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Backwards development in Latin America?

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    Posted: 22 Nov 2012 at 07:50

On the URL of a TV series about museums in the world one can read this:

Quote In Mexico City, in 1956, contractors digging the foundation for a new expressway unearthed an ancient canoe perfectly preserved underground.

This was not surprising to those who know that in the era of the Aztecs, the city was comprised of human-made islands in the center of a lake.

Instead of roads, the water city had canals.  People and goods moved by canoe.

In the broadcast episode, we visit a place where a small part of the water city has been preserved.

We discover that the Aztecs had not only discovered how to turn a lake into a city, but how to create a city that could feed itself.

In other words, they had created a city that we would call “sustainable.”

Today, no one would call Mexico City sustainable.  Its citizens struggle to solve problems of pollution, gridlock, and water shortages.  And if that’s not bad enough… because the original lake was drained long ago, the city is sinking.

What did the ancient Aztecs know about sustainability that we have forgotten?
 
 
This phenomena that the old indigenous cultures many times were better in solving environmental problems and utilizing the natural resources in a better and more sustainable way seems common in several places in Latin America. It seems that the development are going backwards and that the descendants of the invaders still have not learned to cope with the American natural landscape without destroying it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mixcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Nov 2012 at 21:54
Tenochtitlan had 500,000 inhabitants, at most a few million if you count the entire Valley of Mexico. Mexico City has 8,600,000 in just the Federal District; 25,000,000 in the entire valley of Mexico. There's no way Aztec agriculture could have supported the present population. The same goes for many 'primitive' cultures; their agricultural systems might be effective for feeding small populations, but if they need to feed millions they will lead to either famine or environmental destruction (or both; Classic Maya collapse is a case in point).

Also don't forget Aztec warfare and human sacrifice served in part to keep population numbers in check.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Nov 2012 at 01:07
Carcharodon continues in his hate campaign against Latin America. It is nonsense to compare the violent Aztec empire (that was hated by the other natives) with the development of the whole region for 600 years since. It is such idiotic the argument like to compare the "ecological" lives of ancient vikings and compare with modern Scandinavian people, or to argue that the Inuits should recover Greenland. Just romantic baloney.

Even from the ecological point of view is nonsense, given the fact that several pre-Colombian and Pacific cultures declined because ecological disasters, like Teotihuacan, the Mayans, the Easter Islanders and the Moche of Peru, to name just a few.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2012 at 13:06
Originally posted by Mixcoatl Mixcoatl wrote:

Tenochtitlan had 500,000 inhabitants, at most a few million if you count the entire Valley of Mexico. Mexico City has 8,600,000 in just the Federal District; 25,000,000 in the entire valley of Mexico. There's no way Aztec agriculture could have supported the present population. The same goes for many 'primitive' cultures; their agricultural systems might be effective for feeding small populations, but if they need to feed millions they will lead to either famine or environmental destruction (or both; Classic Maya collapse is a case in point).
 
That is one of the problems with todays populations: they often increase in such way that it is very hard, or even impossible to uphold a sustainable form of living. But also there are a lot of unsustainable practises going on in agriculture and the extraction of natural resources. 
In Latin America there are a lot of destruction, depletion and overuse of natural resources due to senseless greed and unwillingness to understand the laws of nature.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2012 at 13:12
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Carcharodon continues in his hate campaign against Latin America. It is nonsense to compare the violent Aztec empire (that was hated by the other natives) with the development of the whole region for 600 years since.
 
 
Unfortunately the coming of the Europeans meant much larger losses of life and a lot more suffering for the people in Mexico than the Aztec empire ever had been able to bring about. The same goes for many other parts of America.

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Even from the ecological point of view is nonsense, given the fact that several pre-Colombian and Pacific cultures declined because ecological disasters, like Teotihuacan, the Mayans, the Easter Islanders and the Moche of Peru, to name just a few.
 
Still the destruction of today is so much more serious than it ever where in those ancient cultures. Today the destruction makes an impact on a global scale, in those times the destruction was much more local and of smaller scale.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mixcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2012 at 21:20
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

That is one of the problems with todays populations: they often increase in such way that it is very hard, or even impossible to uphold a sustainable form of living.

I definitely agree with that.

