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How Have Different Historians Interpreted The Question Of Whether The Monetary Gain By Europe Was Worth The Death And Destruction Of The American Indians During The Colonization And Genocide Of North America?

2449 words - 10 pages

Matt Penn 9.1How have different historians interpreted the question of whether the monetary gain by Europe was worth the death and destruction of the American Indians during the colonization and genocide of North America?As suggested by the question above, this essay considers the genocide of North America during the colonization by the Europeans. Firstly however, it is important to gain a basic understanding of the historical context that the above question arises from.When in 1492 Christopher Columbus became one of the first Europeans to set foot on American soil while searching for a way to India, he inadvertently opened up a whole new world of wealth and land for the European countries. Word spread very quickly, most of it exaggerated, and soon all the countries that had any sort of money were thinking about sending ships to the "New World". At this point, no one had thought about the fact that there could be other people there and honestly expected to just walk in unopposed by anyone except their neighbours in Europe. [0: There is much debate about who was actually the first European to set foot on American soil: some historians argue it was Columbus, some the Vikings and still others would argue that Stone Age humans who got there first (although as these Stone Age humans became the "Native" Americans, they are normally discounted from the argument).][1: This is very surprising as Columbus records seeing people whom he names Indian - some historians against the colonization would see this as the earliest sign of racism against the Americans. ]However, when they got there, they discovered that they were not alone. This meant that they had to make a choice of whether they would leave the New World with all its wonders and gold to its rightful owners (the Native Americans) or whether they should destroy them and take control of America - the question which was posed at the start of the essay and will now be considered in detail. However, it is vital for the reader to understand that the potential loss of European lives did not figure decisions very much, if at all, due to the fact that the Europeans were much more advanced than the Native Americans.[2: Many of these wonders were in fact myths and legends, such as the fountain of life, which had been made up to attract people to the "New World".]The monetary gain made by the colonists was massive - the Americas were literally a goldmine. The slaves and other natural resources that were taken form the Americans massively increased the wealth of the colonists and their countries. This wealth had many repercussions in the "grand scheme of things" - it arguably kick-started the Renaissance - without which the world would be a very, very different place and I think it is something that should be taken into account by everyone who decides what the answer is to the question above and by you reading this essay.The first answer to the question was posed by the people at the time, most notably the kings...

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