mizscarlett43, on 09 September 2013 - 01:36 AM, said:
I'm sorry? Where did you see condescension in what I wrote?
As for the huge, free-roaming buffalo herds of the western plains and their near-extinction at the hands of white buffalo hunters in the mid- to late 19th Century, to be replaced by barbed wire and the white man's cattle, how's about we let the great Quanah Parker of the Comanche Nation have the last word?
In a speech on the 4th of July 1890 (I think it was) Quanah said:
We love our white brothers but we fear your success. This pretty country you took from us, but you see how dry it is now.
It is good only for red ants, coyotes and cattlemen.
was the native american's sustainment of the wildlife and plant life in the fertile plains of pre 1870 b/c of their own philosophical mission plan or was it b/c they simply didnt have the technology and/or were too divided up tribally to organize such a mass obliteration of the bison as was done by the american commercial interests during the rest of that century???
perhaps a tougher call then the conventional greedy capitalist american vrs noble nature native narrative wh/ seems to frame much of the telling of that era's clash of civilizations.
imo, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
there is no doubt, that wanton slaughter of bison & removal of tribes was encouraged and carried out w/ an organized agenda. however, its not correct imo, to say it was govt policy per say. that destructive end game was driven much more by private mineral, railroad & land interests then govt planned strategy. the govt's role & impact was much more one of lack of organization & impotence as opposed to an organized genocide policy.
I am not saying that Indians being removed from their lands didnt have a govt component, obviously in some cases it was a powerful one. But the catalyst of both Indian removal & destruction of bison was much more a commercial one then an organized federal one.
remember, no eventual environmental movement in the first place, wh/ created yosemite & yellowstone as early as the 1870's, wouldve existed had it not been for govt action.
The point is, the govt's position was a mixed bag, filled w/ its share of voices who indeed did want to see the lands protected & the Indians treated much more fairly. However, it was the commercial interests that sadly won out & were able to get the military to do some of its bidding. So I think one has to be careful in making sweeping statements that it was just american policy across the board. Though they many times didnt win out, there were a decent number of factions in the govt & amongst the public who did not promote nor want the end result of what happened to the native american tribes out west.
As far as bison removal, that was driven almost solely by private interests w/ an incompetent govt land management or conservation apparatus not yet in place to stop it.
in re to native tribes, like all races it was also a mixed bag. you had a wide range in re to degrees of nobility. not all tribes were as forward looking or benevolent as lets say the nez perce . Some of the more violent & greedy tribes laid down their own fair share of damage to other tribes & land resources when given free reign, both before and after the 1850's.
If such tribes had been able to organize and conquer on a much larger scale, & had access to the technologies & capital that some private american interests had, its not hard to imagine them also following much the same trak as some of the more greedy american enterprises did themselves out west.
the blanket noble custodians of nature assumption of all tribes that some promulgate is just as inaccurate as their same take that nearly all 19th century americans were driven by either greed or indifference.
beyond technologies the most important dividing line culprit between the two cultures in that era was one of economic access & mindset. the greedy elements of amer culture during that time had the means to an unregulated capitalist system wh/ gave them access to capital to greenlight & see thru major swaths of exploitation. Native american tribes, even the more voraciously greedy & militaristic ones (pawnee, comanche as ex), simply didnt have that apparatus or that mindset in place. They indeed in some cases took & destroy lands of their native enemies for greeds sake, but didnt have private property laws or access to a banking system to further finance & grow such an agenda. Greedy american interests did.
thank Goodness though for visionaries like j muir, g grinnel & later t roosevelt to help save many areas of the west from going the way of the late 19th century bison.
Edited by the_manassa_mauler_1919-'26, 12 September 2013 - 12:52 AM.