far away from their version of the Eastern and Western Roman empire split.
Mayans Also a very notable civilization was the Old and New Maya Empires. Like all expanding empires warfare was prevelant in the Maya world.
Warfare was prevalent in the Maya world. Military campaigns were launched for a variety of reasons, including the control of trade routes and tribute, raids to take captives, scaling up to the complete destruction of an enemy state. Little is known about Maya military organization, logistics, or training. Warfare is depicted in Maya art from the Classic period, and wars and victories are mentioned in hieroglyphic inscriptions. Unfortunately, the inscriptions do not provide information upon the causes of war, or the form it took. In the 8th–9th centuries, intensive warfare resulted in the collapse of the kingdoms of the Petexbatún region of western Petén. The rapid abandonment of Aguateca by its inhabitants has provided a rare opportunity to examine the remains of Maya weaponry in situ. Aguateca was stormed by unknown enemies around 810 AD, who overcame its formidable defences and burned the royal palace. The elite inhabitants of the city either fled or were captured, and never returned to collect their abandoned property. The inhabitants of the periphery abandoned the site soon after. This is an example of intensive warfare carried out by an enemy in order to completely eliminate a Maya state, rather than subjugate it. Research at Aguateca indicated that Classic period warriors were primarily members of the elite.
From as early as the Preclassic period, the ruler of a Maya polity was expected to be a distinguished war leader, and was depicted with trophy heads hanging from his belt. In the Classic period, such trophy heads no longer appeared on the king's belt, but Classic period kings are frequently depicted standing over humiliated war captives. Right up to the end of the Postclassic period, Maya kings led as war captains. Maya inscriptions from the Classic show that a defeated king could be captured, tortured, and sacrificed. The Spanish recorded that Maya leaders kept track of troop movements in painted books.
During the Contact period, it is known that certain military positions were held by members of the aristocracy, and were passed on by patrilineal succession. It is likely that the specialized knowledge inherent in the particular military role was taught to the successor, including strategy, ritual, and war dances. Maya armies of the Contact period were highly disciplined, and warriors participated in regular training exercises and drills; every able-bodied adult male was available for military service. Maya states did not maintain standing armies; warriors were mustered by local officials who reported back to appointed warleaders. There were also units of full-time mercenaries who followed permanent leaders. Most warriors were not full-time, however, and were primarily farmers; the needs of their crops usually came before warfare. Maya warfare was not so much aimed at destruction of the enemy as the seizure of captives and plunder.
There is some evidence from the Classic period that women provided supporting roles in war, but they did not act as military officers with the exception of those rare ruling queens. By the Postclassic, the native chronicles suggest that women occasionally fought in battle.
Important rituals such as the dedication of major building projects or the enthronement of a new ruler required a human offering. The sacrifice of an enemy king was the most prized, and such a sacrifice involved decapitation of the captive ruler in a ritual reenactment of the decapitation of the Maya maize god by the death gods. In AD 738, the vassal king K'ak' Tiliw Chan Yopaat of Quiriguá captured his overlord, Uaxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awiil of Copán and a few days later ritually decapitated him. Sacrifice by decapitation is depicted in Classic period Maya art, and sometimes took place after the victim was tortured, being variously beaten, scalped, burnt or disembowelled. Another myth associated with decapitation was that of the Hero Twins recounted in the Popol Vuh: playing a ballgame against the gods of the underworld, the heroes achieved victory, but one of each pair of twins was decapitated by their opponents.
Most of the Classic Mayan Civilization came to end around 900, the post classic civilization reemerged along the northern coast around 1000.
Mayapan was abandoned around 1448, after a period of political, social and environmental turbulence that in many ways echoed the Classic period collapse in the southern Maya region. The abandonment of the city was followed by a period of prolonged warfare, disease and natural disasters in the Yucatán Peninsula, which ended only shortly before Spanish contact in 1511. Even without a dominant regional capital, the early Spanish explorers reported wealthy coastal cities and thriving marketplaces.
Cahokia Mound Another civilization that grew out of the heartland of American in the Mississippi Valley was the Cahokia Mound Builders. Cahokia as it is now defined was settled around 600 CE during the Late Woodland period. Mound building at this location began with the emergent Mississippian cultural period, about the 9th century CE. The inhabitants left no written records beyond symbols on pottery, shell, copper, wood, and stone, but the elaborately planned community, woodhenge, mounds, and burials reveal a complex and sophisticated society. The city's original name is unknown.
