Skip to comments.6 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America
Posted on 10/07/2013 3:07:35 PM PDT by EveningStar
When it comes to the birth of America, most of us are working from a stew of elementary school history lessons, Westerns and vague Thanksgiving mythology. And while it's not surprising those sources might biff a couple details, what's shocking is how much less interesting the version we learned was. It turns out our teachers, Hollywood and whoever we got our Thanksgiving mythology from (Big Turkey?) all made America's origin story far more boring than it actually was for some very disturbing reasons. For instance ...
(Excerpt) Read more at cracked.com ...
I'm interested in seeing what you history buffs think of this article.
Originally posted here last October.
I think points number 6 and points number 4 are pretty well established as fact at this point. I imagine the other ones are up for debate. To be sure, i don’t think any of the other 4 points in this case are completely, 100 % false.
Ahh, Cracked. They’re occasionally amusing, but it’s sometimes difficult to sift through the hard-left opinion masquerading as comedy. That’s when they’re not taking potshots at this place, such as “death threats to Obama are commonplace on Free Republic”.
I do not know this site and really don’t wish to risk getting cookies and virus.
#6 is disputed and there are a wide, very wide, range of estimates for the population of indigenous natives in the Americas.
#5 is partly true. To pretend that American Indians are a single class of people is like saying I’m African or European. They’re diverse and dynamic.
#4 there is a lot of speculation that this is true.
I stopped there because I don’t like Cracked.
SC is the resident professor of history.
it is a satire site
don’t believe everything you read on a satire site
I didn’t go there anyway. No wonder it did not seem right.
This article does not appear to be satire, despite the attempts at humor.
I tend to quibble with the estimated population of North America. The fact that there might be campfires all along the coast does not necessarily lend to the idea that the inner part of the continent is as densely populated. Even if they weren’t quite as hunter-gatherer as once thought, they still weren’t as well developed and agriculturally oriented as would be required for higher density populations.
A little history
Lots of conjecture
Mountains of Bullshit
From the article
“...It’s the same reason every extraordinarily lucky CEO of the past 100 years has written a book about leadership. It’s always a better idea to credit hard work and intelligence than to acknowledge that you just got luckier than any group of people has ever gotten in the history of the world.”
That must’ve been one helluva plague to not only have wiped out 90% of North America’s indigenous peoples (read those who got here first) it also wiped out the physical evidence of the greatness of their society.
Fascinating and funny.
The site claims there were once 20 to 100 million Native Americans before some unexplained "plague". I've never seen any estimate higher than 20 million. Lots of sweeping claims are made with little support for the claims.
A lot of the blather is building to the assertion that Europeans only defeated a 90% decimated population, and could never have defeated the pre-plague population.
Whatever, once Europeans began settling in the New World, they settled a few hundred here and there and were still surrounded by thousands of natives. The Powhatans were still all around Jamestown in substantial numbers, many times the population of the small Jamestown settlement.
Those writing on that site have an agenda, and it's mostly to denigrate and minimize any accomplishments of Europeans.
It was disease what ultimately killed most Indians off. Dropped them right and left.
On that site, they write of some plague that decimated the native population before the Europeans arrived. I've read of how the original Spanish explorers spread diseases (primarily smallpox) among the natives that killed many in some areas. But that's not what that site is referring to, and certainly not much later exposure to European diseases after there were many Europeans in the New World.
Like most of the assertions made on the site, the "plague" is not well explained and certainly not documented.
I can't vet the Cracked article as a whole, but please see the link in post 16.
The six factoids are hardly revelations. The first five are common knowledge to anyone that enjoys reading, yet all are generally broad presumptions with various controversial interpretations in degree and value.
The last, that the Iroquois Confederacy influenced our US Constitution is liberal revisionism with little documented proof.
Iroquois historian Elizabeth Tooker has pointed to several differences between the two forms of government, notably that all decisions were made by a consensus of male chiefs who gained their position through a combination of blood descent and selection by female relatives, that representation on the basis of the number of clans in the group rather than the size or population of the clans, that the topics discussed were decided by a single tribe. Tooker concluded there is little resemblance between the two documents or reason to believe the Iroquois had a meaningful influence on the American Constitution, and that it is unclear how much impact Canasatego's statement at Lancaster actually had on the representatives of the colonies. Stanford University historian Jack N. Rakove argued against Iroquoian influence, pointing to lack of evidence in U.S. constitutional debate records, and examples of European antecedents for democratic institutions.A couple of Founding Fathers at one point or another expressing admiration for an aspect of native culture does not equate to influencing our Constitutional Convention to draft our founding document.
