Sunday, July 06, 2014

Why do I read history?

For much the same reason someone climbs a mountain; because it is there and because I can.

It is nice to have some knowledge to evaluate the assertions of those who go by myths about the past.

Some people think of the American Indians encountered by the white settlers of America as somehow culturally deficient.

  • Cahokia, near St. Louis, was one of the largest cities in the world in the 1200s.
  • Serpent Mound and Chaco Canyon were built using very elaborate knowledge of astronomy hundreds of years before Columbus.
  • The Iroquois Confederation had a sophisticated political organization, which was referred to by the founding fathers in creating the republic.
  • The introduction of diseases from Eurasia to the new world decimated Indian populations, and the white settlers saw the culture patched together by the survivors.
  • Those survivors were living in an environment that was undergoing radical change as a result of the white settlements.
Cahokia Mound Complex

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