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World without European conquest.

  1. Sep 5, 2004 #1
    How would world look if there were no Europeans,and lets say North American Indians were dominat race in the world?would they develop wheel,steel,sciences and go in the same direction as whites did?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 5, 2004 #2
    The native americans wouldn't be dominant, as they wouldn't feel compelled to explore and chart the entire world as the Europeans did. Their lifestyle is more about harmony with nature, and so no matter how many years pass without foreigners, their land wouldn't be covered with roads and factories. Different cultures have different goals (besides survival).

    I believe that the Latin American cultures, like the Aztec, Inca, and Maya (who developed the only true writing system native to the Americas) would have continued their innovation and developement, especially in their study of the heavens, were they not erradicated by their Spanish catholic conquerers. Technologically, they probably would not develop as quickly as the Europeans, as they did not have as large of an empire to provide the recources and ideas. Don't feel bad for the Aztecs, they were ruthless conquerers themselves.

    Asia would probably look the same, except it would incorporate the European land as well. In fact, the entire world would most likely belong to the Japanese empire.
  4. Sep 5, 2004 #3
    Ah, entire native American tribes were wiped out by other native American tribes. They had the same mass migrations, wars, murder, rape, et cetera.
  5. Sep 5, 2004 #4
    Too bad they treated nature like crap.
  6. Sep 6, 2004 #5


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    This is one of those questions for which there is no answer. Would the world be the same? No. Would it be just as good? Maybe. That's about all we can really answer is that it would be different, but how it would be different, there's just no way to guess what direction a different group of people would have taken had another population never existed.
  7. Sep 6, 2004 #6
    Maybe,but natives American did not have monotheistic religion in which name Europeans killed millions back home and in M.East during crusades.
  8. Sep 6, 2004 #7
    How so? ? ?
  9. Sep 6, 2004 #8
    You might be reflecting on today's native population which had absorbed European way of live.But before conquest natives I believe lived in relative harmony with environment.All people make mistakes, but white man way of live is one big mistake.
  10. Sep 6, 2004 #9
    I read in a Northwest United States History textbook that the image of Native Americans preserving, sustaining and being gentle with nature was false.

    NW Natives would lit forests on fire, burning down everything to make hunting easier. Their goal was so their targets would not have a place to hide and it would be easier for their hunting game.

    Obviously, I can't link you to a textbook, but after searching around I did find this article. It's not as detailed as what was in my book, but it almost says the same thing.
  11. Sep 6, 2004 #10
    There is a lot of evidence that they were responsible for the extinction of the North American mega-fauna such as mammoths due to over hunting.

    I also vaguely remember reading somewhere that a lot of the prairie in the center of the U.S. was as a result of Native American burning of forests to create more habitat for the buffalo.
  12. Sep 6, 2004 #11
    What does the reason behind native American mass migrations and wars matter? They still did it. Every place on Earth has seen the same sort of thing at one time or another.

    And just so you know, Europe had all that polytheism and nature worship stuff as well, before the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire squished it out of existence.
  13. Sep 11, 2004 #12
    I would like to add, that N.A.Indians did not use any money or gold in transactions (free trade)This alone would make future society more compassionate and not profit oriented like we have right now.
  14. Sep 15, 2004 #13
    Huh? Aren't goods the same thing as profit? The only reason money has value is because you can purchase things with it. It's just easier to slap a tag that says $5 on it than sit around and haggle.
  15. Sep 15, 2004 #14


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    Ask any baseball card trading kid if there is profit potential in the barter system. Its just less efficient than using money. Sorry, but money is a requisite for developing a modern economy.
  16. Sep 15, 2004 #15


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    While the various fields studying the underlying 'facts' do take a scientific approach, workers in those fields would be the first to admit that they are hugely ignorant, and will likely always remain so. Too, Moonbear is right (as she so often is); run the tape again and the songs will be different, no one can say how.

    However, there do appear to be some common themes:
    - the influences etc that underlie the development of writing, complex societies, money-based economies, etc are much the same everywhere in the world
    - all major landmasses with Homo sap. have shown consistent trends re transitions from hunter-gatherer modes of food sourcing, through to permanent agricultural settlements and the rise of 'states'
    - the major differences are in the timing, largely due to a combination of resources (esp domesticatable plants and animals; and suitable land), and cultural exchange (including trade, and exogamy)
    - so, left alone, even the Australians would likely eventually have developed agriculture, states, writing, mechanised warfare, etc.

    Unfortunately (?), Adam is correct in saying that there's little in history - both recorded and otherwise - to suggest that human groups do anything other than conquer neighbours (and enslave them, or slaughter them, except for the young women) or go on crash development to resist slaughter or enslavement (or flee, if they can), up to when they have been centralised states. Once states are established, the other outcome has been subjegation - extract tribute through a local puppet or figurehead. In this, the US overthrow of Saddam is consistent (and the US's non-intervention in, say, Liberia, also; too few resources).
  17. Sep 15, 2004 #16


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    Native Americans certainly had some impressive abilities at things like weaving and pottery-making. Along the Columbia River they engineered some structures to help catch migrating salmon. But they don't seem to have gone in for mega-projects that required a whole slew of people working cooperatively, at least in North America, though some of the stone temples and such in South America would have been manpower-intensive. We do know that groups of Native Americans worked as a team in battles against other tribes, and also in hunting bison, including the interesting technique of tricking a whole heard of bison into jumping off a cliff.

    My own guess is that at some point in time--whether it would have happened by now I don't know--one of the tribes would have had the incentive to figure out how to do some new task such as harnessing a river current to grind grain, and that would have led to ever-increasing technical proficiency as the generations went by.

    Is it correct to say that natives of North America in pre-Columbian times did not have any written communications beyond something real rudimentary like a stick poked into the ground to tell someone "we went that way"? I know that the natives of what is now western Montana were skeptical that people in the Lewis and Clark expedition could communicate complex thoughts to one another via pencil markings made on a sheet of paper.
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