Tuesday, November 13, 2007

European Colonization

JZ argues…

European colonization has typically been described in historical textbooks as a heroic effort by the different explorers to bring the values of progress, individualism, and freedom to the “New World”. Most people have argued against the heroism of the explorers by saying that they were not really the first ones to discover the Western Hemisphere. However, this is not the point. The real issue is whether or not the exploration of the New World brought a new and greater cultural revolution to the Americas, Africa, and Asia.

The European viewpoint on exploration, represented in traditional historical opinions, is that the tribal regions of Africa, the Americas and Latin America, were barbaric and in need of enlightenment. However, these civilizations were actually highly advanced. The Aztecs and Incas of South America were large empires built very similar to the European kingdoms. They had highly centralized kingdoms with a priestly caste that was organized around a religious system of rituals, complex ideas, and authority. Their beliefs were based upon a polytheistic religious system that included numerous animal and nature spirits. They had a professional army that had conquered numerous smaller tribal regions and had brought them into an empire system. These structures were similar to the ones in the European monarchies and the Hindu kingdoms in India.

Another charge often brought up against the tribal systems of Africa and Latin America was that they were barbaric and violent. For example, the Aztecs were known for widespread use of human sacrifice to appease their pantheon of gods. However, this assumes that all tribal and kingdom systems in Africa and Latin America were the same. Rather, many of the tribal groups were known for being incredibly peaceful and tolerant of differences. For example, Christopher Columbus first discovered the Arawak Indian tribes on the island of Hispanola. He described these inhabitants as incredibly peaceful and not knowledgeable about war or the elements of war. Native tribes in Africa and Latin America tended to form consensus forms of political decision-making. In this form of governance, the tribal elders would meet with a chief. But, the chief was more of a facilitator of a discussion. He would not make the decision for the group. Rather, the group would come to a decision that would incorporate the best elements of all of the individual members.

Another argument often used is that the tribal systems were not economically sustainable. Rather, as it is argued, tribes barely survived due to their dependence on agriculture and nomadic patterns of movement. But, actually, most native tribes found areas in their local environment that would support their needs for food, shelter, and family growth. They made sure to take from their local environment the proportionate amount needed in order to sustain their community’s development. They would then share their resources communally to ensure the survival of the community as well as the individual. It was true that some tribes eventually went extinct due to their inability to survive in certain geographies. An example was the Anasazi tribes in the Southwest of America. They eventually went extinct due to the droughts and lack of food and water in the deserts of the Southwest. However, these were exceptions. Also, you would need to compare this with the European death rates due to plagues, lack of hygiene, and lack of understanding of their local environments. Widespread European deaths were far greater at that time than with the Native tribes.

The Europeans did not bring individualism and progress to the “New World”. Rather, they brought disease that wiped out Native cultures. They destroyed local Native cultures by setting up systems of slavery. And, they used the local cultures as a tool for European fights between their empires.


London said...

JZ you have made an excellent argument. I agree that the Europeans " destroyed local Native cultures by setting up systems of slavery." Also how you mentioned about the decimation of the culture in the New World. The Europeans should not have enslaved the indigenous people. Instead the Europeans should have worked peacefully with the natives and tried to establish a trade agreement. The natives were not just brainless cave man. The natives had a lot to offer. They knew how to survive on the land, create efficient governments, and had a unique culture different of the Europeans.

However I believe the Europeans did have a right to explore the world. I believe they should have settled the land and intermingled with the native people. This was also helpful for the Europeans to get a better understanding of the world around them. But they completely abused this privileged and disregarded almost every value of the Christian religion. The Europeans could have worked well with the other peoples around the world but instead they enslaved the natives and ruined their lives and culture.

London said...

above comment:
Greg London, Period 4

al Ca-pwn said...

Who are we to establish what is civilized and what is barbaric, who are we to belittle entire cultures in an attempt to bring credibility and justification to European destruction, who are we to make these conceptions of “heroism” when it, in fact, comes from plague, slavery, and corruption.

The Natives became contaminated by European hunger for wealth and their domination over life and tranquility. Christopher Columbus, a bigot who enslaved natives in his ravenous obsession, brought about what would be the downfall of peace and harmony in the new world. Europe forced its values and beliefs upon already utopian-like tribes, according to More. Europe ate the apple from the forbidden tree and destroyed all that was right.

I disagree with Greg London.
He states, "The Europeans could have worked well with the other peoples around the world but instead they enslaved the natives and ruined their lives and culture."

The Europeans, whether they wished to enslave/degrade or not, would STILL hav destroyed just because they existed on the same continent as the natives. It was inherent to European thought to dominate over others (Capitalism/Feudalism). Then london states,

"But they completely abused this privileged and disregarded almost every value of the Christian religion."

The christian values were all about sreading and forcing faith upon non-believers. So, christian values would tell otherwise.

london elaborates,"I believe they should have settled the land and intermingled with the native people."

Aside from the point that the two can never coexist peacefully, both did "mingle" and the result was catastophic. Settlers viewed the natives as inferior savages because they were following their "Christian values"- as you stated.

Thus not only could the two never exist in a balance relationship, but because of europe's already wicked core, the natives had no choice but to become conaminated.

Jeremy Molayem
Period 4

JFF said...

The European conquest of the Americas had a significant negative impact, but the role of religion in this event is frequently misinterpreted and downplayed. Native societies tended to be relatively peaceful and successful before European conquest, although they were not almost utopian as some would say. The economies of America shifted from one of self sufficiency to one of reliance on European support and goods. The number of wrongs committed by the conquering Europeans is extensive, and one of the best examples is the forcing of European religious and moral values on the Natives. Europeans were in fact so entrenched in religious propaganda that they believed they had a monopoly on truth. This “will to truth” caused them to spread their belief in order to assure themselves of its correctness. After all, if everyone believes it, must it not be true? Truth is a construct, and once it was agreed upon not only by Europe, but by the Natives, Europeans could rest assured that their religion was the “real” religion and all the barbaric, evil, corrupt, pagans were surely damned to suffer eternally in hellfire. Obviously the Europeans were fundamentally mistaken, and the concept that their actions caused much more harm than good eluded them. Even if the Natives died, was that not God’s will within the framework of Western Catholicism?
I therefore believe that Greg’s comment that “They completely abused this privileged and disregarded almost every value of the Christian religion” is largely false. While Christianity would probably not agree with the use of slaves, it encouraged a tremendous amount of evil through the sense of strength it gave to Europeans. There was no remorse in their minds for enslaving the conquered because of their pagan, “barbaric” status. Once they had dehumynized the Natives, their enslavement no longer became a moral issue since the Natives were considered little more than animals. I am not saying Christianity leads to evil or slavery, but I am saying that religion can be easily used to justify actions of an “immoral” nature.
Jan F-F
Period 4

RussianDF said...

