Thesis: Charles Mann attempts to refute the argument that “native Americans came across the Bering Strait 20,000 to 25,000 years ago and had so little impact on their environment that even after millennia of habitation the continents remain mostly wilderness. Introduction: Holmberg’s Mistake: After being with the Indians known as the “Siriono,” he described them as non-changing/advancing people - “culturally-backward.” Part 1: Numbers from Nowhere
- Humans arrived in the Americas earlier than thought, and population levels in the Native Americans were probably higher than traditionally believed among scientists. Mann disagrees with the idea that European technologies were superior to those of Indians. (17th Century) Europeans actually preferred bows and arrows as they were easier to aim and to prepare, than the guns they had. The canoes of the Indians is another example, as they moved faster and were more maneuverable than European boats. Although, with the European arrival in Lime, Peru in the 1960s, they brought with them disease and this heavily affected the “virgin soil” of the Native Americans. This happened in many places of the Americas (New England, etc.) There immune systems could not handle the intensity of the disease. This hurt the society as a whole. This affected the Indians badly as many people became sick and died, leading to starvation as one could not tend to the environment, stopping their ability to feed people. This weakened tribes (ex. Wampanoag) which led to alliances with the Europeans to receive protection from them. However before the European arrival, Indian tribes and nomadic peoples were thriving. New England (Nomadic People): Rise of agriculture and communities. Along the coasts, rivers, lakes, rivers: Small, mobile group of hunters and gatherers thrived. New England Major River valleys: Held large, permanent village. Fields of maize, beans, and squash surrounded every home. PATUXET: tucked into Cape Cod Bay; fishing, fields of crops, homes = huts. Practiced Dawnland Education which was about molding their character. Governed by Sachem. Inside the settlements was peace, a “world of warmth and family custom.” But on the outside, their was constant disputes/tensions with neighboring tribes Mann explores the fall of the Inca Empire, and attempted to assess their population compared to the armies of conquistadors, such as Francisco Pizarro. Europeans valued metals using them to produce materially resilient arms and assorted weapons, while the Inca used metals for “plasticity, malleability and toughness” in which Natives used metal for refined decoration of creation of arts and craft. “Europeans used metals for tools while Andean societies primarily used it as a token of wealth, power, and community affiliation.” Cultural Periods of Societies in the Andes
Horizons: Large cultures, powerful influencers
Chavin: Lasted 800 years; a religious core (expansion by conversion of religion). Travel excersions to honor the Chavin. Wari: Lasted 200 years; military power – wanted to conquer and make war to rest of ethnic group. Incas: Lasted 100 years (1400-1535; developed a very rapid expansion in which they became one of the most powerful societies and cultures in the Andes. No written evidence of Incas but they drew pictures, evidence of artifacts, oral history, eyewitness accounts and chronicles were written after their conquest. Collapsed from the European arrival by smallpox that swept through their Empire. However the expansion was hard to manage especially because they had to provide resources for people to eat and thrive off of…By the time the Spaniards arrived, the Incas had already started to decline. Their strategies to expand & conquer, in which they were able to secure all types of resources: War
Marriage Alliances: created family bonds and networks.
They controlled their empires by:
Capacnam: 40 km roadway; complex of roads, bridges, and tampus. provided education...
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