Quote But also there are a lot of unsustainable practises going on in agriculture and the extraction of natural resources. 
In Latin America there are a lot of destruction, depletion and overuse of natural resources due to senseless greed and unwillingness to understand the laws of nature.

Still, while we're with billions of people on the planet it would be wise not to adapt systems of agriculture and resource management that can support no more than a few million people.

Also it's not an exclusively Latin American problem.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2012 at 07:54
Originally posted by Mixcoatl Mixcoatl wrote:

Still, while we're with billions of people on the planet it would be wise not to adapt systems of agriculture and resource management that can support no more than a few million people.
 
Ofcourse we can not use all the ancient strategies in a world with many billions of people, but locally one can adapt some ancient practises that actually work better than the destruction and depletion that is going on today. For example we can learn a lot about sustainable farming, soil improvement, land use and arboculture by the precolumbian native peoples in the Amazon that managed that particular part of the world a lot better than the modern countries of todays Amazonia. In parts of the Andes some of the old methods of farming and management of crops were more effective and actually yielded larger crops in precolumbian times.


Edited by Carcharodon - 27 Nov 2012 at 07:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Nov 2012 at 01:42
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

 
Still the destruction of today is so much more serious than it ever where in those ancient cultures. Today the destruction makes an impact on a global scale, in those times the destruction was much more local and of smaller scale.


How do you measure destruction? Counting birds and biodiversity?

Carcharodon! Get down the cloud where you live!

And Stop thinking Scandinavian is better than Latin America. The whole Scandinavian population would fit in a suburb of Sao Paulo or Mexico city. And in territory it would be lost in the immensity of Latin America (20% of the World's surface). Please, don't try to understand such a large region in yours simple terms.






Edited by pinguin - 29 Nov 2012 at 01:45
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Dec 2012 at 09:13
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

How do you measure destruction? Counting birds and biodiversity?
 
Destruction can be of different kind: destruction of biodiveristy and natural landscapes but also destruction of indigenous cultures and life ways.

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Carcharodon! Get down the cloud where you live!
And Stop thinking Scandinavian is better than Latin America. The whole Scandinavian population would fit in a suburb of Sao Paulo or Mexico city. And in territory it would be lost in the immensity of Latin America (20% of the World's surface). Please, don't try to understand such a large region in yours simple terms.
 
The size has nothing to do with if you waste resources, if you destroy natural environments, if you destroy indigenous cultures. Its just a matter of greed, wrong politics and a heritage of colonial, and even conquistador-like thinking, spiced with a bit catholic superstition. All in all a lethal brew.


Edited by Carcharodon - 04 Dec 2012 at 09:03
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2012 at 08:13
The whole point with this discussion seems not that clear, but why not at least be as accurate as possible
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

  And in territory it would be lost in the immensity of Latin America (20% of the World's surface).


Very far from the real percentage, at leat if not part of US or canada is included.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2012 at 08:56
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

 
And Stop thinking Scandinavian is better than Latin America. The whole Scandinavian population would fit in a suburb of Sao Paulo or Mexico city.
< id="_npwlo" ="applicationpwlo" height="0">
So would Chile's Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2012 at 17:19
Carcharodon, in reference to this:  "What did the ancient Aztecs know about sustainability that we have forgotten?"

Apparently, not much. First of all, the island of Tenochtitlan (not yet with that name) existed before the Aztecs arrived in 1325. They may have added to it, but the technology they used was borrowed from the Toltecs and other peoples who preceded them in the valley of Mexico.

The Aztecs in Mexico were akin to the Mongols in China in that they were a barbarian tribe who adapted much of the cultures they conquered.

As for the 'gee whiz' list of supposed signs of civilization, why not add: Murdered daughters of neighboring peoples rulers, flayed their corpses, and wore the skins of those victims to intimidate their neighbors.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2012 at 02:49
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Originally posted by Mixcoatl Mixcoatl wrote:

Still, while we're with billions of people on the planet it would be wise not to adapt systems of agriculture and resource management that can support no more than a few million people.
 
Ofcourse we can not use all the ancient strategies in a world with many billions of people, but locally one can adapt some ancient practises that actually work better than the destruction and depletion that is going on today. For example we can learn a lot about sustainable farming, soil improvement, land use and arboculture by the precolumbian native peoples in the Amazon that managed that particular part of the world a lot better than the modern countries of todays Amazonia. In parts of the Andes some of the old methods of farming and management of crops were more effective and actually yielded larger crops in precolumbian times.
 