I believe that you have made some excellent points in your argument. Contrary to popular belief, the Native Americans were not about to collapse, and their agricultural and social systems were as, if not more advanced then the Europeans' at the time. Also, I agree that the Europeans did destroy a great deal of African culture by capturing over five million slaves and shipping them to the New World, where they hoped to gain every penny they could grab. Many Europeans preached the Bible and then later went on to beat their slave about the dishes not being done right.
However, I can't agree with you on every point. Many of the Central and South American systems were already declining. Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the Inca had just gone through a bloody civil war, and the leader was no capable of gaining full power over his empire. The Aztec had also faced problems when they couldn't find enough people to sacrifice. They had streched their boundaries too thin, and were also on the verge on decline.
I completely disagree with Jeremy Molayam on everything that he says. One phrase that stunned me was "Aside from the point that the two can never coexist peacefully, both did "mingle" and the result was catastophic. Settlers viewed the natives as inferior savages because they were following their "Christian values"- as you stated" First of all, many of the Native Americans chose to accept Christianity themselves, and not because they were "forced" too. I believe that the Europeans had every right to visit the "New World", because their technology permitted it! I also agree with Greg when he says that Europeans could've picked a better way to do it. To conclude, I believe that many Europeans behaved shamefully when they colonized, but the fact that they explored Native civilizations had nothing wrong with it.

Daniel Fotinich
Period 4

<<===tHe JeDi===>>> said...

I somewhat disagree with you, Mr. Zucker. I believe that the Europeans invaded these tribal areas with the hopes of bringing their European culture worldwide, and in doing so prevented the destruction of these societies. I also believe that these tribal areas were in a declining state already or heading towards an inevitable decline, as they had no unifying force such as other successful kingdoms and empires. In Europe, the unifying force seemed to be Catholicism at first, and later individualism followed by Protestantism. Although Europe was divided among the Protestants and Catholics, nations survived under one or the other as it served as the unifying force for the kingdom in which the hierarchy ruled upon. In the Middle East and India, the unifying force seemed to be strictly religion and ruling under traditional guidelines. However, within these conquered tribal nations there was a division among them partly because there was a variety of religions and no stable governing system. Although you bring up the examples of the Aztecs and the Inca developing and advancing, I think that if it weren't for European colonization, these societies would have eventually fallen due to the lack of unity and also the lack of a strong, intimidating military force. Also, the societies depended on agricultural excellence and this was not always the outcome, which is also what would have led to their destruction. I disagree with Fotinich, who states that these tribes were as socially and agriculturally advanced as the Europeans. Well, obviously they weren't because then they would be doing the expanding and colonizing within other parts of the world to spread their acheivements.

-Lucas Cielak
period 4

Bronson said...

Mr. Zucker,
I would definitely have to agree with your point that the Europeans "destroyed local Native cultures by setting up systems of slavery." You also have a valid point when discussing the decimation of the different culture in the New World. It was a mistake on behalf of the Europeans to enslave the indigenous people of these lands. Rather, the Europeans should have embraced these natives to create a peaceful relationship with them to help trade prosper. Throughout time, natives are seen as dumb, primitive people, when really they can be highly intelligent people on certain topics you are unsure of; such as the land and its resources. The help of these natives could have helped the Europeans to become even more prosperous without killing hundreds of thousands of people in the process.

I firmly agree with London when he said that, "they completely abused this privileged and disregarded almost every value of the Christian religion." Although the Europeans cannot be blamed for wanting to explore and find new ways to make their nations more prosperous, there was no justification for the killing of thousands of people. This practice was completely against the Christian principles of peace and love. This act by the Europeans was shocking because they were thought as devout religious peoples. The Europeans were successful in creating wealthy nations and expanding their lands, but they failed miserably in attempting to befriend the native people of the land.

Bronson said...

For the above comment
Bronson Green
Period 5

sora the hedgehog said...

The arguments you bring up Mr. Zucker are 99% agreeable hands-down. It is true that the Aztecs and Incans may have seemed "technologicaly" challenged, but at their time, they were no different than the Europeans. They did have their own army, their own religion, their own centralized kingdoms. If anything, they were like the Hindus. Also, on the topic of tribes in Africa and Latin America making political decision-making consensus, that's something like the English Parliament, where the members decide on something while the chief is just there to facilitate.
The Aztecs did use human sacrifice, but it was a means for their religion. I mean, if your religion said "Sacrifice human hearts or else the sun won't come again" and you can't switch religions like they couldn't, would you disobey it to risk the sun never coming up and everyone dies? Probably not. Besides, the warriors being sacrificed were actually honored to sacrificed, at least, that's what I remember from a history documentary last year. If what Columbus said is true, then the Europeans had no right at least to use force to capture the civilizations. Another example would be the gold-salt trade in the Ghana empire, if I recall. The king of Ghana found that the northern part of his kingdom produced gold, the southern, salt. Salt was important to preserve food and gold was important as a currency, so the king regulated the trade in one city, where they would exchange gold for salt and vice versa.
True, for a while, tribes did depend on movement to find natural resources. But eventually, they would find a place and settle down when the environment fit their area. For example, the arabs were nomadic, but would settle down when they found an oasis. Early Jews were also nomadic until they found the Promised Land and settled there. And what were our ancestors but nomads who traveled around and eventually found a place to settle down? They did share their resources not only within the tribe, but through trade with other tribes. The death rates were extremely low compared to the Europeans. The tribes did fight with one another sometimes, but not as often as the kingdoms of Europe. Obviously, they did not have to deal with many deadly diseases such as measles and the bubonic plague.
Even though they didn't live the luxurious lives of the Europeans, Middle Easterns, or East Asians, they were leading pretty good lives. Then you could say that the Europeans ruined everything for them with wars and diseases. About that 1%, its the "what if" question as to if we would be where we are today. Well, not for a while, but eventually someone else from Europe, Asia, India, etc. would start colonizing, causing everyone else to do the same. Bottom line: Justified? No. Important? Yes. I do have to agree though with Greg London that the Europeans did have a right to explore what was out there, but they could have done it through peaceful means such as agreements, meetings, etc.
Random Quote of the Week: Avatar the Last Airbender: Bending short
Iroh: "Now I hope you've realized that each element has its own strengths and weaknessess...But fire is the best!"*runs off*
Yeah! Go firebending! WOOT!
Christopher Tan
Period 5

sora the hedgehog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sora the hedgehog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Ballster said...

I completely agree with you on this subject. The native american cultures were very advanced for their stage in development and often times their values were far better than the "Christian" values that the explorers felt they were following. They were constantly taken advantage of by Europeans whose superior technology gave them a sense of superiority in knowledge and morals.

However, I do have to say the Native Americans we're not as innocent as we take them to be. By the time the Conquistadors came to explore Mexico, the Aztecs were at the peak of the society in advancements as well as corruption. Similar to the Romans, they were known for all kinds of decadence and it contributed to their weakness during the exploration. Of course, the Europeans did have superior technology and are almost completely to blame for the Aztec collapse, but the Aztec society was not as different to their European conquerers as we traditionally believe.

I do agree with Fotinich when he states that Europeans had a right to discover the new world. It really became a great expierence for Europe and helped them develop in a positive manner. As for the other Native American cultures, their societies leave lasting mysterious legacy that interests Western scholars to this day.

The Ballster said...

Matt Ball Period 5

Cameron L said...

wow im scared of chris tan for realz

Manalo said...

