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The Discovey of Armerica1492

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The Discovey of Armerica1492

Post by dah_men on Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:24 pm

A-The Discovey of Armerica1492

Columbus led his three ships -
the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria - out of the Spanish port of
Palos on August 3, 1492. His objective was to sail west until he
reached Asia (the Indies) where the riches of gold, pearls and spice
awaited. His first stop was the Canary Islands where the lack of wind
left his expedition becalmed until September 6.

Once underway,
Columbus benefited from calm seas and steady winds that pushed him
steadily westward (Columbus had discovered the southern "Trades" that
in the future would fuel the sailing ships carrying goods to the New
World). However, the trip was long, longer than anticipated by either
Columbus or his crew. In order to mollify his crew's apprehensions,
Columbus kept two sets of logs: one showing the true distance traveled
each day and one showing a lesser distance. The first log was kept
secret. The latter log quieted the crew's anxiety by under-reporting
the true distance they had traveled from their homeland.

This
deception had only a temporary effect; by October 10 the crew's
apprehension had increased to the point of near mutiny. Columbus headed
off disaster by promising his crew that if land was not sighted in two
days, they would return home. The next day land was discovered.

B- Native Americans

Long
before the white man set foot on American soil, the American Indians,
or rather the Native Americans, had been living in America. When the
Europeans came here, there were probably about 10 million Indians
populating America north of present-day Mexico. And they had been
living in America for quite some time. It is believed that the first
Native Americans arrived during the last ice-age, from northeastern
Siberia into Alaska.
Although it is believed that the Indians
originated in Asia, few if any of them came from India. The name
"Indian" was first applied to them by Christopher Columbus, who
believed mistakenly that the mainland and islands of America were part
of the Indies, in Asia.

So, when the Europeans started to arrive
in the 16th- and 17th-century they were met by Native Americans, and
enthusiastically so. The Natives regarded their white-complexioned
visitors as something of a marvel, not only for their outlandish dress
and beards and winged ships but even more for their wonderful
technology - steel knives and swords, fire-belching arquebus and
cannon, mirrors, hawkbells and earrings, copper and brass kettles, and
so on.

However, conflicts eventually arose. As a starter, the
arriving Europeans seemed attuned to another world, they appeared to be
oblivious to the rhythms and spirit of nature. Nature to the Europeans
- and the Indians detected this - was something of an obstacle, even an
enemy. It was also a commodity: A forest was so many board feet of
timber, a beaver colony so many pelts, a herd of buffalo so many robes
and tongues. Even the Indians themselves were a resource - souls ripe
for the Jesuit, Dominican, or Puritan plucking.

It was the
Europeans' cultural arrogance, coupled with their materialistic view of
the land and its animal and plant beings, that the Indians found
repellent. Europeans, in sum, were regarded as something mechanical -
soulless creatures who wielded diabolically ingenious tools and weapons
to accomplish mad ends.

The Europeans brought with them not only
a desire and will to conquer the new continent for all its material
richness, but they also brought with them diseases that hit the Indians
hard. Conflicts developed between the Native Americans and the
Invaders, the latter arriving in overwhelming numbers, as many "as the
stars in heaven". The Europeans were accustomed to own land and laid
claim to it while they considered the Indians to be nomads with no
interest to claim land ownership. In these wars the Indian tribes were
at a great disadvantage because of their modest numbers, nomadic life,
lack of advanced weapons, and unwillingness to cooperate, even in their
own defense.

The end of the wars more or less coincided with the
end of the 19th century. The last major war was not really a war, it
was a massacre in 1890 where Indian warriors, women, and children were
slaughtered by U.S. cavalrymen at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in a
final spasm of ferocity.

dah_men
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