Debate:Was the European colonization of the Americas good for the native people?

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The European colonists brought Christianity to the Americas and ended the Central American practice of human sacrifice. --Ed Poor 05:22, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

I wonder how many people were killed to achieve this (latter) laudable aim? BrianCo 05:32, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

They sensibly replaced it with the human sacrifice to the concept of justice (capital punishment). The improvement here is that efforts are often made to avoid sacrificing innocent individuals. Thus the blood-lust of the population could be nurtured without arbitary victimisation of innocents. Auld Nick 05:28, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

North American Indians did not practice human sacrifice. Poblano 10:45, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

Yes, it was definitely good for the natives. Look at how they lived before Europeans came to America. They lived in tepees and were practically naked all the time. Wouldn't you want help if you were in that situation? Thanks to our colonial ancestors, native people now have a much higher quality of life due to casinos, yet are still able to maintain some of their old ways on their reservations. It is the duty of civilized peoples to raise their inferiors up from savagery. Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden" comes to mind:

Take up the White Man’s burden—
Send forth the best ye breed—
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild—
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.

--Conservateur 14:12, 21 May 2007 (EDT)


Am I allowed to argue on both sides? I don't think this is a black and white issue.

If the reports of "smallpox blankets" and Caribbean slavery are true, then Columbus took advantage of several thousand native Americans. Also, I've heard that the native population was reduced 90% by European colonists - presumably through conquest and starvation. --Ed Poor 05:37, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

I'm not sure what the point of this debate is, the question seems bit of a Trojan Horse, but I would imagine that those who survived would say no. Bringing disease, alcohol and superior firepower to wipe many of them out, then settling their land out can hardly be a good thing from their point of view. Hopefully a few of them will respond here. Of course from the colonists' point of view everything has turned out pretty good. Also European colonization of the Americas covers a very wide range of incomers and indigenous peoples so there can be no simple answer. BrianCo 05:45, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

No. Just look at the Trail of Tears and the Wounded Knee Massacre. I don't think after the North American Indians (who did NOT practice human sacrifice) who surivived mass slaughter, deportation, the rape of their women, the capture of their land, the deliberate and inadvertant spread of disease were thinking: and they brought us Christianity! What benevolent people! Poblano 10:45, 21 May 2007 (EDT)