Caldric wrote:Also if anyone should be blamed for wiping out a continent of Indian's it should rest on European shoulders. There were only 200,000 or so Indian's left in 1780, down from millions.
Well, perhaps. But thats like blaming the fathers of German soldiers of WWII for their sons crimes. Its as absurd as asking the Japanese generation of today to aploogise for something that happened 60 odd years ago. Also, there were 250.000 people of native origin on the US continent in 1900. Whereas before the first white settlers there was over 30.000.000 native peoples of all types on the entire continent of North and South, if I remember the statistic correctly.
It is believed that as many as 40 million aboriginal peoples lived in North America prior to the arrival of Europeans, mostly along the Mississippi River valley, a very overpopulated figure considering primitive agricultural technology or a semi-nomadic Hunter-Gatherer lifestyle.
When Europeans showed-up they brought Old World diseases with them, and the native populations were therefore slowly decimated. This was not done through Genocide--as we are happy to believe with the Genocide theory-of-history that we are taught in school--but simply by shaking hands. They caught our diseases and we caught theirs. Europeans brought smallpox to America and went home with syphilis, both of which became very aggressive in their new environments.
The primary reason that the American people (not necessarily the Yankee merchants and the southern plantation aristocracy) were motivated to fight King George III in 1776 was because the crown was attempting to enforce the Treaty of Paris (1763) which preserved Indian lands by limiting American migration west of Appalachia. We defeated the Crown and devised a Land Ordinance in 1785 which surveyed each Township and reserved Section 16 for a school. We Americans call this coast-to-coast Lebensraum our "Manifest Destiny," and no force in the universe could have stopped it--considering the demographic emptiness of the North American continent at the time.
This does not mean that atrocities were not committed against the Native Americans. They were. But mostly by the settlers and not by government initiative which supported the settlement. By the time of the Apache wars in Arizona at the end of the last century, the U.S. Army was *preventing* the extermination of the Indians--which does not mean that they were not rounded-up and held under concentration camp conditions and the Indian combatants themselves not held indeterminately as political prisoners-of-war.
I toured the location of the recent forest fires and I also visited Fort Apache below...
Fort Apache, AZ was the last cavalry outpost of the U.S. Army, disbanded in 1922, with an Indian boarding school (below) established in 1923. The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 gives Native Americans U.S. national citizenship. They number 2,475,956 or 0.9% of the U.S. population from the 2000 census.
Officer's quarters at Fort Apache.
Stockade at Fort Apache. Geronimo was held inside this door.
General Crook's cabin (circa 1871).