One of the primary threads here at RJsCorner is my InSearchOfAmerica posts. That is where I travel around this great country to find stories and take pictures. The majority of this search has been about our early days as a nation. I recently realized that I am omitting a large part of this search for America’s roots. It actually occurred centuries before the European conquest of America. If I want to discover the real America I have to begin there.
When we read our history books we can easily come to the conclusion that when Christopher Columbus came to America’s shore it was a desolate place just waiting to be conquered. Since history is written by the victors that view was what was taught. But in reality, there were already millions of people calling this land home. Here are some words to realize that history:
Most scholars writing at the end of the 19th century estimated that the pre-Columbian population was as low as 10 million; by the end of the 20th century most scholars gravitated to a middle estimate of around 50 million, with some historians arguing for an estimate of 100 million or more
History books give us a several different view on this fact. The prominent recorded view was that native-Americans were not really human because they did not pray to the right god. Others basically said the “indigenous” people, were not real people but savages. We are now finally beginning to understand the utter fallacy of those words.
Getting back to the topic at hand, we know that there were, as shown in the picture above, thriving population centers throughout what we now call America. Many had very sophisticated forms of government and rules for society. And yes, many had deities quite similar to the one Europeans brought with them. What they didn’t have were the weapons to withstand the onslaught that followed.
Since I am about one-eighth Shawnee I am embarrassed that it took until now to recognize these facts. In reality, America was not discovered in the 15th century but instead invaded.
I need to do some future posts about this. Shame on me for not doing them sooner.