Mr. Zucker,
I agree with you that the Europeans destroyed the native cultures in the "New World." The civilizations were advanced, such as the Aztecs. The Aztecs had a powerful army and a polytheistic set of beliefs that the majority of the empire followed. They were even so advanced, that they managed to build their planned out structured city on water! They were much like any European society, with a structure of social class and a government where the chief and selected people make decisions together, much like the English Parliament. There was really nothing wrong with the civilizations in the New World, but the Europeans may view them as barbaric because of their parochial view, which may bring up why the explorers thought they should be the heroes and introduce their values.
I agree with Fotinich that the Europeans had a right to go and explore the New World. It was the Europeans that received the value of individualism to go out and explore, but not the societies in the New World. The explorers had reasons to go out and explore. Some were for religious purposes; some were to restructure what tribes that they call "barbaric"; and some just came to conquer for desired resources (for example, the Spanish destroyed the Aztec empire for their desire of gold and riches).

Patrick Manalo
Period 5

London said...

Jeremy disagrees and states some completely false comments. Jeremy says "The Christian values were all about spreading and forcing faith upon non-believers. So, Christian values would tell otherwise." The Christian values were about love, passion, peace, and tolerance. There is nothing in the Christian religion that says you should force the religion upon those who do not follow it. Also I disagree with Jeremy and believe the Europeans and the natives could have worked together in peace. The Europeans did not have to conquer everything they looked at.

London said...

above Greg London, Period 4

Kevin M. Hernandez Period 4 said...

Mr. Zucker,

Although you have a very strong argument, I will have to disagree with you on this topic. I believe that, although there were negative impacts from the European expansion and exploration, the Europeans did bring progress to these "New Lands" through the goods that they brought. I disagree with your first point of the indigenous societies being "highly advanced." For that time period, I would consider countries with good enough technology to expand the highly advanced peoples of the time, and the native cultures, although they may have functioned well, were not as highly advanced as people would make it seem. Russiandf AKA Daniel Fotinich said "their agricultural and social systems were as, if not more advanced then the Europeans' at the time." I will have to disagree with this point because the European countries were obviously using their technology and knowledge of the workings of Earth to be able to explore on such a wide scale. However, I agree with you on the point that the natives were not all barbaric people, and that this was just a huge generalization made about these people. I also agree that the economies of the native countries were in a fine state, but I believe the encounters with "White Devil" allowed for econonomic expansion. For example, the African continent was capable of supporting more people after they gained new crops from the Europeans. And finally, it is not the Europeans' fault that they brought disease to the explored countries. Bad Luck :(

Kevin M Hernandez Period 4

Tyler said...

As always, Mr. Z, your argument seems airtight and foolproof.

Then again, you do have very rebellious teens on your hands.

So I am going to argue for European interference into the Americas as a positive impact for all involved. And anyone with about half a brain says "Nu-uh! Europeans enslaved, killed, and completely annihilated Native Americans upon their arrival!" Well of course that happened. When has it not? Expansion of any nation into another has inevitably lead to conflict in all places, at most all times. Roman expansion in the Ancient World was met by resistance, but eventual assimilation on account of the benefits of being part of such a large empire. This is a key fact to realize, that this was an expansion like all the rest, and nothing special about it. It can be noted as "heroic", however, because it certainly does attempt to modernize a people as a whole. If the Indians where as advanced as you mentioned, then why couldn't they defend themselves? Resources? No, because each situation is unique in every way possible, and there would no doubt be as advanced weaponry by the Indians had they progressed at the rate which Europeans where setting. This is a key fact: Indians where far from being technologically advanced as the Europeans. This mindset that the Europeans where "enlightening" the Native Americans is true! Not only did the exchange of ideas take place, but competition between empires and colonies lead to larger strides on teaching the Indians about becoming more competitive in the trade world. Interaction with more advanced civilizations leads to new ideas and philosophy n life for both parties - truly a great outcome of this interaction.

To sum it up, the interaction was...um...good!

Next, to pick on someone poor enough to agree with your absurd claims...aha! Fotinich! Of course the Americas where not close to collapse! Duh! But this doesn't mean anything! This even goes to prove my point about the weaknesses of the Indians! A single fleet could nearly kill/enslave their ENTIRE population! Does this seem odd to you? This interaction strengthens the Indaians defenses and teaches things about the new, changed world, where business and trade could alone sustain a nation and prosper, at that.

So I guess with that, I'm out.
Tyler Davenport - Period 4

Rude said...

I would like to say that i agree with most of your statements. The lifestyle and technology of these empires is now known. Now, i do believe that there was a revolution of sorts brought upon the natives.
When the Europeans came into South America, they did "revolutionize" the cultures. The Europeans pretty much destroyed them. Now, I don't believe that there was or ever will be a way to justify this. However, exploration is just human nature-curiosity.

I agree with what Greg London said about this. The Europeans could have used such societies to their advantages. Trade, and cultural diffusion would have been wonderful for the Europeans. But we know that they did not do this.

Matt Rude
Period 5

MC HAIT said...

I do agree that the Europeans brought nothing but disease and destruction to local peoples. The Europeans though many of the civilizations were barbaric and crude. How could they justify this when all they did was capture them and force them into slavery? The Europeans did not take the time to understand the native peoples and what their ways of life were. The local peoples were enslaved and forced to carryout the hard laborious tasks that were needed to cultivate raw materials. Many of these native peoples were mistreated and abused by the Europeans that conquered their local areas.

I agree with Greg London that the Europeans should have taken over these native peoples. They should not have done have gone about this they way they did. The Europeans should have gone about this in a more peaceful way. They could've made treaties with the native peoples and paid workers fair wages. This is a hard topic because if the Europeans did not conquer these people or explored and devolved the new world they did we may still be part of Mexico. There is no doubt that the way the Europeans treated these native peoples was inhumane.

Matt Chait, period 5

Colin said...

I agree with you Mr. Zucker. The Europeans had no right to invade these areas and claim supremacy. They were ignorant of other cultures and assumed that because these people were different they were wrong. Europeans enslaved these people and justified it through dehumanizing them. They did not respect these natives and did not seem them as human beings but as barbarians. All the Europeans did was enslave these people and bring disease to them. I do not know if you can say for sure the native Americans would have been better off if the Europeans had never come, but it is certainly an argument.

I agree with Matt Chait that the Europeans had the right to explore and even the right to conquer, but conquering does not include have to include slavery and injustice. Europeans could have made treaties or could have taken over the governments and made the natives pay taxes to them in the form of raw materials. This would have brought them some of the raw materials that they wanted and would have left the natives with some justice.

Colin McGonigle
Period 5

The Mozenator said...

Well king zuck... for devils advocates sake im gonna go ahead and make the arguement that there was nothing unjust about European Colonization of the Americas.

