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American history: is this true?

 
 
Wilso
 
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2015 05:40 am
This is from another's Facebook post. I'm not making any claims, or drawing any conclusions. Purely for interest's sake, I just want to know if there's any validity to it. It obviously came up due to the confederate flag debate currently raging in the U.S.

Quote:
So I was going to do a post about how the American flag itself was built on racism and genocide against the American Indians, and if we are going to be outraged at flags based on that criteria, this whole conversation is a bit hypocritical. And while I do still think that is a valid point, I did some research about it before I made my post and learned some things that I did not know before.
For example, apparently 90% of the American Indians were wiped out by the plague before the white man even began colonizing west. It was actually the plagues wiping out of the Indians that allowed the white man to move west and wipe the rest of them out so easily. Even the Vikings tried hundreds of years earlier to colonize the west and got their ass kicked by the American Indians, because it turns out the American Indians were sort of badasses.
So anyway, I think my original point still stands, however I learned some new things about the situation, and now so have you.
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Type: Question • Score: 15 • Views: 4,346 • Replies: 66

 
View best answer, chosen by Wilso
woiyo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2015 05:57 am
@Wilso,
the American Flag was built by Betsy Ross. 13 Strips , 1 for each colony and Stars to match ! A beautiful thing, ain't it?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2015 06:11 am
No, it's bullshit. I'd have to write a hell of a lot to even scratch the surface of the bullshit, so i'm not going to bother.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2015 09:39 am
The USA has had 39 flags and that is not counting a few at the start . Even if it were true, it wouldnt be the same flag now .
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  0  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2015 10:02 am
What that flag in general is responsible for is breaking treaty after treaty with the Indians and moving them onto reservations where they could only sit and die . And there were massacres on both sides, but mainly the Indians suffered . In one instance, a chief flew the USA flag but the army attacked anyway, killing men women and children . There was also an attempt to wipe out the buffalo because they were easier to kill then the Indians and then the Indians would starve .
There was one instance of infecting blankets with small pox and giving them to the Indians to wipe them out but this didnt work and it was the British who tried anyway .
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2015 10:46 am
@Wilso,
That's a simplistic take on the US and the American flag for that matter.

If one is going to ascribe racism and genocide against the American Indians to the flag, then that racism and genocide began before the establishment of the US, with the British and their colonies in America. Racism and genocide can be ascribed to the Union Jack as well. Seeing as how Britain's settlement of Australia affected the Aboriginal peoples there in ways similar to its American settlements, one can ascribe racism and genocide to the Australian flag as well. The list can go long.
Setanta
  Selected Answer
 
  3  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2015 02:26 pm
In the Virginia colony, the Indians attacked the settlers, beginning in 1621. In Massachusetts, despite early good relations, beginning in 1634, the Puritans began a war to exterminate the Pequot. They had Indian allies--the Narragansett and the Mohegan, and they killed hundreds of Pequot. They sold most of the survivors, who had not already faded away into the forest, as slave in the West Indies. The Narragansett had been so horrified and disgusted by the slaughter of women and children, that they withdrew from the alliance. The Puritans then turned on the Narragansetts, but did not pursue when they, too, took to the hills.

That was not the only example of Indians turning on Indians. Sometime in the late 16th or early 17th century, the Ojibway began to spread west in the region north of the great lakes. They drove the Sioux into what is now Minnesota, having slaughtered at least hundreds of them, if not thousands. That "war" only survived in the legends of the Ojibway and the Sioux, so there are no certain records.

When Samuel de Champlain arrived in "New France," he was befriended by the Ottawa, and Algonquian-speaking people. The Algonquians had overrun most of what we would think of as Canada, but they had left the Huron alone--they called them "the Grandfathers," and freely admitted that they had learned agriculture from them. In that first year of 1608, the Ottawa approached Champlain, saying their traditional enemies, the Iroquois Confederacy, had invaded their territory, as they did just about every summer. Champlain and three of his men joined the Ottawa war party, and with their firearms, drove the Iroquois off, fleeing in terror. This deeply humiliated the Iroquois, who determined to drive out or exterminate the French. They twice invaded New France, one occupying the territory for two years. However, the failed to exterminate them or drive them off. So they turned to economic warfate.

