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Author Topic: American History  (Read 29475 times)
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caclark
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« Reply #900 on: August 30, 2007, 11:24:27 AM »

Dzimas, August 30, 2007 at 3:09 AM: "The fundamental question remains, how can you discover a land that is already settled....."

If that's what we’re to be forever hung up on, then who's to say who discovered America? We’ll never know with any certitude who exactly was first to leave the Eastern Hemisphere for the Western. Popular guesstimates says 40,000 years ago across the Bering land bridge from Siberia to Alaska but no one knows for sure. I'm convinced that pre-1492 Americans were descendants of several separate waves of migration over the centuries and God only knows how many there were or how many were never recorded by history. But no educated thinking person of today argues that Columbus was first so what exactly is your big gripe?

If you want to go after Christopher Columbus, you might take aim on his tenure as colonial governor of Hispaniola. Ferdinand and Isabella were pious Catholics who insisted that natives in conquered lands be treated gently. But under Columbus’ rule, 100,000 natives were slaughtered by the Spaniards, one third of the island’s population. Many of the survivors were forced into slavery. These are things upon which Columbus is most vulnerable in the historical record, not the credit he gets for his 1492 voyage which seems to be the thing that bugs you the most. I just don’t get it.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #901 on: August 30, 2007, 11:25:06 AM »

The flag and proclamation came first, liquid.  The conquest came later.
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weezo
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« Reply #902 on: August 30, 2007, 11:27:51 AM »

The difference is that the Aztecs confined their empire-building to "neighboring states" rather than attempt to subjugate peoples on another contenent and far away from their home base. The Aztec conquered and subjugated in small steps, securing each new area before taking on another. They didn't merely declare that all of a continent was theirs due to their accidental landing thereon.

If we can live without knowing exactly who discovered Europe, I suspect we can live without attributing the "discovery" of America to any other than the multitudes who came here without a flag or proclamation.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #903 on: August 30, 2007, 11:28:07 AM »

Well, yes clark, there are many things to go after Columbus on.  He was removed as governor when it was discovered how badly the natives suffered under his rule.  I take exception to almost everything surrounding the Columbus myth.  He is not one of my favorite historical figures.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #904 on: August 30, 2007, 11:30:47 AM »

There's not much to defend in the Aztecs, weezo.  They brought back human sacrifices and cannibalism after it had pretty much been phased out.  They were ruthless in their control of the region, and if they had discovered how to make ships they no doubt would have extended their rule far beyond Mexico City.  I have no sympathy for the Aztecs.
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weezo
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« Reply #905 on: August 30, 2007, 11:40:30 AM »

Dzimas,

I suggest you expland your knowledge of the Aztecs. You can start at http://library.thinkquest.org/27981/ and graduate to more mature information. It is possible that a people of the future will consider wars, and the sacrificing of young lives for political (in lieu of religious) purposes, as being just as immoral as the "human sacrifice" practiced by the Aztecs. Was not the Inquisition a form of human sacrifice for religious purposes?
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Dzimas
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« Reply #906 on: August 30, 2007, 11:52:35 AM »

I've read quite a bit on the Aztecs, thank you.  I recommend Conquest by Hugh Thomas,

http://www.amazon.com/Conquest-Cortes-Montezuma-Fall-Mexico/dp/0671511041/ref=pd_bbs_1/105-5791205-4542015?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1188489000&sr=1-1

which we read in the NYTimes American History forum some years ago.  They were to the Mexican isthmus what the Romans were to Europe, relishing in their conquests and bloodsports, but oddly enough were no match for Cortez the Killer.
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liquidsilver
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« Reply #907 on: August 30, 2007, 01:31:48 PM »

Quote
which we read in the NYTimes American History forum some years ago.  They were to the Mexican isthmus what the Romans were to Europe, relishing in their conquests and bloodsports, but oddly enough were no match for Cortez the Killer.

Cortés deliberately marched a route designed to recruit as many native allies as possible en route to Tenochtitlán.  I would think this fact alone underscores just how much the Aztec empire was despised.

But if not for Montezuma's naivete in seeing Cortés' arrival as the fulfilment of the Quetzalcoatlin  prophesy, who knows?
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« Reply #908 on: August 30, 2007, 04:16:35 PM »

Gintaras posed an excellent question re Portuguese claims to having ''discovered'' the New World a full generation before Columbus.