When looking at this issue its important to note something about Humanity in general. Innate to human nature is a sense of individualism (sure it was supressed in Europe until the rennaissance but that is besides the point). Every single human being has a natural desire to further himself. At humanity's most basic form it truly is a dog eat dog world. Think about it. If you asked someone in your class, "if you could get an A as long as every other student got an F, would you do it?" a frightening chunk of students would say YES across the board. The logical conclusion of this strive for personal gain is that it extends to larger and larger groups that we are associated with. first the individual, then his family, then his friends and family, his community, etc. until you reach the largest associated group: the nation. Now, let's apply this prinicipal of human nature to colonization. Did the European's come in and destroy beautiful cultures in an attempt to control trade? ABOLUTELY ---- BUT, if you trace it back even further, how did those civilations come into power initially? IT WAS BY DESTROYING OTHER LESS POWERFUL GROUPS, most likely in an equally violent show of force. How did those groups come to power? by subordinating smaller and smaller units.

One might argue that this isn't the case for cultures like Hispaniola who never had any sense of warfare. But despite there lack of organized violence, how could their system of organization formed if it was not by some power struggle by local leadership. IT COULDN"T

I find Greg London's statement "The Europeans had a right to colonize and should have settled the land and intermingled peacefullly" to be completely Ridiculous. HEY GREG! WHY DON'T YOU TRY HAVING A GROUP OF CHINESE SETTLERS PITCH SOME TENTS IN YOUR BACKYARD AND SEE IF YOU ALL END UP "intermingling peacefully" WHEN YOU SPEAK DIFFERENT LANGUAGES HAVE DIFFERENT CULTURES AND DIFFERENT FUNDAMENTAL UNDERSTANDINGS OF THE UNIVERSE. The truth is for the Europeans to have sucess taking over they had to do it by force. The only reason they fall under such heavy fire is the fact that this was a much more visible display violence than had been experienced in the past, but the truth is that this was a logical conclusion based human nature's desire to further oneself.

ike silver
period 4

Sweet N' Low said...

Your argument is outstanding, I completely agree with your argument. There is no way to hide the atrocious actions committed by Europeans in the "New World." You say that the Europeans considered the Native Americans and Africans barbaric, well lets looks at some of the deeds preformed by the Europeans. The Crusades, The killing of innocent men, women, and children who have not done single action against, the have not struck you, or offended you, or attacked you; yes it is true that there leaders maybe, but I do say that the killing of innocents is, dare I say it, barbaric. So calling the Native Americans or Africans barbaric without pointing out the violent actions performed by the British does not shed a very fair light onto the people. European is truly a coin of sorts, and like all coins it has two sides, yes they advanced are knowledge of the world, brought new spices and other valuable resources, and found new trade routes. But turn that coin over and we find the dark side, the side full of enslavement and mass slaughter. So yes European Expansion did improve lives, but it wiped out nations, destroyed cultures, and enslaved thousands.

My good friend Mr.London is quite right when he says, "the Europeans did have a right to explore the world." Yes, Europeans had every right to see what had not been seen. To go where no man had gone before, but once your there you cannot just kill, pillage, and steal people away from there homes.
Like the buying of slaves and shipping them up the Middle passage. The Europeans had no right, no right to do this. I'm positive that if someone were to try and steal a small little European boy and take him to unknown land and make him work on a farm for hours on end with no pay he would not want to go. So just because the peoples do not speak your language they are your subordinates. Yes, the had every right to explore, establish colonies, trade with natives. But to kill those natives, no, no right at all.

Zachary-Sweet N'Low- Wilson
Period 4

Leviathan said...

JAMIE, JAMIE, JAMIE wrong again. The whole argument is nothing but a sob story to try to touch our hearts. Well let me tell you one thing Jamie...my heart is made of kryptonite. You say the Native were civilized, and religious, and peaceful, etc. What you fail to mention is that no one cares about those smelly Injons(spelled to add racist effect). After watching that clip from Apocalypto, I realized that all the injons are entitled to is a bar or soap. I dont know about you but I for one am happy they died. Think about it, if we hadn't enslaved these monsters and killed them...would America as we know it today even exist. NO it would not!!!!! The explorers, deterred by the injon's horrible B.O (Body Odor) would probably turn around and colonize somewhere else. It was only by killing them were they able to rid our country and south America from those smelly savages. I mean think about it, it would be so weird if we did not kill the injons. We would have like six kids in our class named Brotha Bear and living in TP's. I do not mean to sound insensitive....but I firmly believe the colonists did what had to be done to found the glorious country that we now live in.

I disagree with what Bronson said. The Europeans could not communicate with the injons so alliances would have been so much harder then wiping them out.

Tim Perille
period 4


kearney asada said...

I must say that for once i have to agree with mr. zucker, but his argument is still not infallible. I do agree the Central American, African, and other American civilizations and tribes were wrongfully accused of being barbaric and disorganized. I also agree that they had civilizations similar to Europe and India, but you cannot accuse Europe of being wrong in what they did. We have learned all throughout history that one tribe or culture or civilization has conquered another, and that through any means possible have they done so. The Roman empire in its prime was glorified and praised for their conquering and military ability. We also learn how strategic Hannibal was against the Romans. We learn about how intelligent and amazing other groups are that annihilated and destroyed civilizations for their own self-benefit. Europe was just expanding their land, and while they may not have been correct in their invading, their goal for a global manifest destiny was just being fulfilled. We may look back and agree that the Europeans were "mean," but does being friendly and nice get us ahead in this world? Does being a friendly and passive person push us forward? Even in school or sports, if one has no competitive urge, he or she will not succeed. If we were in the time period of the Europeans im sure we would be doing the exact same thing.

I would agree with Greg london, who shares a similar opinion with me. The Europeans were right to explore the world in which they live. They may have approached the exploration wrong and they may have abused the privileges while disregarding their Christian values, but over all, they have every right to strive to succeed.

Joe Kearney
Period 5

Dylan said...

Well jz honestly I think your opinion is completely wrong. Although you were correct in that they were advanced in the ways you described but because they were agricultural kingdom they would have been where the Middle East is now, barbaric and violent.The Europeans guided the Americas into a pre-industrial phase into manufactured goods. This in the long-term made the economics stable and commercialized. If Europeans would not have done this by establishing new trades and furthering mercantalism, the Americas would be a land that was technologically slow and poorly educated. Even though I believe it was right for the Europeans to colonize there and interfere with some politics, I think it was unjust to take advantage of them and enslave them like Columbus. I agree with Greg London when he says they disregarded theyre Christian values. This could be contested though because of their lack of knowledge and therefore respect of native Americans. Some may say that it was bad but where would they be today if this hadn't happenned so it cannot rightly be clasified as beneficiary of bad to there eventual fate.
Dylan Price(Rock$tar)
Period 4

K-SWISS said...

Dear JZ,

To understand this situation better I think you have to place yourself in the native’s shoes. Lets take the argument over human sacrifice. Europeans believe this was barbaric, but the natives didn’t think that human sacrifice was at all barbaric. It was part of their culture and tradition. The natives could view Europeans as barbaric with their firearms and lack of care for the land. So how could one say that another civilization is barbaric when they only know one point of view? What is barbaric behavior? Barbaric behavior is unusual actions according to one’s values, beliefs, and culture. So therefore, I think you can only judge barbaric behavior in your own culture because another society might have a different meaning of barbaric. One modern example of this would be the Middle East and America. The Middle East believes that we are a barbaric society and we believe the Middle East is barbaric. So this drives home my point. So I agree with Chris Tan when he says that a society like the Aztecs aren’t going to switch their religion just because someone told them it was wrong.