They knew as well as any other tribes how much the white man valued furs and beaver pelts. So the Iroquois decided to exterminate the tribes of the Great Lakes to deprive the French of their income. (They little understood the greater politics of the world. The French in North America so busily plundered the King's revenues, that it is likely that there was nothing the Iroquois could do that would be noticed in Paris.) The Jesuits, who were spread out among all the tribes by then, estimated that 70% of the Huron were killed or died of starvation or disease. The Huron and the Iroquois were cultural and linguistic brothers, speaking a common language and living in a common culture which took nothing from the Algonquians. One tribe or sept (the Jesuits had not yet sent a mission to them, and so did not know if they were a separate tribe), the Cat People, were completely exterminated by the Iroquois. Algonquian tribes were drive east into the arms of the French, or north, away from the Lakes.

The Pottawatomie were driven out of the Lake region, with at least hundreds slaughtered, and ended in the southern part of what are now the states of Ohio and Indiana. They never attempted to return to their former homelands. The Outagamie, in what is now Michigan, used the "Swiss defense." They removed their women and children, and then fought delaying actions against the Iroquois, eventually setting the woods on fire. They finally removed to the region of what is now called Green Bay, in Wisconsin.

They were still at it as late as the 1670s. Henri de Tonty, a lieutenant of La Salle, came upon an Iroquois army (literally--Tonty, a veteran of European wars, estimated their numbers at more than 2000) in what is now Illinois. He warned the Illiniwek (Illinois), who began a forced march of the tribe, in late winter, to the south--men, women, children and the old folks. The Iroquois had stopped to desecrate the graves in their winter camping grounds and the Illiniwek were able to stay ahead of them. They eventually marched all the way to the mouth of the Illinois River, crossed the Mississippi, leaving the Tamaroa sept behind. The Iroquois fell upon them in the morning and exterminated the, all abut about a dozen "braves" who managed to cross the Mississippi.

I'll continue in another post about the "Viking" bullshit, and try to give and accurate impression of thw the U.S. government did.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2015 03:19 pm
There are many other examples of Indians attacking other Indians, or allying themselves with the white men. But lets look at the bullshit claims about the behavior of whites.

"Vikings" are not a people. If you call someone a Viking, you might as well just call him a pirate. The people who first visited North American were Norse. In the summer of 985, Eirik Reudi (or Raudi), Eric the Red, lead a small fleet of Icelanders to colonize Greenland. I'm not going to go into details--but one of them, Herjolf, was a merchant. That was in the spring. Late in the summer, Bjarni Herjolfsson arrived back in Iceland, where his father had evidently left him instructions. He sold some of his cargo, and then made up another cargo for Greenland. Taking with him those members of his crew who were interested, he sailed for Greenland. He was driven off course by a storm, and when the weather cleared, he found land to the west. But he knew he was too far south. (His father must have left him instructions about the latitude, because he later sailed directly east, landing within sight of his father's new homestead.) Sailing north by north west, he coated along what was obviously the island we now call Newfoundland. He eventually crossed the Belle Isle Straits, and continued up the coast of what we now call Labrador. When he reached Cape Chidley, he turned due east, and finally made landfall a few days later.

Twelve years later, in 997, Leif Eiriksson bought Bjarni's ship, and was apparently given navigation instructions by Bjarni. He sailed a little west of sough and landed in what he would later call Vinland. There were no aboriginals, which has lead knowledgeable scholars to conclude that he laned on the Avalon peninsula of Newfoundland. When Leif left his Vinland, he sailed first to Iceland, then to the Faroe Islands, and finally to Norway. In Norway, in about 999, he was converted to christianity by that goofy old coot, Olaf Tryggvason. Returning to Greenland, he attempted to spread christianity there, which alienated his father, Eirik. The following year, Eirik attempted to find Vinland, but obviously, Leif was not telling anyone where it was.