The mounds were later named after the Cahokia tribe, a historic Illiniwek people living in the area when the first French explorers arrived in the 17th century. As this was centuries after Cahokia was abandoned by its original inhabitants, the Cahokia tribe was not necessarily descended from the earlier Mississippian-era people. Most likely, multiple indigenous ethnic groups settled in the Cahokia Mounds area during the time of the city's apex.
The population of Cahokia began to decline during the 13th century, and the site was eventually abandoned around 1300. The area around it was not reoccupied by indigenous tribes to 1350. Scholars have proposed environmental factors, such as overhunting, deforestation, and flooding, as explanations for abandonment of the site.Another possible cause is invasion by outside peoples, though the only evidence of warfare found so far are the defensive wooden stockade and watchtowers that enclosed Cahokia's main ceremonial precinct. Due to the lack of other evidence for warfare, the palisade may have been more for ritual or formal separation than for military purposes. Diseases transmitted among the large, dense urban population are another possible cause of decline. Many theories since the late 20th century propose conquest-induced political collapse as the primary reason for Cahokia's abandonment.
Archeologists recovered more than 250 other skeletons from Mound 72. Scholars believe almost 62% of these were sacrificial victims, based on signs of ritual execution, method of burial, and other factors. The skeletons include:
Four young males, missing their hands and skulls
A mass grave of more than 50 women around 21 years old, with the bodies arranged in two layers separated by matting
A mass burial containing 40 men and women who appear to have been violently killed, some of these may have been buried alive: "From the vertical position of some of the fingers, which appear to have been digging in the sand, it is apparent that not all of the victims were dead when they were interred – that some had been trying to pull themselves out of the mass of bodies."
Anasazi Another civilization that thrived and almost disappeared without any European influence at all was the Anasazi Civilization. There was thought to be close to a 100,000 inhabitants stretching across four modern states; Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico.
Ancestral Puebloans are also known for their pottery. In general, pottery used for cooking or storage in the region was unpainted gray, either smooth or textured. Pottery used for more formal purposes was often more richly adorned. In the northern or "Anasazi" portion of the Ancestral Pueblo world, from about 500 to 1300 AD
Ceremonial structures known as kivas were built in proportion to the number of rooms in a pueblo. One small kiva was built for roughly every 29 rooms. Nine complexes each hosted an oversized Great Kiva, each up to 63 feet (19 m) in diameter. T-shaped doorways and stone lintels marked all Chacoan kivas. Though simple and compound walls were often used, great houses were primarily constructed of core-and-veneer walls: two parallel load-bearing walls comprising dressed, flat sandstone blocks bound in clay mortar were erected. Gaps between walls were packed with rubble, forming the wall's core. Walls were then covered in a veneer of small sandstone pieces, which were pressed into a layer of binding mud. These surfacing stones were often placed in distinctive patterns. The Chacoan structures altogether required the wood of 200,000 coniferous trees, mostly hauled—on foot—from mountain ranges up to 70 miles (110 km) away.
Too many people in academia believe that Europe was personally responsible for the intentional depopulation of the Indigenous community and that the depopulation was particularly unique to Latin America. When in fact Smallpox was the largest killer in Europe for many centuries, no less deadly was the black Plague that almost wiped out a third of Europe in, which was also brought to Europe from Asia.
"The history of smallpox extends into pre-history, the disease likely emerged in human populations about 10,000 BC. The earliest credible evidence of smallpox is found in the Egyptian mummies of people who died some 3000 years ago. Smallpox has had a major impact on world history, not least because indigenous populations of regions where smallpox was non-native, such as the Americas and Australia, were rapidly decimated and weakened by smallpox (along with other introduced diseases) during periods of initial foreign contact, which helped pave the way for conquest and colonization. During the 18th century the disease killed an estimated 400,000 Europeans each year, including five reigning monarchs, and was responsible for a third of all blindness. Between 20 and 60% of all those infected—and over 80% of infected children—died from the disease."
"During the 20th century, it is estimated that smallpox was responsible for 300–500 million deaths. In the early 1950s an estimated 50 million cases of smallpox occurred in the world each year. As recently as 1967, the World Health Organization estimated that 15 million people contracted the disease and that two million died in that year. After successful vaccination campaigns throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the WHO certified the global eradication of smallpox in December 1979. Smallpox is one of two infectious diseases to have been eradicated, the other being rinderpest, which was declared eradicated in 2011."
The vast majority of Indigenous populations in North America died from Small Pox exposure from trade routes and from nonintentional exposure from Europeans Nerveless the impact was devastating and tragic.