Europeans had the right to explore the land, but they definitely should have treated the Indians with respect and equality, not slavery like you said. So overall, I think the Europeans crossed the line, but so many great things have happened because of colonization especially the Industrial Revolution, which has really shaped our modern society today.

Kevin Swick
Period 4

B.C. said...

Dear JZ
I somewhat disagree with you Mr. Zucker that The Europeans did not bring individualism and progress to the “New World”.From the European perspective especially in the devout and religiously radical protestant and Catholic countries who had been waging war against other religions for centuries they wanted to use extreme “tough love” on the Natives in order to save their eternal souls. I am not saying that what they did was justifiable, but their original intentions were not to " destroy local Native cultures by setting up systems of slavery." Examples of this are the setting up of missions by the Europeans in order to convert them. I also realized that under this system the Natives were treated harshly, but from the European perspective it was necessary in order to save their eternal souls. Unfortunately, human greed and emotion made individuals manipulate the religious aspect and destroyed entire civilizations.
However, Mr. Zucker, the Europeans did bring individualism and progress to the New World. Even though the civilizations already existing there were “advanced” in their own Native American ways, they were not a match for the philosophical, technological, and military aspects of European culture. Why do you think they were conquered and manipulated so easily. An example of this is the conquering of many native American civilizations by the Europeans.
I agree with Lucas when he stated that the Europeans invaded in hope of spreading their culture worldwide. The Europeans had an immense negative impact in the aspects of slavery, wiping out of civilizations, but did not originally intend to do so. Furthermore, there is evidence supporting the superiority of European culture and the progress brought to America. The Europeans had an immense negative and positive impact on the Americas.

Benjamin Coupe
Period 5

Jason said...


Sukos said...

I'm going to have to say that you gave a mix of agreeable and disagreeable information(i assume that is your point in all of this; to get us to discuss such differences)anyways, It is true that these native peoples were far from barbaric. In fact, given their geographic situation, they had advanced remarkably fast. Keeping on the curve with agriculture as it developed in other parts of the world, their complex political institutions such as leaders and groups of advisers as well as smaller kinship groups(in the case of the mayans) put the natives on an equal ground with the major dynasties in Europe.

However, i disagree when you say The Europeans did not bring individualism and progress to the “New World”. In fact, the technologies and knowledge of many cultures from all over the world allowed Europeans to introduce ideas and policies which would further the civilizations,until they took them over.The Europeans then would make very efficient use of the America's abundance of raw goods and would use in a lucrative mercantilistic manner. They would establish their ways into the foreign land and would crate advanced civilization that,partly, laid the foundations for our modern society.

Fotinich is right when he says that the Europeans had every right to explore it. Their power and dominance permitted them to conquer their neighbors as well as these far away lands. This is the history of our earth, conquest and establishment.The europeans took american civilization to heights beyond belief and thus they did kill many and cause much destruction, they in the end, were successful in establishing a christian nation in the americas.

Sukos said...

Alex Kutsukos
Period 4

stephen said...

I agree with JZ's argument that Europeans destroyed the local traditions and culture of the native Americans. By forcing the natives to conform to European culture, their unique culture has become extinct. I agree with his statement saying, "And, they used the local cultures as a tool for European fights between their empires." The Europeans sold European manufactured goods such as firearms to one tribe. Then they would sell a little bit more to a rival tribe. These two tribes would destroy each other leaving the Europeans in power. They destroyed the Indians as if they were just a mere obstacle.

In addition, I agree that these civilizations were highly advanced. They didn't need the help of European government. These tribal regions each had centralized governments and were united through religion and authority. Although Europeans may have had a different culture that worked for them, the Indians had a different way of life that also was effective in governing its people. The Europeans had destroyed most of the Native Americans except for the scarce amount of them left today.

I agree with Greg London that the Europeans did have a right to intermingle with the natives. Instead of enslaving the natives as if they were superior, they should have treated them fairly and traded with them.

-Stephen Shigematsu
Period 5

leaningtower55 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leaningtower55 said...

I definitely agree with your argument. The Europeans not only killed off a large amount of natives and Africans during their exploration, but they also replaced the traditional values and beliefs of these two civilizations into a westernized mindset. This change had disastroius results. For example, the westernized midset completely clashed with the different beliefs of the Africans therefore leaving African countries today in a corrupt status. Also, Native Americans are now a minority in their own country of origin because of the European diseases explorers brought.
I am not saying that Europe shouldnt have explored the world. I agree with Jeremy Molayem about the fact that the nature of the Europeans already was ambitious and aggressive. Any obstacle in the way of their power-thirsty ambitions faced harsh consequeences. Countries like Portugal, England, France, and the Netherlands had goals to take over trade and benefit their empires. They did anything to acheive this goal no matter how harsh.
Africans and Native Americans were not only the violent ones. Yes, the Central american tribes were portrayed as barbaric in "Apocolypto", but think about the harsh treatment of Muslims during the Spanish Inquisition. The Europeans' dislocation of Africans and wipe out of Native tribes is just as bad as the horrid sacrifices of the Aztecs and inter-slave trade within Africa.

Karlon Johnson, Period 5

Otaku14 said...

Mr. Zucker,

As usual you present a very good argument. I do agree that yes, it didn't seem right that when the Europeans had no real right to take over the land from these people who they thought were "barbarians," they did it anyway.

This is morally wrong obviously, but as Tyler said this has happened with every expansion in history. Not even just political expansion, but religious ones as well. Is this not how the Muslims got the great power that they ended up having. They of course had tolerance unlike the Europeans, but they still needed to use force to acquire the land in the first place.

Yes, I agree with the fact that it is argued that the Native Americans were not economically sustainable and that this view is wrong. People know the Native Americans for being the most caring for the environment. They only took what they needed from the land to survive which makes them very sustainable people, and trust me I would know because I'm taking APES. The Europeans, on the other hand, were very affluent and would take everything from the land. If the Europeans were doing these things on their own lands, just imagine how many of their kingdoms would collapse.

I agree with Chris on the part about human sacrifice. The people of that region believed in human sacrifice because they had nothing else to believe in. They were raised to believe things like Chris said, that if you did not offer human sacrifices the sun won't come out. This is the same way that we were raised that if we don't pray to God that we are going to go to hell.

I also agree with Tyler on the fact that if it were not for the Europeans; the Indians would never have even known about that kind of technology and we might not be where we are right now.

Anime Quote of the week (sorry for taking your idea Chris, it was just too good to pass up)

Rock Lee:
"I will not be... ...the only one that fails!! Master Guy... please... notice me... ... now, of all times.... ...Now when I finally attain... ... my shinobi path!!! (He's saying this as he does the animation in my avatar)

Michael Porterfield, Period 5

Alopez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alopez said...

