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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Do you think the Native American would do the 1st Thanksgiving different had they known what was to come afterward?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (21539 points ) November 18th, 2010

If the Wampanoag Indians would have allowed the remaining surviving pilgrims to perish how would history been different? If they were farsighted enough and wiped out the pilgrims they may have not been able to prevent their land from being stolen but it may have made it harder? If they wiped out the pilgrims when word finally got back to Europe maybe they would have had pause before going to the Americas again any time soon? Do you think many Native Americans look back at what Squanto did as somewhat the same as Eve dooming mankind in the Garden of Eden; that his act set in motion the decimation of their way of life?

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16 Answers

mammal's avatar

i think allowing the Pilgrims to Perish would only have deferred the inevitable.

Technically their land wasn’t stolen because they didn’t have the concept of private land tenure. In fact if they had, maybe things would have been different, but then their whole way of life would have been different. The reality is the Pilgrims were just another tribe jostling for position. But the Indians were the victims of a holocaust and genocidal behaviour, that still isn’t duly acknowledged as a crime against humanity. Has the American government apologised as yet? At least the Australian government apologised to the Aborigines. For wrongs committed against them.

ratboy's avatar

The traditional Thanksgiving meal would be white devil on a stick.

Zyx's avatar

Well an affermative answer requires and explanation here but… No

squirbel's avatar

@mammal So let me get this straight; just because the Indians did not have a construct in their society that matched the white man’s construct, they did not actually own their land? And the white man did not steal, in the real sense of the word?

How about we word it like this: your people invaded a peacefully progressing civilization. You settled on “their” lands and called it your own. You killed them because they objected to your invasion, and attacked you. You push their descendants onto small pockets of land, and still have refused to apologize.

meiosis's avatar

^^^
@squirbel Who are the “your people”?

squirbel's avatar

I made it fairly clear in my writing.

J0E's avatar

I think you’ll find that people generally won’t help someone if they know later on they will be killed by them.

Zyx's avatar

@squirbel Did you read all of @mammal ‘s post though?
He had already said most of what you said.

squirbel's avatar

No, he did not say what I said. What I said was very pointed, and aimed at his words of how they technically didn’t steal the land [they did]. That’s what my statement was centered around.

Did YOU really read what I wrote? I didn’t think so.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Not having a conception of private/individual land ownership isn’t the same as not having a conception of land ownership. Land in a traditional indigenous society IS (see what I did there with present tense?) generally owned by the group.

Fun fact: Massosoit originally wanted to simply put a curse on the settlers to kill them.

breedmitch's avatar

differently

mammal's avatar

@squirbel look, it is pointless endlessly arguing that Europeans stole their land, that is an outdated attitude, my focus is on the greater crime, human rights abuses, enforced sterilisation, internment, deliberate starvation, cultural sabotage with intent to eradicate, endless misrepresentation and propaganda, racism, discrimination, government approved kidnap of children, sporadic massacres, and, or political acts that result in mass loss of life.

What was stolen was their identity

incendiary_dan's avatar

@mammal Bullsh*t. Land has been one of the central components of all of those travesties the whole time. Land is central to indigenous identity, particularly where people are still able to keep up traditional subsistence. Access to and rightful ownership of land is the core of every indigenous rights and sovereignty movement I’ve ever heard of. This is just as true in North America as it is in Botswana, the Philippines, India, or Peru, or any countless other places.

Don’t pretend like it’s some sort of past issue. Until the land is given back (or TAKEN back), it is a present issue.

If that makes you uncomfortable because you fear getting evicted/deported, examine that and deal with it.

And don’t do that dismissive thing where your best argument is to call someone else’s ‘outdated’. Aside from being rude, it’s just poor arguing, and reveals the lack of substance of your own argument.

mammal's avatar

@incendiary_dan would you rather prove a hypothetical case of theft or crimes against humanity? now get realistic.

Linda_Owl's avatar

It would not be an issue if the settlers had any sense of honor about them, if they had recognized the fact that the people who were already living on the land definitely had some claim to ownership – maybe they could have worked out some sort of compromise. But all the settlers saw was the land, & the lifestyle of the darker-skinned residents (which contained no grand palaces or churches), so to the settlers these people had no value – so they just took what they wanted & did their best to kill off the people who were already living in this “new” land.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Actually, since the native inhabitants of what is now New England had been more or less decimated by smallpox immediately prior to the Pilgrims’ landing in 1620, it was almost a toss-up to see who needed more help from ‘the other side’ at the first Thanksgiving. The problem for the natives was that the Pilgrims were not the first Europeans they had come in contact with. (Obviously, since Squanto could speak English, and that wasn’t magic.)

The thinking is that European fishermen (primarily) and some Caribbean sailors who had been blown off their normal courses had briefly visited the eastern shores of North America in the past, transmitting the virus (endemic to Europe by that time) to a new and previously unexposed population, and nearly wiping it out before the Pilgrims even landed. That was one of the reasons why the Pilgrims landed on what appeared to be ‘empty’ shores, even though there were obvious signs of settlement, food cultivation and storage—and no people.

In any case, @mammal had a partly right answer: a European colonial drive was inevitable at that point, regardless of the success or failure of the Pilgrim settlement in Massachusetts in 1620–21.

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