G:AWH Chapters 3-4
Chapter 3- The Spanish Conquest
It seems the beginning of this chapter is all about my main man Columbus (who is actually not at all my main man because he’s a rapist and a murderer and did a lot of really shitty things to the Native Americans (whom I think we need to learn more about in school because we don’t talk about it as a genocide which I believe it was)) who, yeah, made some big-ass mistakes. Do better, Chris. Naimark says that “some scholars'” highest estimates of Native Americans’ death tolls at the hands of Europeans is 95% and the lowest estimates at about 50%. Can you even imagine?
Columbus: “At the very least, we killed about half of them” (which is approximately 40 million people).
Columbus’ friend, probably: “Bro! Nice!”
*they fist bump*
And, even beyond the deliberate murder and “genocidal episodes”(36) Native Americans died due to diseases brought over from Europe: “There is no evidence that the Spanish purposefully infected the indigenous peoples. Yet the Spanish imposed conditions upon the Indians that made them more susceptible to the imported diseases … the conditions of forced labor (which happened) frequently led directly to the extermination of the Indians” (35).
Let’s just take a minute here to remember why Europeans came over: God, Gold, and Glory; although, honestly, I think Gold and Glory were ranked a little bit higher for our dear conquistadors; – “Columbus did not come to the Indies to enslave or destroy its inhabitants. He came for gold and riches. But, in the absence of the fortune that he hoped he could discover for himself and his sovereign, Isabella II, he turned to the Indians themselves and their labor as a source of wealth” (38). Nice, dude.
– “‘If anyone should ask what has been the cause of so many evils, I would answer covetousness, the desire to store in one’s chest a few bars of gold for the benefit of I know not whom'” (38).
– Every day they [conquerors of the Incas] did nothing else but think about gold and silver and the riches of the Indies of Peru. They were like a man in desperation, crazy, mad, out of their minds with greed for gold and silver” (38).
Another guy, Cortés, was also a really crappy guy that I don’t have as much time to talk about before my 2pm class, but he tricked the leaders of Cholula (a village standing between him and Tenochtitlan (a Mexican city-state)) into a meeting where a “terrible slaughter ensued” which was dope. He wrote: “We fought so hard that in two hours more than three thousand men were killed” (42).
Pizarro, one of Cortés’ distant cousins, also participated in some fun stuff: “Pizarro tortured some local Indians in order to find out Atahualpa’s whereabouts …” (44) and then basically followed in his cousins footsteps and tricked the King Atahualpa himself to come out and greet him, after which he promptly fired a cannon at the king and then killed almost all of the Incas because they were unarmed. Swell guy, that Pizarro.
“Some assert that because the Spanish crown did not intend to wipe out the Indians of the Caribbean, Mexico, or South America, the killing of the native population by the conquistadors and the high mortality from the diseases spread by the Spanish cannot be considered Genocide … Yet the conquistadors operated in a framework that was created by the Spanish Crown. Their readiness to kill at will and to wipe out entire towns and villages, slaying men, women, and children, derived from their pathological state of mind when confronting the native inhabitants of the New World … The way they tortured and killed the Indians reflected a deep-seated hostility to their victims’ very existence as human beings” (46-47).
I think we should remove Columbus Day as a national holiday. Just my two cents.
Chapter 4- Settler Genocides
Okay, so the first four paragraphs basically talk about the irony and paradox in the situation in which the “new European arrivals attacked and sometimes eliminated the indigenous peoples as interlopers” (48). Interloper: a person who becomes involved in a place or situation where they are not wanted or are considered not to belong. LOL.
Anyway, some British people had some ideas about property and how it belonged to whoever took care of it. Of course, when the Europeans came over they needed the land so they took it, as white people in history have the tendency to do.
Here’s another quote that talks about how great Europeans did in Australia. Basically, the Colonel George Arthur (the guy in charge of the island) and Melville himself (a Tasmanian newspaperman who wrote about this stuff) were “well disposed” to the Aborigines. “But there was really no way of controlling the situation. ‘The evil was too far rooted,’ Melville wrote, and that it had become ‘a war to the knife,’ in which the Aborigines killed settlers if they could, while the settlers proceeded to wipe out the Aborigines in systematic fashion” (53). Again, there’s that Thucydides quote: ‘the strong do what they can and the weak submit’ (or something).
Right, so I have Biology in about 10 minutes and I really just don’t want to write about this anymore. So I guess that’s all. I’ll upload the questions later.
I’m pretty sure I also turned these questions in so I’m going to just wait to get them back so I don’t have to think of more. I honestly cannot remember. It’s been a long week, guys (and it’s only 1pm on Monday).