I agree with your argument to some extent. With the Europeans coming into the New Worlds, they did spread a lot of different diseases amongst the Indians. And the diseases were the majority of the reason why tribes became extinct. I agree that the tribes were not barbaric to some extent. The Aztecs was a highly advanced at their time period regarding that they were isolated form anything west of the pacific and by isolated i mean away from the white people. The Aztecs was highly developed in war tactics , agriculture, and they had the fundamentals of running a powerful nation down. But what made them seem barbaric was that they would offer humans as sacrifice to the sun god. I could understand why the Europeans would think that their civilization was barbaric and felt the need to enslave them. But the Europeans were thing more of "lets see how much money we can make off these guys, and pay them nothing ." Its almost as present day where all the big businesses are sending all their jobs over to China and India. I am not implying that Chinese and India are our slaves. But I guess we got it coming to us after all those years of Asian and Indian jokes. But the mind set of the people in charge is still very the same.

I agree with Greg that the Europeans were better off making relationships with the Indians. Therefore, they would gain the trust of the Indians, learn how to survive, and know the terrain. The Europeans should of understood that these were also people, just like them, but just in a different skin color. But basically the Europeans just wanted to enslave these people and become a cash money baller.

Alex Lopez
Period 4

AAA said...

Another argument that is hardly arguable, JZ. Like in most cases in U.S. history, the Indians got screwed over. The Indians were enslaved, persecuted, and killed by the Europeans. I asked myself if this was a beneficial revolution to the Americas, Africa and Asia. It seems as if these peoples got a raw deal; sure ideas such as individualism entered and new technology was introduced, but even then these peoples didn't get to use or incorporate these things. The only beneficiaries are the Europeans who due to this colonization managed to escape religious persecution or get involved in the profitable trades of spices, slaves, gold, etc. Thus, I don't see how anyone could describe this as a "greater cultural revolution" for these people unless one believes that a change from freedom and general prosperity to slavery and misery is "greater."

Also, I would like to further what I believed to have been one of Jeremy's misconstrued points. Christian values weren't about forcing its faith upon others, but throughout history people who have followed these values (many have done so poorly) often violently forced others to their way of thinking. It is reasonable to believe that Europeans would end up repeating their violent actions to convert "non-believers."

Andrew Aaronian
Period 4

John Sapunor said...

Mr. JZ,

I agree with you when it comes to the Europeans bringing progress and individualism to the New World. First of all, how could the any of the Natives in the New World progress if they were being overpowered and enslaved by the Europeans? The Europeans did things to the Natives that have permanently lowered their population and destroyed much of their culture. The Europeans had no right to take the Indians land and force them into slavery. However, it was not the Europeans fault for bringing diseases, because they didn't know anything about things such as the lack of immunity the Natives had to the diseases. I also disagree with you about the tribes in the Americas being highly advanced. I don't think it is there fault, though. Since the Europeans interacted with the people in Africa and Asia, they learned many things. Since the tribes in the Americas couldn't interact with so many different empires, they didn't have a chance to become as advanced as the Europeans.

I disagree with Ben when he uses the setting up of missions as an exmaple of how the Europeans' intentions were not to destroy the Native civilizations and that the missions were meant to save the Natives' souls. The missions were very political. If a nation could convert the Natives, they would gain power over the people. After they gained that power, they slowly took over the Natives until the Europeans had full control over the tribes. Though this may not have been what the priests wanted, but it's what the government that sent that priests there wanted.

John Sapunor
Period 5

bernardo waxtein said...

Mr. Zucker,
I do not believe that the Europeans thought that the Native peoples of the Americas were barbaric and needed and enlightenment. I think its just that the Europeans were taking advantage of the Natives and their not so western culture and way of life. The natives also helped the Europeans and gave them gold and food and other important resources colonists would need. The Europeans then took this welcoming to their advantage and got greedy and asked for too much and ended up having disagreements with the natives. In this process many natives were killed by the Europeans so the Europeans could have all of the resources the land could offer including the land itself. This shows that it wasn't really the natives who were barbaric but actually the Europeans were the ones who acted like a barbaric people, by killing off so many of the natives and not trying to understand the natives advanced but different culture.

I agree with Greg London how the natives were not "just brainless cave men" they did give a lot to the Europeans even if the Europeans did not give anything back to the natives. The natives also did have a good trade going within their tribes and also with the Europeans. The Europeans took advantage of the natives kindness and became greedy like everyone else.

Bernardo Waxtein
Period 5

connor said...

Hey motha zucka,

I'm going to have to dissagree with you. the early European explorers brought new advancemants in culture to the Americas. It was their duty to to wipe out the Native Americans because even though they had a very complex society with a strong centralized government and crap, the killing of innocent people for absolutely no reason is wrong. Even though they belived that blood is the source of life, the act of killing people to appease the gods in ant other culture is bad "ju-ju"
Go Europe
Connor sharpe
period 4

connor said...

Bring it on Chris Tan. I am pretty sure that a fictional character from a CHILDREN'S television show won't be able to stab me. (Are you three years old?)

Random Naruto Quote of the day: Shut up Chris Tan!


connor said...

I would have to disagree with london.
Euro's shou;d have definitely wiped out the natives. Who knows how many peole they had killed off of their own kind before the Spanish came. Better to put them out of their misery than to die slowly.

Connor period 4

trojans07 said...

I would have to agree with you Mr. Zucker because it feels that the influence that was brought over from the Europe threw everything off in the Western Hemisphere. The only advantage that I see from this is that we now live in a free, more advanced world where we can listen to our Ipods every where we go, rather than going around in search of food with the feeling of whether we will be able to eat or not today.

I do however feel that the people that lived in the American Continents where civilized and were able to survive on their own. When Europeans came into contact with the natives of the land, it seems that all they did was destroy their way of living. They used them for slaves, pushed them out of their lands, and changed their way of organization. Above all this however, the Europeans also brought violence and diseases to the Americas. They killed the natives and pushed them out of their land. However I feel that thanks to the Europeanization of the Western Hemisphere many useful advancements have taken place in our world.

This leads me to disagree with Matt Ball. He states that Natives were not as innocent as we take them to be. He says that the Aztecs were a perfect example, but like you, Mr. Zucker, stated earlier not all the tribes/empires were the same. Also they might seem corrupt to us, but it is because we lived in a more civilized world. Their way of living was based off their religious beliefs and in a way that would allow them to have as much control of their people as possible.

Salvador Valle, Period 5

Logan said...

i would have to agree with you mr. zucker that the
European colonization did bring disease and cruelty to
other peoples they saw inferior to them, but i must
disagree that they did not bring individualism and new
idealogy with them as well. I'm not saying that it
was better to kill off all of the natives of various
lands Europeans conquered, or that it was worse, but
the world definintely wouldnt be the same had these
mass murders taken place. The Europeans had a great
deal of pride and wanted to take over as much land as
possible in order to compete with other rival European
countries and in doing so they had to kill off entire
empires and over half a continent for that matter.
The Europeans used the reasoning that the people they
conquered deserved to die because of their barbaric
ways such as human sacrifice in order to justify their
killings that were really just to increase their power
in the European rivalry game of the time. Who are we
to judge what is barbaric or not? as chris tan
mentioned, if our society included human sacrifice and
we had it engrained in our minds from birth that human
sacrifice was right, we would not think twice about
the killing of our fellow americans. The influence of
the Europeans rule in America defines who we Americans
are as a country today. The basis of individualism
and democracy, even though not exemplified in the
slaughtering of those who got in their way, was
brought over to thie new world by the Europeans and
are still practiced in the US today. Overall, I'd say
that it was not right, but it was necessary for the
Europeans to conquer other empires in order to spread
their influence which defines the world today.

logan mccabe
period 5

mchogsta said...