The historical evidence points to the fact that aboriginal peoples in the new world utilized resources to the utmost of their ability to do so, with no concept of environmentalism as we know it today. Why shouldn't they? The modern enviromental movement didn't start until about 1970 or so. Before that, the paradigm was: get the resource, throw away the waste. End of story.
 
There is archeological evidence that early aboriginal hunters in North and South America hunted many large mammals to extinction, in a relatively short time frame, upon entry to the new world. Later, in the early 19th century, aboriginal hunters were again hunting animals to extinction in northern North America, and were only stopped from doing so by Europeans, who had a vested interest in the fur trade, and could see what was coming (rapidly declining profits) with greater clarity than the aboriginal tribes. So much for ancient strategies.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2012 at 09:24
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

  Carcharodon, in reference to this:  "What did the ancient Aztecs know about sustainability that we have forgotten?"

Apparently, not much. First of all, the island of Tenochtitlan (not yet with that name) existed before the Aztecs arrived in 1325. They may have added to it, but the technology they used was borrowed from the Toltecs and other peoples who preceded them in the valley of Mexico.
The Aztecs in Mexico were akin to the Mongols in China in that they were a barbarian tribe who adapted much of the cultures they conquered.
 
It is not unusual in the world that people take advantage of the advances of earlier people. Unfortunately in Latin America the Spanish (and also other Europeans) were not always so good at that. In several places they lay waste functioning, sustainable systems and replaced them with more unsustainable alternatives.
 
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

As for the 'gee whiz' list of supposed signs of civilization, why not add: Murdered daughters of neighboring peoples rulers, flayed their corpses, and wore the skins of those victims to intimidate their neighbors.
 

Well, the one can also make lists of all the vices of the European invaders: letting dogs rip apart men, women and children, massacring people, destroying and exterminating whole peoples, take people as slaves and let them work to death, forcing people into glorified working camps, called “missions” (where they died of hard labor, diseases and violence), burning people alive, taking scalps, heads and even “private” body parts as trophies, putting peoples heads on stakes, raping women and even small girls and so on and so on. The violence of the indigenous Americans among themselves were of a rather small scale compared with the cataclysms that they suffered when they where invaded and colonized by Europeans.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2012 at 09:49
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

The historical evidence points to the fact that aboriginal peoples in the new world utilized resources to the utmost of their ability to do so, with no concept of environmentalism as we know it today. Why shouldn't they? The modern enviromental movement didn't start until about 1970 or so. Before that, the paradigm was: get the resource, throw away the waste. End of story.
 
Actually at least some aboriginal people had a sort of environmental rules that they incorporated in their sprirtual concepts where certain animals where taboo to hunt in certain periods of the year or that certain stretches of land were forbidden to utilize certain periods. One could for example see an example of this kind of environmental rules in Sierra Perija in Colombia where the indigenous people forbade hunting during a part of the year. That enabled the fauna in the area to recover and hindered overhunting. But guess what: when settlers from the modern civilization arrived they ignored the ban and depleted the area of animals like tapir, deer, bear, peccary and others which in the end led to a lack of protein rich food both for the indigenous peoples and for the settlers themselves.
 
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

There is archeological evidence that early aboriginal hunters in North and South America hunted many large mammals to extinction, in a relatively short time frame, upon entry to the new world. Later, in the early 19th century, aboriginal hunters were again hunting animals to extinction in northern North America, and were only stopped from doing so by Europeans, who had a vested interest in the fur trade, and could see what was coming (rapidly declining profits) with greater clarity than the aboriginal tribes. So much for ancient strategies.
 
Initially there can often be a overhunting when people arrive to more or less pristine land. This is many time succeeded by adaption and a more balanced and sustainable use of resources.
 
Later in history some natives overhunt of beaver and similar were due to the influence and introduction of new economic systems among them (introduced by the Europeans).
 
And speaking of overhunting: one can just take buffalos as an example where the natives had hunted them for millennia and they still numbered in millions when the Europeans arrived to North America. But then the Europeans nearly drove them to extinction.
 

