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Were Native Americans (Indians) Really Savages? (Use 1491 Article From The Atlantic Monthly)

682 words - 3 pages

The article, 1491, by Charles C. Mann, shows us how North America actually was, in the years before Columbus arrived. From the correspondent of Atlantic Monthly and Business 2.0, Mann presents us with evidence to combat the common misconception that all Indians were savages, and they had no technological advancements whatsoever. This article is riddled with evidence, to support, contrary to popular opinion, during the time before Columbus' arrival, the Americas were a pleasant and beautiful place to live in. Even though this article present examples, where the Indians, i.e. burned down a whole forest for hunting grounds, one can realize that they did this, so there would be more abundant game.First of all, by the analysis of anthropogenic origin studies, scientists now believe that the Amazon Forest might be almost 100% man-made by the Indians, living before Columbus' time. About 4,000 years ago, the inhabitants of ...view middle of the document...

He finds the evidence so strong in the South American region, that he said, "built environment...applies to most, if not all, Neotropical landscapes." In other words, he is suggesting, that all of or most of the South American lavish landscapes were all Indian made. This seems very hard to believe, for most people since they are under the impression that the Native Americans were not even considered a civilization, but that is the arising opinion of most anthropologists.In addition, the Indians gave something better than any other civilization, to mankind. It may not seem like it, but most of the modern staples of diet came from them, which is very clear in some European countries, because you can see that they are dependant on it. These crops included maize (aka corn), peanuts, tomatoes, and potatoes. The main one, corn, is probably one of there most famous contributions to mankind. This is because they developed different varieties of corn, for different weather conditions, so they are able to grow it under very hot or cold conditions. This has been a triumph in global implications, as seen in many poor countries, where they are totally dependant on corn as the main staple of their diet. Alfred Crosby, a historian at the University of Texas, simply stated this, "Indian crops dramatically reduced hunger." Crosby says dramatically, but he really means by an enormous percentage, and it is also said that this most likely lead to the Old World population boom. In the end, the Indian advent of corn, led to a great percent decrease of world hunger so drastically, that it may very well be the greatest single contribution to mankind.In conclusion, the Indians were actually a very sophisticated and highly populated society. They were not "savages" as called by the first explorers, but they were more or less like a regular civilized group of people. Their major contributions to the Amazon rainforest, and staple crops, are now being recognized by historians and anthropologists around the world. It will only take time, for people to recognize that before we came along, the Americas, was actually a salubrious place to live in, full of life and landscapes, that are only imaginable today.

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