The invasion of European society upon the natives' world uprooted the culture that these people had set up. They pretty much decimated the natives using techniques such as selling firearms to tribes but favoring one tribe to dictate who would be victorious. It was not as if the Europeans were bringing order to a group of wild Indians without government or any order. The Aztecs had a very impressive government with a polytheistic religion. Although some of the rituals of the natives may have seemed barbaric to the Europeans, the annihilation of thousands years of evolution was not justified. The natives were damned the second the Europeans landed on the shores of the Americas, for all they brought was destruction in the form of war and plagues.

Of course, as Greg put it, the Europeans had a “right” to explore the world, but the way they handled encounters in undiscovered territories was unclassy to say the least. But being realistic, this was a necessary part of the development of America today. I’m not saying it was just, because it wasn’t, but the United States wouldn’t be as powerful as it is today if it happened any other way. It would have been impossible to mingle two cultures that were polar opposites of each other and form a stable government.

Marcus Högsta
Period 5

Rabbi said...

I completely agree with you JZ. The Europeans cuased no good by colonizing, or if they did, the enormous amout of bad they caused makes the good look so miniscule you can hardly tell it was there. I agree with all JZ said but lets start with the Inca. The Inca were a civilization that surpassed all other civilizations of the time. They had no form of righting, but a system of mathematics to rival our own. They made a calculator that you could drawn in the dirt and use where ever that actually worked. Plus, not only did they use Base 10they also used Base 32 which only the most advanced mathematicains nowadays can use interchangebly with Base 10.

Not only did they destroy the culture of the areas they colonized, they ruined the lives of the people there as well. Colonization led to the slave trade. this ruined the lives of most of the people in Africa. Families were split up, brother was turned against brother, all so that the Europeans did not have to work.

And Greg London, I agree with Jeremy. Why would the church have sent missionaries over or set up missions or forced native americans to live there if they were not trying to force there religion upon them? No come back? Thats because there isn't one. And what's all this about, "I believe they should have settled the land..." and "the completely abused their privelege"? I would agree with that if that was there priveledge in the first place. But the Europeans had no right to The land in the Americas. It belonged to the Natives as it had for centuries before. Plus the Europeans could never have gotten along with the Natives. If Europeans can't even get along with each other, who can we expect them to get along with complete strangers.

Alex Flynn
Period 5

Tostitos said...

I am going to have to agree with your argument this time. While Europeans may have seen the cultures of the New World as "barbaric," some Native Americans probably thought the same of them. Determing what is or isn't barbaric is all a matter of perception. The Aztecs and Mayans may have done human sacrifices, but Christians slaughtered thousands of Muslims, Jews, and, soon after they met, Aztecs and Mayans as well. Both Europeans and Native Americans were technologically advanced at the time period, just in different ways. Europeans did not really bring individualism and progress to the Native Americans; however, Europeans DID bring them new technology that was unknown to the Natives at the time.

I have to go against your argument on European colonization/exploration. Europeans did not go to the Americas because the Indians "were barbaric and in need of enlightentment." They went there so they could establish a foothold on the region that would further strengthen their nation and wiped out many Native Americans simply because...they were in the way. I also agree with London when he says that the Europeans had a right to explore the New World. They may not have done it in the most morally right ways, but its not like the Indians weren't fighting back. When an Empire meets another, there is bound to be some fighting. In these situations, only one can win. The Europeans beat an empire that was just as advanced (in their own way) as them. The Native's did believe in a "Cycle of Life." They just didn't expect that they would be nearly wiped out in the next part of the cycle. Oh and Tyler...the Europeans interactions with the Native Americams was NOT an even beneficial to both sides. I mean, the Europeans may have given the Native's guns, but they ended up killing them all anyways.

Just some advice Christopher Tan...Don't put your hit list on a History blog...

Philip Tostado
Period 4

jack said...

Mr. Zucker

I agree with you on many of your points. First off, I would like to agree with mcHogsta. He mentioned that by conquering the cultures, it uprooted the conquered civilizations and brought them back to ground zero. All of their establishments, forms of government, trade partnerships, and religious practices were destroyed very quickly. These societies were often times very complex. All had some form of a spoken language. Many civilizations had advanced mathematics systems and were very interested in astronomy. The mastery of both of these skills often lead to the formation of calendars which allowed them to accurately predict different seasons and times of year.
Clearly, it was not right for the Europeans to come in and destroy what had taken years to establish. But, by arguing that it was not "right", you must also argue against most conquests of that time. The fact is that military conquests were part of the world at that time and even still today. Counties conquer other countries either to gain resources or power. As we look back at this situation, it is very clear to us why it was wrong and it is very easy for us to oppose the conquering of the native Americans. We must remember that at the time, conquest was a part of every day life. Countries were often declaring war against other countries simply for the control of trade or for power. I agree that it was wrong to do what the English did, but with military conquest occurring often during this time, the Europeans most likely did not think of the consequences or worry about the destruction of these cultures.

John Hawley
Period 5

Clint Rosser said...

I believe that the Europeans were unjust in their colonization of the “New World.” What they did, completely taking over large areas of Africa and the Americas, mainly Latin America, because of a few radical groups like the Aztecs is completely unjustified. Their actions would be equivalent to the people today taking over and changing all of Los Angeles and all of the people in it because of the minority of “crazy people” living in LA. The actions of a small group of people should never be the justification for a change in many other groups of people who happen to live near the “odd” group.

I believe that we and they should practice more religious tolerance. It is not just to attempt to convert people or change their religions. I am all for saying what you believe in. but if people are already content with a religion and do not want to join your religion without any motivation from you, then that is their choice. No religion tells is followers to force people to convert to that religion. It would make sense, because the people are only following the faith because they were forced into it. How can we know for sure which religion is the “correct faith” if any of them are. I bet that the Europeans who colonized Africa and the Americas would be really embarrassed if when they died and went to heaven God was their and was chilling with his Aztec followers telling them they had the right faith.

Why do people believe that God would only show a few people his religion. God is present all over the world and in cultures working in his mystical and mysterious ways through the local people and cultures. Maybe all faiths are correct, but in different ways, as long as they unite a people. I do not support the sacrificing of tons of innocent people, however. So I can understand the Europeans trying to stop the Aztecs from this horrible ritual.

The Europeans simply wanted to gain the land and resources to fuel their empires and compete with the rest of the world. They used the actions of these isolated practices of particular groups and brought a lot of attention to them. They exploited these cultures to use as justification for their own greedy agendas. If helping the local people was the real goal behind the colonization, what was the purpose of the large plantations they set up as well the bringing in of slaves.

I agree with Salvador Valle in the statement that the civilizations of the colonized ares were able to live and thrive in their lands. If anyone would know how to live in the land and use all of its resources I would place my money on the people who have been living there for many generations without the “help” of the Europeans. Every civilization has had and continues to have peaks and valleys. It is inevitable, and these valleys are not indications that a change needs to be made.