Regarding destruction of species in todays Latin America one can just note that the modern societies are destroying species, forests and land in a scale unheard of in history.



Edited by Carcharodon - 05 Dec 2012 at 10:00
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2012 at 11:29
It's totally true that natives overhunted local species of delicious animals. The aboriginals in Australia, the New World and New Zealand hunted all their megafauna to extinction. Thereby depriving their descendants of some really terrific draught animals and species which might have been domesticated as an excellent source of protein.

Then a number of thousands of years later the environmentally minded hippie Europeans arrived to exact revenge on the locals for their cruel disregard for biodiversity. Colonialism says you, Earth Warriors say I Wink


Edited by Constantine XI - 05 Dec 2012 at 11:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2012 at 13:16
At the same time the destruction caused by the modern civilization is conducted in a scale that leave the ancient overhuntings deep in the shadow.
 
Regarding the scope of the overhunting during early Holocene it is not fully investigated yet. Climate change can also have contributed to the extinctions of the megafaunas, at least in Australia and the New world. On smaller islands humans is more likely the culprit of many extinctions.
 
Whether there were many animals that would have been suitable for domestication among the megafaunas we do not really know. In Africa, where a large part of the megafauna, and many other animals, survived up to todays world there where still very few candidates for domestication.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2012 at 18:00
Carch,

Reference those nefarious europeans and how they set out to massacre the locals, here's a more nuanced view:

"The presence of northern interlopers in the American seas was a serious danger to the Spanish commercial system; but potentially even more serious was the simultaneous transformation in the character of the American economy. During the 1590s the boom conditions of the preceding decades came to an end. The principal reason for the change of economic climate is to be found in a demographic catastrophe. While the white and the mixed population of the New World had continued to grow, the Indian population of Mexico, scourged by terrible epidemics in 1545–6 and again in 1576–9, had shrunk from some 11,000,000 at the time of the conquest in 1519 to little more than 2,000,000 by the end of the century; and it is probable that a similar fate overtook the native population of Peru. The labour force on which the settlers depended was therefore dramatically reduced. In the absence of any significant technological advance, a contracting labour force meant a contracting economy. The great building projects were abruptly halted; it became increasingly difficult to find labour for the mines, especially as the negroes imported to replace the Indians proved to be vulnerable to the same diseases as those which had wiped out the native population; and the problem of feeding the cities could only be met by a drastic agrarian reorganization, which entailed the creation of vast latifundios where Indian labour could be more effectively exploited than in the dwindling Indian villages.

The century that followed the great Indian epidemic of 1576–9 has been called ‘New Spain’s century of depression’ – a century of economic contraction, during the course of which the New World closed in on itself."

Taken from: Imperial Spain: 1469-1716, by J. H. Elliott (Penguin, 2002), 2nd ed., Kindle Loc. 4988-5028:

The point being that it was in both the Crown's and Vice-Royalty's interest to have a large, healthy indigenous population. Of course, working in mines if always a hazardous enterprise but the greatest enemy appears to have been diseases to which the Native-American and Africans had only a low level of resistance.  And note that the latifundio was a response to the lowered indigenous population.

Courtesy of the blog Far Outliers at: http://faroutliers.wordpress.com/

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2012 at 23:46
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

The historical evidence points to the fact that aboriginal peoples in the new world utilized resources to the utmost of their ability to do so, with no concept of environmentalism as we know it today. Why shouldn't they? The modern enviromental movement didn't start until about 1970 or so. Before that, the paradigm was: get the resource, throw away the waste. End of story.
 
Actually at least some aboriginal people had a sort of environmental rules that they incorporated in their sprirtual concepts where certain animals where taboo to hunt in certain periods of the year or that certain stretches of land were forbidden to utilize certain periods. One could for example see an example of this kind of environmental rules in Sierra Perija in Colombia where the indigenous people forbade hunting during a part of the year. That enabled the fauna in the area to recover and hindered overhunting. But guess what: when settlers from the modern civilization arrived they ignored the ban and depleted the area of animals like tapir, deer, bear, peccary and others which in the end led to a lack of protein rich food both for the indigenous peoples and for the settlers themselves.
 
