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)

Is that sarcasm? I honestly can't tell any more. --Gulik3 21:21, 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)

My God. I cannot believe that anyone is so historically ignorant that they even could ask such a question. Let’s put it this way: If invaders raped your women, forced their religion on you, stole your land, and exposed your people to diseases that resulted in population loss of 90%, would you be OK with that? I did not think so. White man’s burden? Who asked for your help? We were just fine until you jackasses showed up.--Davyjones 14:30, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

I hate to ruin your liberal-taught preconceived ideas of how America was colonized, but you have been grossly misinformed. There was not nearly as much raping going on as is claimed by anti-European groups. And for the most part, at least in North America, land was not stolen. It was bought by the British/US governments from tribal leaders, but some of the tribe members refused to leave and had to be evicted or killed. And don't pretend like native tribes were having one big peacefest prior to the arrival of Europeans. The fact is that tribes had been at war with each other for centuries, committing atrocities that rivaled or even surpassed those of the colonials. Even when uniting against the so-called "invaders" would have been in their best interests, they didn't do so.
If it wasn't for European colonization, there would still be wars between tribes going on today. You're welcome.--Conservateur 14:42, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

DO you have any sources to back that up?--Davyjones 14:54, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

Good to know that that rape and murder is something to be thankful for. So remember, the next time someone breaks into your home, kills you, rapes your wife, and carries your children off and sells them into slavery, you are supposed to thank them! No wonder people think conservatives are stupid and racist! They never miss a chance to prove they are!--Davyjones 15:04, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

Conservateur, moral equivocation doesn't make what colonists did either helpful, good, or justified in any way. Just because some of the tribes were at war with each other, or that they commited atrocities that "rivaled or even surpassed" those of the colonists, doesn't make it alright that we devastated them with disease, took any of their lands whatsoever, and commited any acts of violence for the goal of westward conquest. The fact is, colonists were the result of their decimated population, and the loss of their tribal lands, whether through sale or force, and that has to be recognized. And even if it was our intervention that stopped their warring (though clearly, that was not the goal when we set out to expand "our" country), it cost them more than any of their tribal conflics ever did. The natives got the short end of the bargain.--Stereophile 20:45, 21 May 2007 (EDT)