Clint Rosser
Period 5

wiznewski said...

I have to agree with the majority of your post. European colonization, like you said, was portrayed as a heroic undertaking which may have been the case from a European's perspective, but from a native person's point-of view they saw invaders from a foreign land who were trying to impose their culture and values upon them. This made no sense to them because their society like most of the Native American/Carribean societies were relatively advanced, especially those of the Aztecs which was conquered and destroyed by Cortes. Although they may not have been as "industrialized and refined" as Europeans believed themselves to be, Europeans should have realized that the systems the native people had in place were working for hundreds of years and had no reason for destruction. Europeans, however, had constant feuding and fighting among themselves yet felt that they could impose themselves on some else and tell them how to rule. As you said when Columbus came to America, he was greeted with peace. This was the case with many other groups living peacefully among each other until the Europeans superimposed their rule among the people and destroyed their cultures, civilizations, and peoples by starting wars and bringing disease to the people who were living mostly harmoniously for many years.

I agree with Jack in saying that although destroying the cultures was horrible, it was the only way that Europe could expand. Conquest was part of the European culture at the time. I know killing off and enslaving thousands of native peoples was horrible, and forcing them into new religions was horrible, but you need to look at things from all sides. The Europeans needed to expand and look for new resources for their empires because of the limited resources at their homelands. How they went about doing things was not ideal, but expansion was only way European countries felt they could prosper

Christian said...

I agree with you JZ in that the European exploration destroyed the native populations and cultures of America through slavery and disease. The cultures of many native american tribes and nations, especially those of the caliber of the Aztecs and Incas, where very much "civilized" in the sense that they where organized and where able to operate under their ideals. However, though I do not condone this action on the part of the Europeans in anyway, I also agree that European values had a lot to give to these people. I am of the beleif that if there was a combination of native and foreign values, the colonized areas would have been better run by the "barbaric" natives. These natives know how to take from the land what they need, and how to keep the land well. The Europeans, though, in my opinion, have a better philosophy on the lives of humans, bring those ideas at first. However, this is defeated by the fact that the superiorly moral Europeans saw them as slaves and worked them until they broke. All in all, I feel that the Americas would have faired better long term environmentally if the Europeans had not arrived, but that the Indians could improve themselves by following Christian values.

I however do not agree with Gregory London in that the Europeans had the "right" to explore the world. While exploring is ok, the Europeans did not simply intermingle with he natives, but the land they came to they only consitered settled if a major power was occupying it and would fight them for it. If they couldnt take it without a war, they found it settled. Otherwise, the land and the inhabitants where owned by the invading force.

Christian Williams
Period 5
...*stab*? What?

Christian said...

To whom this may concern,
I am equally confused and scared by Chris Tans blogs...
Thats all.

wiznewski said...

the post above christian williams by wiznewski is michael wisniewski period 5

Cameron L said...

I agree with your statement, “The Europeans did not bring individualism and progress to the “New World”. Rather, they brought disease that wiped out Native cultures. They destroyed local Native cultures by setting up systems of slavery. And, they used the local cultures as a tool for European fights between their empires.” But it is easy for me to understand why the settlers were so brutal and disliked the natives because of their strange and primitive cultures. You give a great example of this, “Another charge often brought up against the tribal systems of Africa and Latin America was that they were barbaric and violent. For example, the Aztecs were known for widespread use of human sacrifice to appease their pantheon of gods.” These people had extinction coming because this is some pretty messed up stuff. I agree with Connor he says, “Euro's should have definitely wiped out the natives. Who knows how many people they had killed off of their own kind before the Spanish came. Better to put them out of their misery than to die slowly.” Another thing he says, “Bring it on Chris Tan. I am pretty sure that a fictional character from a CHILDREN'S television show won't be able to stab me. (Are you three years old?). Random Naruto Quote of the day: Shut up Chris Tan!” And I don’t appreciate what chris tan says about me either WTF chris tan, “You see Zero (the guy with the sword)? Well, he's gonna drive that thing into anyone who a)tells me to shut up, b)pisses me off, c)deserves to die because I feel like having them killed, and d)gets in my way. Connor, D. Mendoza, and Cameron be warned!” HEY chris… keep this on the DL, but if u ever send that cartoon thing to kill me I will dominate it and rip its little head off and mail it to you in a box with a note that says, “Whoops I guess he just wasn’t good enough to stab me… Suck it up Chris." You know I LOVE YOU.

PEACE I'm out

Cameron Lancey
Period 5

mr.bogangels said...

Mr. Zucker,

First of all I agree totally about the fact that the only thing the Europeans did when they came to the Americas (not discovered as the Vikings were the first non-native people to land on north america) was destroy any sort of civilazations present to instill their own. These cultures could have been even greater and more powerful before Europeans had arrived for all we know or maybe even so today if they had never arrived in the first place. The Same goes for Africa but not necassarily for Asia. Asia did encounter some of the same hardships as Africa and the Americas when it comes to colonization, but its main hardship was that of having tradeports set up in its lands, and of how Asian based governments would have to deal with these Europeans. A good example of this would be China and its long trade history with Europe and of how sometimes the Europeans themselves were afraid of the Chinese! A very big role change.

Also I must disagree with Jan F-F and his point of how the idea of what is the right and wrong way to live is an idea (truth is a construction). Though this might make sense in the world of speech and debate (don't think we didn't notice Jan), in reality the biggest and the best always ends up on top. And the best in this situation is European Society. I admire the Different African and Indian cultures of the time, but they obviously didn't deliver when it came to defending agaisnt forginers and surviving in general. Lets face it, the Europeans were more advanced, as they were the ones that colonized these places after navigating the oceans to get there in the first place to cause all the chaos (this is not to say that the native peoples had advanced technology too). Also the chaos was not truely chaos, it was productive for the Europeans, and was only fatally harmful to the cultures that were not on top.

Patrick Foster
Period 4

The 'Fro said...

JZ, I'm going to have to agree with you on this one, but only so I can disagree with Tim Perille, the god of BO.

You bring up some good points that the Native Americans were fine on their own before Europeans came. They did have well-established kingdoms, which Europeans destroyed. Yet, Tim says that their civilizations weren't all too great if they were so easily wiped out. I think that instead of "kill[ing] the injons", the Europeans could have advanced Native American civilizations by peaceful trade and education.
If you think that diminishing a population down so small that it's impossible to find everyone helps it survive, you're wrong.

When Europeans made it to the Americas, they began a great conquest of its people. If they had taken a more peaceful route, they might have gained allies in huge numbers. If they had traded guns and weapons to native americans, they could have brought them under the european mentality and taught them to fight too.
A much better way of dealing with them would have been to make them allies against other Europeans or Asians or whoever. The slaughter of thousands was really just a waste of death.

Jonathan Daroca
Period 5

PS.Why are people being so lame to each other. Stop insulting and making fun of Chris Tan. And Chris, stop giving them stuff to work with.mIf you just answered the blog and ended it, they wouldn't pick you out. Problem solved.