A Narragansett sachem, Miantonomi, whose tribe helped the English exterminate the Pequot, may have seen a hint of the future. In 1642, he allegedly spoke to the Montauk tribe on Long Island and noted that the English arrival was ominous, and that unless the native tribes learned to put aside their differences and unite against the white man’s invasion, before long there would not be any more natives. The next year, citing rumors of that speech and other activities, the Massachusetts authorities had Miantonomi executed by the Mohegan, which was a rival tribe and Pequot offshoot. The Mohegan subsequently made themselves useful to the Europeans as warriors and guides, and their utility kept them alive, although repeated visits of epidemics reduced their numbers. Even after absorbing the remnants of tribes that they helped extinguish, there were less than 1,000 of them in 1680, and only about 200 in 1790. Their “loyalty” may have kept them alive, but settlers kept acquiring their lands, and the tribe possessed only 2,300 acres in 1790, when their lands were broken up into individual plots. The 1910 census recorded only 22 of them. As with many other tribes that were seemingly extinct, the Mohegan made a comeback, being reorganized as a tribe in the 1970s and claiming about 1,000 members today, and the standard casino accompanied their resurgence.
On Valentine’s Day, the "news" blaring from the office speakers was the USA's media spinning an event from February 13th, when the USA's military bombed one of Baghdad's bomb shelters. The USA said that their intelligence told them that the bomb shelter housed military headquarters, and they sent a sophisticated bomb that penetrated the shelter and incinerated its interior. As had been happening throughout the bombing of Baghdad, and was well known by American surveillance, on that night the shelter was filled with women and children huddling from the nightly bombings. Several hundred women and children died. On Valentine’s Day, "expert" opinions filled America's airwaves, trying to spin that disaster into a propaganda ploy by Saddam Hussein. One rationale was that since Baghdad had few bomb shelters, only a small percent of the population could hide there. Therefore, the women and children were not really hiding from the bombs, but were part of some clever propaganda maneuver by Hussein. According to such logic, their deaths were Iraq's responsibility, not America's.
response to this debacle in Iraq.
Custer was not leading the army, and when they caught sign of a large group of natives, Custer was assigned to reconnoiter them, not attack them. His ambition was well known among the army brass, and when he went to scout the “enemy,” his commander reminded him to follow orders, which Custer replied to jokingly as he rode off. Custer knew that he needed to place the heroic mantle on his shoulders alone, in order to be swept into the White House. He disobeyed orders so that he could monopolize the killing. The showed him to be a sloppy commander who did not properly evaluate the situation before attacking. At the Little Big Horn his “Custer’s luck” ran out, as he led a charge of less than three hundred men into a camp of four thousand armed natives. The surprised natives made short work of Custer and his men.
1. What is the thesis (main argument/idea) of this essay?
Spaniards remade the New World's ecological systems. Imported cattle, sheep, pigs, horses, and donkeys dominated the landscape. Chickens became a barnyard staple. Sugar, bananas, and citrus fruits were introduced and flourished. In many places, the landscape was altered beyond recognition. Spain was a land of shepherds and cattle ranchers, and many farmers in Spain were put out of business as the rich, herd-owning, land-owning aristocracy obtained the legal rights for their livestock to overrun the land. Spain's great herds helped make it such an arid land, and the same thing happened to New Spain. South of the great bison herds of North America, there were no large roaming herds of grazing animals. Huge tracts of farmland were destroyed throughout the New World by those imported European grazers, and areas previously cultivated or unused were quickly destroyed, leaving a desert-like environment behind. In Spain, sheep dominated. In New Spain, cattle dominated. Deforestation and mass grazing altered the landscape immensely. In a and eastern Atlantic islands, Spaniards noted that when they razed the forests for their lifestyles, streams dried up and eventually there was less rainfall. The desert-like environment of Mexico is not completely natural, but is partly the result of Spanish depredations. Not only was 75-90% of the human population exterminated, the first century of the Spanish invasion was also the greatest ecological catastrophe for native plants and animals in history, rivaled, and in ways exceeded, by what the English and Americans would later do to North America.
There was a major effect of the Spanish gold rush on Europe: the money revolution. Before Europe’s money revolution, land was the primary basis of wealth. Money became the primary symbol of wealth during the Spanish gold rush, and Europe’s money supply tripling during the first 50 years of conquest. By 1800, the money supply in places such as France and Italy increased by about 20-fold. Because gold and silver were the basis of money in the Old World, it heralded Europe’s ascent relative to its rivals, such as the Ottoman Empire. The flooding of Europe with New World gold and silver, although it made no European society wealthier, crippled the Ottoman Empire’s monetary system. Ottoman coins fell to half their value in the first century of the New World’s plunder and the Ottoman Empire never regained its former prominence.