In about 1001 or 1002, an Iceland merchant named Thorfinn Karlsefni arrived in Greenland, and soon married the widow of Eirik's youngest son. The following year, Eirik's son Thorvald decided to look for Leif's Vinland. (I just looked at the Wikipedia entry to make sure of the dates and spelling, and it is one of the biggest loads of BS i've seen. I recommend Westviking by Farley Mowat, or The Norse Atlantic Saga by Gwyn Jones.) He convinced Thorfinn Karlsefni to join him. Eirik's bastard daughter, Freydis Eiriksdottir, then convinced some Iceland merchants who were then in Greenland to use their ship to take colonists to "Vinland."

After coasting down the Labrador coast, the landed at the northern end of Newfoundland, and endured a hard winter. In the spring, Thorvald went back north along the Labrador coast, and then followed a river inland. One day, they came on some "outlaws" (that was their story), and they promptly killed seven of the eight they had found. Thorvald must have know their act was criminal, though, because he posted sentries overnight. The peole they had killed were Thule culture Eskimos, and very aggressive and war-like people. The following morning, they saw a huge flotilla of skin boats approaching. They managed to get away, but Thorvald was struck by an arrow, and predicted it would be the death of him. It was, and by his wish, his crew buried him near the beach where they had killed the Eskimos.

Meanwhile, Thorfinn and Freydis had gone down the west coast of the northern peninsula. They found a likely spot, and settled in for the winter. Thorfinn's new wife Gudrid gave birth to the first European child born in North America--a son. Before winter set in, they were visited by some Dorset culture Eskimos, who were as surprised to see the Norse and the Norse were to see them. However, they traded peacefully, and then the Eskimos left. In the following spring, the Dorsets returned, and Freydis (one of history's nastier bitches) convinced one of her followers to show a red shield. To the Norse, that was a threat--to the Dorsets, it meant nothing. Some of the Norse attacked the Dorsets, who responded with sling stones, arrows and harpoons. Attacking them was incredibly stupid, because the Norse had no missile weapons. The rest of the account is too fantastic to be believed, and was likely cobbled together to cover the shame of the Norse, who got out of Dodge almost right away. The Dorsets were no war=like, when they had driven the Norse away, the left themselves.

Thorfinn returned to their original winter quarters, and immediately headed down the east coast of the island. He had never been interested in settling, he wanted to get a good cargo to trade. Hardwoods would sell very well and fetch a high price in Iceland, so he set his men cutting down trees and trimming them to fit their ship, a knorr (called a knarr these days). While they were encamped, they were approached by some aboriginals. They were not Eskimos, and it is believed that they were Proto-Beothuk Indians. They had some extremely valuable furs, and the Norse began trading for them. Then one of the Norse brought out some red cloth. The Indians went wild--the offered heaps of valuable furs for a little strip of red cloth (this is one of the reasons later scholars think they were Beothuk, a people who were always obsessed with anything red). The Norse became alarmed, although no violence had been offered against them, and drew their swords, killing a few of the Indians. The Indians promptly fled, they were not a war-like people. (The English managed to completely exterminate them by the middle of the 19th century.) Thorfinn made up his cargo, now even more valuable from the furs traded for, and left, first for the original encampment, and then for Greenland. Freydis stayed at the original encampment for one more winter, and then instigated and committed unprovoked bloody murder, but that has nothing to do with relations with the aboriginals.