Journalist Charles C. Mann has noted other differences between The Great Law of Peace and the original U.S. Constitution, including the original Constitution's denial of suffrage to women, and rule of majority as opposed to consensus.
Franklin passed around copies of the "Treaty of Lancaster" because he printed it and sold it for a profit.
We gave the "Indians" smallpox and they gave us syphilis.
The claim of 100 million is if you count all of the Americas, both North and South, and even that’s debatable. Consensus nowadays seems to be 50 to 55 million throughout both the North and South American landmasses.
The 100 million figure is considered sort of out there or ‘fringe’.
I'm aware of that and made that clear in my post #19. My comment addresses the Cracked article's puzzling use of the general term "plague" to describe some decimation of the native population at some poorly explained time before they battled the Europeans.
The word "plague" has a very specific meaning in history and it's sloppy and inaccurate for the Cracked article to use that term with no specifics as to how it relates, or not, to the bubonic plague that killed millions from Asia through Europe.
If they're claiming the bubonic plague decimated the native American populations, they should explain when and how it got here. If they're talking about smallpox and other diseases spread by Europeans, they shouldn't be using the term "plague".
It's just sloppy, garbage writing and probably garbage, self-serving history for the most part.
More than once, I have been greeted with hoots of derision for asking the simple question—Where are the physical, skeletal remains of these millions of “Native Americans” that were “wiped out” by the “White man’s diseases?”
If there was a settlement in East St. Louis the size of 1250 London, the bodies would have been stacked like cord wood.
I remember reading that last time around; with all the broad generalizations and wild speculations, I don’t think it’s intended for an audience who knows anything about history at all.
The article is a perfect example of “a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing”. Almost every bullet point contains a kernal of truth that the author then blows way out of proportion.
For example the article states that Colonial soldiers dressed as indians during the revolutionary war. The inference being that this was a widespread practice. The fact is that while Washington himself did order Daniel Morgan to have select members of his newly formed Ranger Corps dress and act as “savages” in May 1777, this was a psychological warfare tactic used on a very small scale. Continental troops fought European style for most of the war and every effort was made to dress them in proper military clothing of the period.
I also would like to ask the author a question regarding the supposed widespread defection of colonists to the indians...why then did the indians constantly and commonly take hostages (usually women and children but sometimes adult males) during their raids against the Colonial settlements well into the late 18th century ? And why if Europeans were flocking en masse to join the indians, was their documented treatment of many of these hostages so brutal and demeaning ?
The scourge of small pox wiped out 1/3 of Europe. But, 2/3 lived on. Asians had small pox too but perhaps the migrated Siberian hunter groups, A.K.A. American Indians, had lost their immunity though so many generations AWAY from Asia. Who knows. Obviously they didn't all die. They fill their reservations...Read that as free land, free rent, compliments of the U.S. working population.
What is the excuse NOW for the failures of Indians--that is, alcoholism, teen suicide, unemployment, fatherless children due to out-of-wedlock births, leaving school before graduation, refusal to leave the reservation, wife-beating, etc.?
Not pretty. It shows the real meaning of ENABLING.
“.....NOW for the failures of Indians—that is, alcoholism, teen suicide, unemployment, fatherless children due to out-of-wedlock births, leaving school before graduation, refusal to leave the reservation, wife-beating, etc.?....”
That would pretty much apply to folks in most major cities today as well....maybe replace alcoholism with drug use.
Hmmm, and here I believed all the media and Indian rhetoric about how severe and unique were THEIR problems. Boy, was I fooled.
Yes, you were fooled. :)
I learned once WHY American Indians had such problems with alcohol. I was told that they were originally Siberian hunter groups come over from Asia.
Asia never had the fermented drinks that Europe and Africa had and thus Asians never acquired an ability to drink that the others had.
I’d think the constant fighting and wars between tribes might have contributed.
Notice how these lefties never want to discuss the way Europe, Africa, or Asia were “founded” and formed?
With their purists instincts the entire planet should surrender to the Mongolians again.