"After first contacts with Europeans and Africans, some believe that the death of 90–95% of the native population of the New World was caused by Old World diseases. It is suspected that smallpox was the chief culprit and responsible for killing nearly all of the native inhabitants of the Americas. For more than 200 years, this disease affected all new world populations, mostly without intentional European transmission, from contact in the early 16th century to until possibly as late as the French and Indian Wars (1754–1767)."
Though in some instances the intentional sharing of small pox with North American Indigenous population was intentional "During the siege of Fort Pitt, as recorded in his journal by sundries trader and militia Captain, William Trent, on June 24, 1763, dignitaries from the Delaware tribe met with Fort Pitt officials, warned them of "great numbers of Indians" coming to attack the fort, and pleaded with them to leave the fort while there was still time. The commander of the fort refused to abandon the fort. Instead, the British gave as gifts two blankets, one silk handkerchief and one linen from the smallpox hospital, to two Delaware Indian delegates. During and after Pontiac's War smallpox killed between 400,000-500,000 (possibly up to 1.5 million) Native Americans."
Another point to consider is that Small Pox and other epidemics brought from Europe were not the exception to large epidemics in Latin American Indigenous Populations. there are historical records and evidence that localized and native epidemics also decimated the Indigenous populations as well. One such disease was cocoliztli, which is estimated to kill more then even small pox in Mexico from 1545 to 1548.
"The epidemic of cocoliztli from 1545 to 1548 killed an estimated 5 million to 15 million people, or up to 80% of the native population of Mexico. In absolute and relative terms the 1545 epidemic was one of the worst demographic catastrophes in human history, approaching even the Black Death of bubonic plague, which killed approximately 25 million in western Europe from 1347 to 1351 or about 50% of the regional population."
There is no doubt that Old world disease played a very important role in the Spanish conquest of two of Latin Americas largest civilizations. Aztec
By 1520 Tenochtitlan was under siege by Cortés and the people were both starving and dying from smallpox. Bernal Diaz, Cortés’ chronicler, described the scenes in the city:
“We could not walk without treading on the bodies and heads of dead Indians. I have read about the destruction of Jerusalem, but I do not think the mortality was greater there than here in Mexico. Indeed, the stench was so bad that no one could endure it…and even Cortés was ill from the odours which assailed his nostrils.”
By August 1521 the Aztec Empire had fallen to the Spanish, and the conquest of Mexico was complete. There were two ironies of the downfall of the Aztec Empire aside from the fall of the empire directly related to small pox. The first irony is that Cortes was a rogue operative and Spain dispatched Pánfilo de Narváez sent to capture Cortes.
“In 1519, Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, the governor of Cuba authorized and paid for Hernán Cortés to man an expedition to Mexico. But having second thoughts about Cortés' loyalty, he recalled the expedition shortly after embarking. Cortés disobeyed and proceeded with the planned expedition that would eventually result in the overthrow of the Aztec Empire. Arriving from Cuba Narváez was named governor of Mexico by Velázquez who sent him and 1400 men on 19 ships to México to intercept Cortés.:280–281
Narváez disembarked at Veracruz, where Cortés had left behind a small garrison as he set out with the rest of his men for the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. The garrison was manned by Cortés' captain Gonzalo de Sandoval who managed to capture some of Narváez's men and send them to Tenochtitlan to alert Cortés of the coming danger. Unable to defeat the garrison Narváez went to the Totonac town of Cempoala, where he set up camp.:282"
The second Irony is that Cortes needed the help of more than 20,000 Native American allies to conquer Aztecs.
"Cortés had 84 horsemen, 194 arbalesters and arquebusiers, plus 650 Spanish foot soldiers. He stationed 25 men on every sloop, 12 oarsmen, 12 crossbowmen and musketeers, and a captain. Each sloop had rigging, sails, oars, and spare oars. Additionally, Cortés had 20,000 warriors from Tlaxcala, Huexotzinco, and Cholula. The Tlaxcalans were led by Xicotencatl II and Chichimecatecle. Cortés was ready to start the blockade of Mexico after Corpus Christi (feast).:353–54
Cortés put Alvarado in command of 30 horsemen, 18 arbalesters and arquebusiers, 150 Spanish foot soldiers, and 8,000 Tlaxcalan allies, and sent him, accompanied by his brother Jorge de Alvarado, Gutierrez de Badajoz, and Andrés de Monjaraz, to secure Tacuba. Cristóbal de Olid took 30 horsemen, 20 arbalesters and arquebusiers, 175 foot soldiers, and 8,000 Tlaxcalan allies, accompanied by Andrés de Tapia, Francisco Verdugo, and Francisco de Lugo, and secured Coyohuacan."