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

There is archeological evidence that early aboriginal hunters in North and South America hunted many large mammals to extinction, in a relatively short time frame, upon entry to the new world. Later, in the early 19th century, aboriginal hunters were again hunting animals to extinction in northern North America, and were only stopped from doing so by Europeans, who had a vested interest in the fur trade, and could see what was coming (rapidly declining profits) with greater clarity than the aboriginal tribes. So much for ancient strategies.
 
Initially there can often be a overhunting when people arrive to more or less pristine land. This is many time succeeded by adaption and a more balanced and sustainable use of resources.
 
Later in history some natives overhunt of beaver and similar were due to the influence and introduction of new economic systems among them (introduced by the Europeans).
 
And speaking of overhunting: one can just take buffalos as an example where the natives had hunted them for millennia and they still numbered in millions when the Europeans arrived to North America. But then the Europeans nearly drove them to extinction.
 

Regarding destruction of species in todays Latin America one can just note that the modern societies are destroying species, forests and land in a scale unheard of in history.

 
The point is that historically people have tended to do whatever they could get away with, in the short term anyway, if they saw clear material gains for themselves. The future could come later, and if a people's knowledge of the larger world was limited, consequences were even more of an abstraction, and further from the mind.
 
Today we are doing basically the same thing, such as expanding coal and oil use because of short term financial gain, rather than looking down the road a few decades. But we are doing this on a much larger scale because we can do it- in a physical sense. More primitive peoples also exploited the landscape to the extent that they could, and there is clear evidence they would have gone much further with better technology. Indeed, they did. When European goods were introduced through the fur trade, such as guns and iron tools, aboriginals became able to take more of the resources around them, and they did- with enthusiasm.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2012 at 01:30
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

The whole point with this discussion seems not that clear, but why not at least be as accurate as possible
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

  And in territory it would be lost in the immensity of Latin America (20% of the World's surface).


Very far from the real percentage, at leat if not part of US or canada is included.


Very far? just make the calculations. Yours whole Europe without Russia fits in Brazil.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2012 at 01:31
Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

 
And Stop thinking Scandinavian is better than Latin America. The whole Scandinavian population would fit in a suburb of Sao Paulo or Mexico city.
< id="_npwlo" ="applicationpwlo" height="0">
So would Chile's Tongue


At least in Chile would fit a couple of European countries, like France or Germany, for instance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2012 at 01:34
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

It's totally true that natives overhunted local species of delicious animals. The aboriginals in Australia, the New World and New Zealand hunted all their megafauna to extinction. Thereby depriving their descendants of some really terrific draught animals and species which might have been domesticated as an excellent source of protein.

Then a number of thousands of years later the environmentally minded hippie Europeans arrived to exact revenge on the locals for their cruel disregard for biodiversity. Colonialism says you, Earth Warriors say I Wink


Exactly. And the Americas the number of species driven to extinction by the early asian immigrants was impressive. Lot of fascinating animals got extinguesed, including the american horse, the mamuts, the giant armadillos, the milodon and many others.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2012 at 01:40
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

The point being that it was in both the Crown's and Vice-Royalty's interest to have a large, healthy indigenous population. Of course, working in mines if always a hazardous enterprise but the greatest enemy appears to have been diseases to which the Native-American and Africans had only a low level of resistance.  And note that the latifundio was a response to the lowered indigenous population.



This is not very precise. Although it is true there were large epidemics after the European invasion, the number of victims is just a guessing. The true is there isn't any real census at contact times, and most demographic numbers are usually inflated for political reasons.

Besides that, the Africans had a lot of immunity to contagious diseases, even more than Europeans. The mortality of Africans is almost exclusively due to the criminal way they were treated.

What really upsets me is that all that theory of killing germs only excuses the Europeans, both Catholics and Protestants, Spanish, Portuguese, British and French, or theirs countless crimes, and the genocide they purposefully committed against Native Americans.

I bet only the Nazis and Genghis Khan can compare in cruelty to the behavior of Europeans in the Americas.

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2012 at 07:50
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

The whole point with this discussion seems not that clear, but why not at least be as accurate as possible
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

  And in territory it would be lost in the immensity of Latin America (20% of the World's surface).


Very far from the real percentage, at leat if not part of US or canada is included.


