These chapters of Genocide A World History focuses on settlers to the Americas, and the disturbance they caused as they affected the natives. This disturbance mainly related to the mass murder the settlers committed from them transmitting various diseases, starving and dehydrating them form stealing their land, or simply murdering them.
While reading this chapter what surprised me the most was the consistent friendliness that most natives gave the settlers, and the consistent violence that the settlers returned. The dramatic contrast between the behavior makes me question differences between cultures and their ideals. Although, despite learning many details about these genocides this information was not new for me, I have reviewed and studied this is many past history courses.
The fact that disturbed me, and the fact that was new to me, was the ideal that the settlers could view the natives as below the human race. The settlers would kill them as if they were slaughtering herds of sheep.
Knowing this mindset that the settlers had made it easier for me to comprehend their justification in the slaughters, but confused me as well. I believe that the difference between understanding other cultures has dramatically changed throughout the years, even a decade changes people’s viewpoints of race and cultures. Growing up in modern times with such an equal view on all cultures and race makes in hard to understand humans in the past having the mindset to view a culture as below humans. Because of this it can make it very difficult to read about these massacres, but I just hope that there won’t be any more genocides, or at least a significant decrease in them. I will continue to have this mindset despite certain current events, and hope that empathy and understanding are becoming staples of the human race’s personalities.
Why do we still celebrate Columbus Day despite its inhumane history?
How are the Spanish conquests viewed in modern Spanish society?
Did settler genocides weaken or strengthen societies at large, in the past or present?