The Incas had no immunity against European diseases, and it is estimated that as many as 250,000 Incas may have died of smallpox before any of them even saw a European. Huayna died without naming his successor. Many people thought Huáscar, son of Huayna and his coya, should be the new Sapa Inca.
Nor was Inca infighting unique or imported by European Culture. It is believed the Inca Civil War before the Spanish Conquistadors arrived resulted in the deaths of well over 100,000 people. Not to mentioned that the Spanish employed perhaps several thousand Native American auxiliaries to defeat a already weakened Inca empire.
"Huáscar and Atahualpa, sons of Huayna Capac, over the succession to the throne of the Inca Empire.:146–149 The war followed Huayna Capac's death in 1527, although it did not begin until 1529, and lasted until 1532. Huáscar initiated the war because he saw himself as the rightful heir to the kingdom of all the Incas. Regardless of legitimacy, Atahualpa proved himself to be tactically superior to his brother in warcraft and to the mighty armies of Cuzco, which their father had stationed in the north part of the empire during the military campaign. Accounts from sources all vary in the exact details."
As you can see, many of the diseases spread around North America via native and preexisting trade routes, river routes, existing roads, and natural migration by the indigenous population. Though truly tragic, it is likely that Native American indigenous populations would have been exposed to Asian explorers at a later date if the Europeans did not make it there. With the development of far more advanced navigation technology; discovering of the Americans was inevitable. Even if the explorers had only benign and peaceful purposes, the wrath of old world diseases would have still left their mark. And for some reason the discovery of the Americas by the Old World was delayed. it could be speculated that the Native Americans would eventually develop navigation systems that were more capable of sailing towards Europe. If that was the case it is highly likely the diseases would still have been brought back with them. The only outcome that could have prevented the tragedy brought by old world diseases is if contact was delayed until there was a better understanding of germ theory and availability of distributed vaccinations. Even then, the diseases may have spread faster than medical care could get to all the people. Cause and Fault of the disease rests on no one’s shoulders. If you blame Europe, then you must also blame the Asians and African origins of many of the diseases too.
Native American Civilizations were subject to plundering, genocide, disease, and all the inflictions of humanity way before Europeans ever set foot into the new world. They demonstrated with firearms and horses that they were just as willing to build larger empires, kill their enemies, secure trade routes, and become superior marks men. And were starting to develop the technology for firearms themselves, “By late in the Indian Wars in the Western U.S. there were tribal members who'd worked out how to do repairs of flintlock, percussion, and cartridge guns including making replacement parts by hand as well as reloading brass cartridges with captured/traded for black powder, campfire cast bullets, and a traded for/capture percussion cap instead of the later designs of primers for ignition.”
And some people argue Native Americans perfected the all-around use of the firearm
“Yes, Europeans created and manufactured firearms, but in colonial America, it was the Indian who first fully embraced the gun, and mastered its varied applications. In fact, says Silverman, for more than 200 years, Indian peoples across the breadth of the North America employed firearms to transform not only their way of war, but their methods of hunting, and even their diplomacy with other Indians, and the great colonial powers of England, France, Spain, and the Netherlands.” To that end we conclude that the Native Americans were successful at adapting to modern weapons, successful empire builders, and developed highly sophisticated agricultural societies. They were solely struck down by an invisible untimely array of old world diseases. And to the untrained eye, the ease of Spanish conquest of the Aztec and Inca empires seems almost fate driven.
And nobody feels sorry for the Irish?
In 1849, the famine was officially at an end, but suffering continued throughout Ireland. More than 1 million people died between 1846 and 1851 as a result of the Potato Famine. Many of these died from starvation. Many more died from diseases that preyed on people weakened by loss of food. As a direct consequence of the famine, Ireland's population fell from almost 8.4 million in 1844 to 6.6 million by 1851. About 1 million people died and perhaps 2 million more eventually emigrated from the country. These were some of the uncertain conditions that people from Europe were trying to escape from. Another 200,000-600,000 Irish died or 20-40% of the islands population from 1649-1653 during the Cromwellian Conquest.
In Part II we will discuss why the Massive free ranging Bison herds existence might have been uncertain even if the European Colonization and Settlement failed. For this analysis we will preset several alternative possibilities that might have lead to the near eradication of Bison. From everybody at MOTM we thank you for taking the time to read this, especially if you made it all the way through this article!!