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  • America the country vs. America the continent
    • Kate (Login kateothelamp)
      Posted Jul 24, 2011 3:09 PM

      The native people of North America did just fine before the European settlers came. They actually had many different belief systems, customs, languages, and societies. Some were more agrarian, others were hunters and nomads. They adapted to all of the climates and locations in the land -- deserts, forests, plains, coastal areas. Some were more peaceful, and willing to trade with other tribes, or leave other tribes alone. Others were more warlike, and violent toward other tribes -- certainly not an idyllic or utopian society. But apparently it worked for thousands of years.

      The vast majority of the European settlers who came to the new world were unfair to and clearly wronged the native people here -- stole their goods, their lands, and committed violence against them. Not every native tribe the Europeans encountered here were peaceful and welcoming, and some committed violence against the settlers -- even the most peaceful settlers.

      But what the Europeans did here was not unique at all. This is the way mankind has been -- all mankind, toward all mankind -- since the dawn of time. The Saxons invaded the Celts in Britain, as did the Romans. The Roman empire spread throughout the ancient world, occupying other countries. The Normans invaded England in 1066. The Spanish and the English warred over control of the high seas for centuries. And if you look at the Jews in the Old Testament -- claiming that God told them to wipe out other people, enslave them, loot and rape, steal their lands and goods, slaughter their children and keep their virginal women as slaves -- then any people who wanted to conquer any other people could find plenty of Biblical examples to support their actions.

      But it is in no way limited to Judaism, Christianity, or teachings and examples from the Bible. Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Thutmose III, Darius I, Attila the Hun, Cheng, Charlemagne, Julius Caesar, Hitler...this is the way it has been throughout history. Strong nations invading and taking over other nations they perceive as "weaker", taking their goods, their lands, their resources, smothering their culture and trying to assimilate them. Until the "weaker" nations band together, someone fights back, or the invading empire spreads itself too thin and eventually collapses.
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