Read the Essay below. Be able to answer and expound on the following questions.
(1) Would it have done any good if the Native Americans had started slaughtering white people as soon as they arrived in the new world?
(2) Were white people civilized enough to appreciate the way of life of Native Americans?
(3) What type of confrontation characterized the coming together of Native Americans and white people? Was this the choice of Native Americans or white people?
(4) What was war to Native Americans? What was war to white people?
Class #2 Essay [Audio Version]
The Native Americans might have guaranteed their own survival
by attacking and killing white people as soon as they got off
the ship. But, instead of killing white people from day one, the
Native Americans helped white people survive. In so doing, the
Native Americans were unknowingly sentencing themselves to virtual
The Native Americans had developed a way-of-life that could be appreciated by civilized people, but white people were not civilized the way native Americans were. White people's way-of-life was characterized by an inhumane, dog-eat-dog philosophy. They did not have the same understanding of harmony, agreement and peaceful co-existence as Native Americans did, and did not respect the rights of other people. White people assumed that power and force were the keys to human intercourse, so they developed institutions that were machine-like and detached from the people, and they developed tools that were capable of destroying large numbers of people in as little time as possible. From the standpoint of civilized development, white people were lower on the ladder than Native Americans.
The confrontation of Native Americans and white people was not a civilized or moral confrontation, it was a military confrontation. The terms of this confrontation, as always, were dictated by the least civilized group (in this case, white people). Native Americans were not up to date with the latest barbarities, and therefore did not possess what they needed to compete effectively.
The capacity of the Native Americans to even conceive of measures they would have to take to successfully defend themselves against the white invaders is questionable. Their capacity to even conceive of the number of human beings they would have to ruthlessly murder, maim and mutilate is also questionable. And, their capacity to even conceive of the length of time they would have to fight, day-in and day-out, defend themselves and attack their invaders is just as questionable. To the Native Americans, war was akin to a curse and an inconvenience. War, to them, was the unfortunate result of a misunderstanding. War was not a profession to the Native Americans, it was not pressed into their psyche, it was not noticeable in their attitudes and it was not intended to take up much of their time. But war was an everyday thing with white people, war was pressed into white people's psyche. War and conflict were so much a part of the white way-of-life that they had reduced it to a science.
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