So much for that bullshit claim about Vikings attempting to conquer the west and being drive off by "badass" Indians. The "Vikings' did not get further west than the west coast of Newfoundland. Another time, i come offer some comments on the behavior of the United States government.
Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2015 04:27 pm
@InfraBlue,
You won't get any argument from me. I consider the Union Jack to be a butcher's apron and representative of a plethora of vile actions. It sickens me to see it in the corner of our flag.
0 Replies
 
Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2015 04:30 pm
@Setanta,
Thanks Set. I'm going to post this stuff in reply. Guy's got a lot of followers, and should spark some interesting posts.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2015 02:06 am
Well, i'll come back later to give an outline of U.S. government relations with the Indians.

EDIT: For a narrative of the French relations with Indian tribes, and their 150 year war with the Iroquois, see Francis Parkman's seven volume history of the French in North America, written in the mid-19th century, and still the best English language account of New France.
0 Replies
 
FBM
 
  0  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2015 03:47 am
@Wilso,
Here's something you might find interesting, Wilso: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/12/111205-native-americans-europeans-population-dna-genetics-science/

Quote:
Massive Population Drop Found for Native Americans, DNA Shows
Genetic data supports accounts of decline following European contact.
By Ker Than, for National Geographic News
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 05, 2011


Note the "following."
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2015 04:57 am
For this final post, i'm just going to focus on the broad picture of American government attitudes toward the Indians. After the massacres of whites in Virginia and of Indians in Massachusetts, the most notable situation was the French egging on tribes to attack the English. In Europe, from 1689 to 1698, William III fought the French in the Nine Years War. In America, it was known as King William's War, and featured Indian raids on English settlements. In Europe, from 1701 to 1713, Queen Anne fought the French in the War of the Spanish Succession. In North America, it was known as Queen Anne's War, and featured tribes attacking English settlements. In Europe, from 1740 to 1748, England became embroiled in the War of the Austrian Succession, when King George led armies against the French (he actually served in person in the field, although it would be dubious proposition to say he was really in command). In North America, it was called King George's War, and once again, tribes loyal to the French attacked English settlements. For the English, the only bright spot with regard to the tribes was that the Iroquois Confederacy remained loyal, and continued their obsessional attacks on the French.

In 1753, a young George Washington found himself in a bad position in western Maryland, and, lacking experience, he made some unwise choices. The French accused him of murdering an ambassador, and the French and Indian War was on. Three years later, the Seven Years War would start in Europe, and the English would become embroiled, but for once, the two wars were not related, one to the other--they were just coincidental. The Iroquois Confederation supported the English, and the King's Indian Agent, William Johnson, forged a close relationship with the Iroquois--which would, ironically, lead to their downfall.

Washington spent a good deal of his time attempting to defend the frontiers of Virginia and the Carolina's from Indian attacks, supported by the French. In 1758, he retired from the Virginia militia, married Martha Dandridge Custis, and returned to Mount Vernon. It is not germane here to describe his political activities, or how he came to command the American army in the revolution. The aftermath of both wars--the French and Indian War and the Seven Years War--set up many of the conditions which lead to the revolution. Late in 1775, Washington sent Benedict Arnold on an expedition to invade Canada, which had also been invaded from New York. The result was disaster, and Arnold was forced to retreat into New York. This is not the place to tell the story of Burgoyne's campaign from Canada into New York, but from the point of view of the Indians, it was to have grave consequences. The Iroquois remained loyal to the British, in large measure because of their respect for William Johnson. In 1777, as Burgoyne advanced on Saratoga, the British attempted to take Fort Stanwyx in the Mohawk valley to the west. In August, at Oriskany, the British and their Indian allies ambushed a relief force of American militia. The fight went badly for the Americans, and would have been more of a disaster had the Indians (Mohawk and Seneca from the Confederation) not stopped to scalp and murder the wounded, and to plunder the corpses. The Americans rallied and drove off the Indians, but General Herkimer wisely withdrew his badly mauled force. That British column had hoped to join Burgoyne, but it was too late for that. At the battle of Freeman's Farm north of Saratoga, New England militia who had come in their thousands out of loyalty to Benedict Arnold, overran the British field fortifications and shattered Burgoyne's army. Three days later, Burgoyne surrendered. That victory lead the French to join the Americans in the war.