For years I have read of Henry the Navigator having ventured as far as the Cape of Good Hope and no further.  Vasco da Gama it was said  ventured further.

My guess is that if the Lusitanians made claims of discoveries in hitherto unknown lands at the time of Columbus it was because they were seeking favor from the Papacy or license to  control  those lands. As I wrote above, Spanish historians do not acknowledge that any Portuguese stumbled upon these lands before they did.  Even the papacy never did so. And insofar as I know, European historians never did so as well.

Revisionist history can make for interesting reading.  But it must be backed up with evidence if it is to be believed.
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caclark
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« Reply #909 on: August 30, 2007, 04:43:59 PM »

One possibility is that of a Portuguese ship lost or presumed lost at sea, or shipwrecked on a distant shore. That could account for there being no record or awareness of it in Europe which there surely would have been were there a formally organized colony. But that's just idle speculation on my part.

Hey, I just might be learning to be as enterprising as Menzies!
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weezo
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« Reply #910 on: August 30, 2007, 05:10:12 PM »

Clark,

That's the spirit! Open you mind to the possibilities, and let the evidence take its place as it arises. If your mind isn't open to possibilities, you will miss the evidence when it comes your way.

To my way of thinking, the  only "evidence" needed is the fact that Columbus recorded that he found Portuguese-speaking natives on one of the islands. Just as interesting, although not datable, is the presence of Portuguese DNA in the Melungeon population of Virginia-Carolina. This is corraborated by the oral histories of these people (once historians got their heads out of the ivy on the walls and condescended to ask). The Lumbees, the other group Menzies named as potentially showing Chinese ancestory, seem to tie their own roots to Native, Negro, and Caucasian mixing during the early days of plantations. The Lumbees were one of the tribes that welcomed escaped slaves and white servants into their tribes.

A close mind is the bane of good educators. There is always new information coming to light that should elicit questions about what has been believed. Think of the enlightened lives snuffed out by the punishment for the crime of "heresy" in believing that it was possible the earth was round instead of flat. What has been lost or delayed in human understanding by killing off those with open minds?

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caclark
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« Reply #911 on: August 30, 2007, 05:24:10 PM »

weezo,

Well, I'm glad I finally made the psychic breakthrough. Now I’ll get busy writing my own book advancing my theory that purple kangaroos inhabit the moon. Would you be so kind as to tell all of your friends to buy a copy when it gets published?
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« Reply #912 on: August 30, 2007, 08:46:52 PM »

I spent the day reading about Vespucci, using Morison and Fernandez's new biography. I need a little more time to complete them, then I'll post more. Morison discounts rather harshly the claims of the Portuguese and the Chinese. He raises doubts about giving  Vespucci any credence as the discoverer. Interestly enough, so does Fernandez.  I'll post more later.

In trying to keep my mind open, I'm searching for books which would support the Portugueses claim and can find none--Nor can I find anything to support the Vespucci claim. Can anyone direct  me to some literature supporting either claim?

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« Reply #913 on: August 30, 2007, 11:18:07 PM »

weezo,

Well, I'm glad I finally made the psychic breakthrough. Now I’ll get busy writing my own book advancing my theory that purple kangaroos inhabit the moon. Would you be so kind as to tell all of your friends to buy a copy when it gets published?


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

I'll be the first to sign up for a copy and  to stand on line to get your autograph.

That's a promise!!
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« Reply #914 on: August 30, 2007, 11:39:19 PM »

Clark,

If you publish your theory about purple kangaroos, I will certainly encourage all my family and friends to buy a copy. As with Than, each copy should be autographed so we can rub our sleeves on your greatness.

We, your future readers, will assume that you will travel to the moon and photograph the shadows of the purple kangaroos. You will not be expected to photograph a real purple kangaroo, but be sure to get splashy full color pictures of those shadows. Some pix of piles of dung of the wonderful creatures would also help sell the book. And, if you find a moon rock with a clear bitemark from a purple kangaroo, you should include that photograph as well.

Certainly, you should rush your book to print before you have any DNA analyzed from the purple kangaroo poo, so you can set up a website where you will announce the DNA results if they ever come about. In the meantime, you can send out e-newletters announcing how many emails you are getting from others who have sighted purple kangaroos during the eclipse of the moon through they five-and-dime telescopes. That will keep people interested while waiting for the poo DNA results.





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