Very far? just make the calculations. Yours whole Europe without Russia fits in Brazil.
Latin Americas territory is very far from 20%, (under 15%, at least if we couint Antarctica) just admit it, instead of discussing other figures that has nothing to do with that, and are completely irrelevant to Your statement..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2012 at 08:06
About 14,5 % would be more correct. Total land area according to one source: About 148 million km2.Latin America area:21,069,501 km2.  


Edited by fantasus - 06 Dec 2012 at 08:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2012 at 08:30
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:


Reference those nefarious europeans and how they set out to massacre the locals, here's a more nuanced view:
----

 

About disease: Yes, diseases ofcourse played a huge part in the destruction of the American indigenous peoples, and it was also diseases that in many cases made it easier for the Europeans to subdue them. That of course do not diminish the cruel massacres, exterminations and enslavement. Perhaps, if one shall talk moral, it made it even worse since the invaders preyed on the weakened state caused by the illnesses (which was spread by the Europeans in the first place).

The worst part of the history is that the destruction of indigenous peoples and the environments they live in has gone on even into modern times in parts of South America.
See Survival Internationals site for examples.
 
About literature on massacres, enslavement and similar, I can give you just a couple of examples of the extensive literature on the subject: for a popular overview with examples from both American continents (and the West Indies) you can read David Stannards American Holocaust. In his books there are also references to a lot of other books and studies on the subject.
 
Another overview is Lars Perssons De dödsdömda indianerna (The Doomed indians), unfortunately it is in Swedish, I do not know if it is translated to english. When regarding modern abuse on indigenous populations he has personally whitnessed some of them and their effects.
 
A book about the impact of the California missions in early 19th century on the indigenous population is The missions of California- a Legacy of Genocide edited by Rupert Costo and Jeannette Henry Costo. A rather gruesome reading about the the so often glorified labor camps which is called missions.
 
For a snapshot of the Spanish invaders cruelty and complete lack of understanding of other lifeways one can read the article  Extermination of the Joyas- Gendercide i Spanish California by Deborah A Miranda.
 
For an overview of a relatively recent chapter of extermination one can read The River that God Forgot, by Richard collier, about the rubberboom and the impact on the indigenous populations in the Amazon during the turn of the 19th and 20:th centuries.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2012 at 08:43

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

The point is that historically people have tended to do whatever they could get away with, in the short term anyway, if they saw clear material gains for themselves. The future could come later, and if a people's knowledge of the larger world was limited, consequences were even more of an abstraction, and further from the mind.

 

Unfortunately because many people in todays world follow such a pattern, the results in our overcrowded world spells a rather bleak future.

 

 

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

Today we are doing basically the same thing, such as expanding coal and oil use because of short term financial gain, rather than looking down the road a few decades. But we are doing this on a much larger scale because we can do it- in a physical sense. More primitive peoples also exploited the landscape to the extent that they could, and there is clear evidence they would have gone much further with better technology. Indeed, they did. When European goods were introduced through the fur trade, such as guns and iron tools, aboriginals became able to take more of the resources around them, and they did- with enthusiasm.

 

Unfortunately people are prone to be led into corruption in different ways, and when the economical and political systems of indigenous peoples are destroyed or disturbed they too can be tempted to jump on the train of destruction, especially since they have been bereft of their traditional industries.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2012 at 13:37
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

 
And Stop thinking Scandinavian is better than Latin America. The whole Scandinavian population would fit in a suburb of Sao Paulo or Mexico city.
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So would Chile's Tongue


At least in Chile would fit a couple of European countries, like France or Germany, for instance.
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Scandinavia (ie Sweden+Norway) has the same area and population as Chile, within a few percent, so I'm not sure what you're hinting at.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2012 at 16:54
Ah, brother Penguin:  reference this: "I bet only the Nazis and Genghis Khan can compare in cruelty to the behavior of Europeans in the Americas."

Well, the Mongols actually used germ warfare by catapulting the bodies of dead bubonic plague victims over city gates, and the Japanese actually had a germ warfare unit in Manchuria (I believe that aerial delivery of infected fleas failed to produce the results desired). I cannot think of anything comparable that the Spanish, Portuguese, French, English, Dutch, or Swedish (New Jersey) did in the Americas save for one incident in Pontiac's War whereby a British major gifted infected blankets to the Indians. So, you would lose that bet.

Carch: Thanks for the reading list. I will take a look.


Edited by lirelou - 06 Dec 2012 at 16:58
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