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American Indians & the arrival of Europeans. American culture & society Spring 2012/ Dr. Scott. The book 1491. Author: Charles Mann Science writer who became interested in a new view of indian civilization.

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American indians the arrival of europeans
American Indians & the arrival of Europeans

  • American culture & society

  • Spring 2012/ Dr. Scott

The book 1491
The book 1491

  • Author: Charles Mann

  • Science writer who became interested in a new view of indian civilization.

  • He says: Researchers now believe Indian civilization was more advanced and complex than historians thought.

This time in history
This time in history

  • Title of book highlights one year before Columbus arrived in North America.

  • What was happening in Japan?

    • Sengoku period. Civil wars. Kyoto is capital.

    • Yoshitane is 10th Ashigaga shogun.

    • Kinkaku-ji temple (Yoshimasa) finished in 1493.

      • 1542 -- Portugese in Tanegashima.

How did indians migrate
How did Indians migrate?

  • Mostly around alaska and through canada, possibly along coastal waterways.

  • No settlements from Northern Europe routes.

  • New theories: Must have been people crossing ocean from west.

We will look at indian civilizations
We will look atIndian civilizations

  • In New England: Indians & the Pilgrims.

  • There were many other advanced societies, but we will focus on the East Coast of North America.

New england
New England

  • Soon after 1492, first European explorers found long coastline filled with hundreds of villages and agricultural fields.

  • In 1500s, probably 100,000 people or more.

  • Some trading allowed, but Indian groups told ships to leave. Cannot stay or make towns.

  • Indians not afraid of visiting Europeans. Physically stronger than people on ships.

Explorers in early1500s found this
Explorers in early1500s found this:

  • “Time and time again, Europeans described the People of the First Light as strikingly healthy specimens. Eating an incredibly nutritious diet, working hard but not broken by toil, the people of New England were taller and more robust than those who wanted to move in.”

  • “Native Intelligence,”Smithsonian magazine, December 2005, Charles C. Mann.

Indians found the opposite
Indians found the opposite:

  • “Europeans were physically weak, sexually untrustworthy, atrociously ugly and just plain smelly. (The British and French, many of whom had not taken a bath in their entire lives, were amazed by the Indian interest in personal hygiene.)”

Another source
Another source

  • “The women kept their skin smooth with fish oil and eagle fat.”

  • “As with men, red pigment was mixed to give a reddish coloration. In addition, bright red was applied to the forehead, temples and cheeks.”

  • “Young women favored a black pigment around the eyes and on the forehead. The body also received its share of decorative paints.”

  • From: “The Pilgrims & Plymouth Colony, 1620,”Duane Cline.

I n 1600s situation changed
In 1600s, situation changed

  • By 1620, when the Pilgrims arrived, the same lands were deserted, emptied.

  • Pilgrims moved into a former Indian settlement.

  • The first 50 Europeans settlements in New England were built on former Indian villages.

  • The Indians were almost all gone.

The new theory
The New Theory

  • Indian society had few defenses against the germs that arrived with European ships.

  • In Europe, where diseases were transferred from animals to people, the worst periods of death had passed.

    • Adults in Europe had immunities. Only some children caught small pox or other diseases.

  • But in Americas, the diseases spread fast -- reaching every villager at once.

Effects of disease
Effects of disease

  • As many as 90% of Indian people died in New England in 1616-1619.

  • Social systems were broken, towns emptied.

  • Attitudes changed about life and supernatural powers (and balance) in the natural world.

Indians were weakened
Indians were weakened

  • This allowed colonists to build up towns.

  • They could negotiate with existing Indian leaders who needed powerful‘friends.’

  • Over decades, more Europeans arrived with guns. They attacked, took slaves, claimed land.

Thanksgiving legend
Thanksgiving Legend

  • The American cultural story says the Indians and Pilgrims were friends.

  • True because Indian leader needed help and could not stop arrival of people from England.

  • Tisquanto, the go-between, had been enslaved by British captain and learned English in Europe.

  • When he had returned to his village, all of his people had died from disease.

Mann says
Mann says:

  • This process occurred all over the Americas.

  • Indians had fine systems but could not defeat the diseases that Europeans brought.

  • Not guns. Not metal. It was mostly disease that helped colonists to overcome Indian civilizations.

  • Colonists often did not understand this.

P rimitive simple
Primitive? Simple?

  • The Indians the colonists met were the few who remained after a century of death and grief.

  • Not a surprise they seemed simple. They had lost almost everything and everyone.

  • Mann: If true, this was one of the worst tragedies in the history of humanity.

Another good book
Another Good Book

This is another

book that asks how and why Europeans colonized so much of the world.

The end
The End

  • Thanks for paying attention.

  • I hope this enriches your knowledge.