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Europeans: what they brought to the Americas?

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KayKatz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KayKatz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 2012 at 19:41
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by bagrat bagrat wrote:

Renaissance was not just an artistic , invented by lazy Italians over an espresso and a fag, but
a cultural phenomenon, triggered by social and economical changes in Italy and the rest of Europe, that encompassed new directions in philosophical, scientific and political etc. thinking, and the new intellectual ideas got subsequently expressed in in the literary and visuell arts.
Ever heard of the scientific enterprises of a certain Leonardo da Vinci, another lazy Italian?
I leave the last word to the great Blackadder: "To you,..., the Renaissance was just something that happened to other people, wasn't it?"
 
 
Sure, the renaissance has quite a prestige on the artistic biassed minds. In any case, the European booming started a lot earlier, about the 12th century, when engineering techniques and new phylosophical tendencies changed the society. From that time are most of the gear Europeans brought to the Americas, such as astrolabes, clocks, firearms, ironwork, paper and the rudder. And those practical things weren't invented by Da Vinci. This later guy was a dreammer but he created very few practical things.
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KayKatz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KayKatz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 2012 at 19:45
I have an artistic bias toward the Modern period of the arts (1860s onward) and still I can recognize the immense cultural changes to Europe through the Renaissance.

I find it frustrating that you continue to devalue the contribution of Europe to Western culture, even seem to take delight in so doing. Although continued bias towards Europe in scholarship I feel that it is being effectively challenged and there are many, many publications from European nations which also contest this view and seek to acknowledge the contributions of immigrants to the culture of their respective countries. It feels as though you are provoking simply to provoke, rather than state something no one has ever thought of before. I think scholarship is changing but I don't see why it necessitates dismissing all of Europe's accomplishments.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 2012 at 19:56
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

What the Europeans brought to the Americas?

If somebody says they brought civilization, religion or writing it would be wrong. Those things existed already in the Americas. In the New World there were ships, bridges, stonework, metalurgy, poetry, music, empires, accounting, bells, paper, textiles, toothfillings, concave mirrors for lighting fires, and even the zero and the golden rate were known.

So, the question is, what really brought the Europeans to the Americas that was something new, and that contributed to development? I have a list on here, and let's see if you can make it longer.

(1) New vegetables, particularly wheat and rice, that made food more available. Lettuces, onions, cabbage, grapes, olives and many other produce came from the old world as well.

(2) New animals that revolutionazed farming and transport: horse, the mule (the 4WD of ancient times) which worked harder than a llama, the cow that provided lot of meat and milk (animal milk was unknown in the Americas, together with cheese, yogurt and derivatives), the sheep, that made fiber production cheaper, the goat that produced milk and meat, and the ox which was a heavy duty animal for works that requiered force.

(3) Iron. That was the single metal that impacted the most in the Americas.

(4) Cheap paper. The European methods copied from the Chinese allowed for mass producing paper. In the Americas there was amate paper in some regions of Mesoamerica, but it was produced in small scale.

(5) The alphabet. This method of writing was a lot superior to the memorizing devices of the Iroquos wampun, or the Inca quipus, and it was also a lot simpler than Maya writing. The phonetic alphabet also allowed to transcribe native languages and therefore to record theirs tought early on.

(6) The arch. The single more important invention introduced by the Europeans in architecture it was the arch, unknown in the Americas. This allowed in colonial times the development of aqueducts following the roman model.

(7) The galeon. In the Americas there were large dugout canoes and balsa rafts driven by sails, but there wasn't anything such as the European ship technology, with complex sails and rudders. A technology that took thousand of years to develop in Eurasia and that was unknown in the Americas.

(8) The wheel. The wheel was known in Mesoamerica, but was used only in toys. The Europeans spread the use of the wheel in transport.

(9) Codified law. It was unknown in the Americas.

(10) Gunpowder. Unknown in the Americas, changed war.

What a first class post and thread starter.Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2017 at 23:49
Lynn White writes about the medieval antecedents to the renaissance, the renaissance was/is amazing, but it could not have happened without several things coming together, such as the rediscovery of the ancient world.  Raphael goes tunneling in the catacombs, and sees ancient art that the medieval world couldn't do, (or was it at Herculaneum, I forget).

But, the thing that Europeans brought the most to the New World, was Europeans, and it was mainly just sheer demographic masses that overran the sparsely populated Indians, or conquered with superior firepower the civilizations already there.  Of course, the diseases of Eurasia and Africa did the lion's share of the work.  It must have seemed to the Indians like the world was ending.  And it did end, although the world goes on.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2017 at 03:54
The elephant in the room being disease, resulting in diminishing populations, starvation and death.

Indiginous Americans, having never been exposed to measles, and other minor ailments, were nevertheless devastated by them, literally dying in their millions. 

With them went the secrets of how they came to be so advanced in agriculture, architecture, astrology and many other sciences, compared to their North American counterparts, and indeed, many European populations of the time.

Whole cultures were wiped out by European massacres, enslavement and disease.



Edited by toyomotor - 23 Nov 2017 at 06:58
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2017 at 00:44
I think that it is part of the myth of the noble savage, to believe that the Indians were always the victims, and the settlers were always the perpetrators.  It is the same kind of belief that says that the Palestinians are noble, because they're picked on by the Israelis, or the Jews are noble, because they were picked on by the Nazis.  The fact is that being on the short end of the stick does not ennoble someone so much as often embitter them.  There is a difference between becoming ennobled and becoming weak.  Neither the ennobled or the weak take advantage of someone, but the reasons for them not doing so, are entirely different.  Weak is not the same thing as being moral, it is just being weak.  To properly be moral, one has to have the capacity to do help or harm, and the inclination or disinclination to engage in it, as the situation sees fit.  Someone who does not have the capacity, is neither moral, nor for that matter, immoral.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2017 at 03:46
You forgot to mention the dead people-massacred, murdered, killed deliberately. The vast majority of them, Indians or Native Americans.

There's not much nobility in being dead!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2017 at 01:15
Disease killed most, disease, starvation, warfare, and then massacre, which the massacre by Indians, justified in the eyes of the Whites, the massacre of Indians.  As far as warfare is concerned, the Indians fought a loosing battle, but they generally weren't passive, until they were beat.

There might not be much nobility in being dead, but for some people they think there is nobility in dying.

But there are more Indians alive today, then there were when Columbus arrived, just a lot of other people too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Dec 2017 at 23:45
Quote Disease killed most, disease, starvation, warfare, and then massacre.

None of which were beneficial to the indiginous people.
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