Tories and tribesmen from four of the six nations began raiding settlements in New York. Washington, apparently, had had enough, and he convinced Congress to authorize an expedition into the Mohawk valley. In 1779, General Sullivan began the campaign which would drive the four tribes remaining loyal to England out of New York. There was, of course, great cruelty on both sides. The Indians were driven out and settled in Canada, where, of course, the English got busy robbing and cheating them. They fought for the British in the War of 1812, but dropped out when the Americans brought tribesmen loyal to them into Canada. The Mohawk are to this day a significant presence in Canada.

This pattern of raid and reprisal by both sides became the settled pattern. During the War of 1812, there was a civil war among the Creek in what is now Alabama. Some of them raided white settlements. Andrew Jackson lead Tennessee volunteers in what became know as the Creek War in 1813. He lead those same volunteers to defend New Orleans in late 1814, and 1815, after the war was actually over, defeated the British there. That helped him to eventually become President. In 1830, while Jackson was President, the incident known as the Trail of Tears began, when the tribes in the southeastern United Stats were forced to relocate west of the Mississippi. More tribes were sent west after the Black Hawk War in 1832, when the Indians had actually moved east across the Mississippi into Illinois. Initially successful, Black Hawk's forces were finally driven into Wisconsin by U.S. troops. In the absence of the soldiers, other tribes attacked white settlers in Illinois and Indiana. I could go on for a long time like this, but this should be enough to show the pattern of raids and reprisals which characterized the relations between Indians and whites in the 19th century. Even with charismatic leaders like Tecumseh and Black Hawk, the tribes were doomed by their lack of unity and organization, in the face of professional armies with all the resources of the United States at their disposal.

There was enough bigotry and hatred, rape, torture and murder on both sides to sicken anyone, and to continue to fuel the warfare.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2015 04:58 am
By the way, Wilso, in my experience, no one is going to listen to you, given that you're slaughtering their sacred, historical cows.
Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2015 05:43 am
@Setanta,
The beauty of this issue is, I don't have a stake in the honesty/dishonesty of the attitudes. And as I've said before Set, I always enjoy your history lessons.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2015 05:45 am
Thank you, you're very kind.

A lot of people, including a lot of Americans, seem to have a stake in making the United States out to always be the bad guy.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2015 07:33 am
setanta -
Thanks for writing this up for us. I read with great appreciation the first installments and will peruse the third later this morning.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2015 09:00 am
The real reason disease spread through the tribes is warfare . A tribe would raid and torture the inhabitants of a white outpost, including the children who might have measles or chicken pox . This level of contact with blood makes it a lot easier to transmit disease . Then another tribe would raid the first tribe, and so it would spread . There is no other means of spreading these diseases as they rely on contact and survive a very short time out side of a warm body . Even deadly small pox needs heat to survive . Other diseases were airborne such as influenza and tuberculous and depend on the health of the individual for survival, ie unhealthy people die quickly whilst healthy people recover and can carry the disease further afield .
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2015 10:47 am
@Wilso,
A countriy's flag is just like the marquee of a theater, in my opinion. It just shows what the current show is. To look to the history of a country, and ascribe that that history belongs to the flag (aka, marquee) might be true, but many seem to have an agenda in emphasizing what history is to be viewed. One can also say that the American flag afforded the losers in the European class system the ability to come to America and own some land, deodorizing, as it were, one's peasant ancestry.

A country's flag is just a way to give credence to the modern notion of a nation state, rather than where some tribe in the middle ages, or earlier, plopped themselves down. And, tribes fought between themselves in Europe or America, and wherever. Tribal mentality is still with us. We just pretend that the modern names for a tribe (nation state) affords a deodorizing effect. I believe that the U.S. is still in the process of consolidating a tribal identity, based on the diversity in the country. Tune in 500 years from now to see the likely results.

0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2015 12:47 pm
Shut up Miller, you ignorant jackass.
 

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