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Indigenous peoples of North, Central and South America - differences why?

 
Anonymous Coward
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10/24/2010 09:12 AM
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Indigenous peoples of North, Central and South America - differences why?
How come the indigenous peoples of Central and South America comprise a large portion of the population while in North America, they do not?

The intent is not to bash the U.S. for any historical impacts on the indigenous people of the U.S. but to understand why the indigenous peoples of the Central and South America didn't dramatically decrease in population but increase? For example, native Mexicans are basically Indians but I would venture to guess they comprise the majority of the Mexican population while the Native American Indians in the U.S. comprise a very small portion.

What is the theory behind this? I know that European countries like Spain and Portugal were as barbaric as any other invading countries upon other lands but for some reason their languages were adopted in Latin America but the population wasn't affected to the same degree - why?

Any links on the subject would be appreciated.
Anonymous Coward
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10/24/2010 09:16 AM
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Re: Indigenous peoples of North, Central and South America - differences why?
dunno. interesting question.
m_astera

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10/24/2010 09:22 AM
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Re: Indigenous peoples of North, Central and South America - differences why?
The Spanish and Portuguese invaded, conquered, and enslaved the natives. The Anglos exterminated them.

Might be a cultural difference, with the Spanish and Portuguese being closer to the old Roman idea of conquering and subjugating people then making them part of the empire.

Might also be because the Latin cultures aren't as efficient and motivated.

And it could be because Latin America mostly experienced immigration from the Iberian peninsula while the US had massive immigration from all of northern Europe.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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10/24/2010 10:25 AM
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Re: Indigenous peoples of North, Central and South America - differences why?
The Spanish and Portuguese invaded, conquered, and enslaved the natives. The Anglos exterminated them.

Might be a cultural difference, with the Spanish and Portuguese being closer to the old Roman idea of conquering and subjugating people then making them part of the empire.

Might also be because the Latin cultures aren't as efficient and motivated.

And it could be because Latin America mostly experienced immigration from the Iberian peninsula while the US had massive immigration from all of northern Europe.
 Quoting: m_astera


Interesting your point about immigration was limited from a smaller area of Europe to the Latin American regions. As for the conquering and subjugating people, that appears to be true. However, I understand that in parts of South America, they also brought over many African slaves to do the labor.

Your comment about Anglos exterminating, it is true in one sense but not historically, is it? I mean the various Anglo cultures did not always take such a tack whether implicitly or explicitly. Look to India and China both countries were where Great Britain reigned and there was no mass decline in indigenous populations. Yes, the peoples were used for labor but why the change in how things played out in North America? Were the Native American peoples more adversarial (in that they wouldn't take subjugation as easily) than the indigenous peoples of the Central/South America? I always assumed the Native Americans of North America were very closely linked (culturally/behaviorally) with the indigenous people of Central and South America but perhaps not.
m_astera

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10/24/2010 01:03 PM
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Re: Indigenous peoples of North, Central and South America - differences why?
It seems to be true that the Indians of what is now the US and Canada did not make good slaves. The conquistadors seem to have had much better luck with this in Mexico and California, perhaps because of the religious (Roman Catholic/Jesuit) aspects of their "mission". The colonists of the USA area were protestants for the most part, of may different sects. I know of no major or unified effort to "convert the heathen" originating with the N American colonists.

I don't think there was much contact between the natives of N and S America. The Darien Peninsula (Panama and N Colombia) was a formidable swamp that prevented land travel and there isn't much evidence of long-distance sea travel.

Another interesting factor: In the early 1500s Hernando de Soto was shipwrecked somewhere in the vicinity of present-day Galveston TX and spent a couple of years making his way overland back to the Spanish outpost in Florida. The cities and civilizations he described were no longer in existence 100 years later when the first French explorers came from the North, nor when the American explorers and settlers came over the Appalachians and Adirondacks. The extensive earth works and mounds built by these peoples still existed, but the native population was tiny and mostly living a hunter-gatherer existence. There is speculation that De Soto and his crew brought European diseases to the Natives in the 1500s and killed off such a large percentage of the population that the civilization collapsed. Excavations along the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys have found much evidence of trade as far as central Mexico, and similar art motifs.

The connection between the Chaco/Anasazi peoples. the Navajo and Hopi, and the Aztec migrations is also interesting.

I don't know of any other evidence of the northern European peoples practicing genocide other than in N America. It does seem inconsistent with their traditional mores as recorded in the myths and sagas (and Oera Linda book and Bock saga). Blame it on the fanatical Christianity arising from Luther and Calvin, perhaps.

India and China are a different case because they were conquered more or less but not subject to large amounts of immigration. If millions of northern European farmers had descended on India or China looking for a place to farm the story would have been quite different.
Anonymous Coward
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10/24/2010 01:38 PM
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Re: Indigenous peoples of North, Central and South America - differences why?
i would think the population densities were different. on the northern great plains the density was not very high. i know tptb moved tribes around all over the place. some that live near edmonton were actually from the Hudsons Bay. most of them don't even realize that. the big moves seem to have been early 1900's.
m_astera

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10/24/2010 07:19 PM
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Re: Indigenous peoples of North, Central and South America - differences why?
No, the density was never high on the central prairies. Until the Indian people got horses, they had little mobility (on foot only with maybe a dog pulling a travois) and little ability to hunt the buffalo. Apparently the Lakota people lived in the forests of the eastern US before the whites came. They were driven west century by century until they finally found their way to the great plains, perhaps as late as the mid-1700s. So that horse and tipi culture of the Lakotas was not one that existed very long.
Jouslain

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10/24/2010 07:22 PM
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Re: Indigenous peoples of North, Central and South America - differences why?
Disease killed most of the indigenous people in the North. This is because when the Europeans came over, they brought with them illnesses that the indigenous peoples had no immunity against and they died en mass.
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m_astera

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10/25/2010 02:20 AM
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Re: Indigenous peoples of North, Central and South America - differences why?
Disease killed most of the indigenous people in the North. This is because when the Europeans came over, they brought with them illnesses that the indigenous peoples had no immunity against and they died en mass.
 Quoting: Jouslain


Probably much the same happened in parts of South America. Orellano was the first Spaniard to travel the length of the Amazon valley in the early 1500s. He reported large towns and extensive population. When the next European explorers came through the Amazon a century of so later it was only jungle with a few scattered hunter-gatherer tribes.

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