We all know “1492 Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue” but what was actually happening in the Americas before Columbus reached the shores of Hispaniola?
Charles C. Mann writes an intriguing history of what was actually happening here on the shores of the Western Hemisphere. We often think Columbus just sailed over to reach the Virgin Shores of a Country un-inhabited to provide the blank canvas for what we know today.
It was actually much different.
The pictures I remember seeing in my grade school history books were compilations of “savages” who were waiting to be Civilized by the European Christians who could actually turn the natural resources into something viable.
According to Mann, It was Actually Much Different.
So what if the land before the European Settlers was actually the home of Millions of civilized tribes working to create their own life. Sovereign tribes actually staked out their own claim to the vast forests, plains, and the west. Could we learn how our history continues to inform our present, or even predict our future?
Reading through the actual stories of Native Americans was an incredible ride. Footnoted with several experts in the Native American Studies throughout the highest level Universities in the World, Mann tries to paint a very different picture than the one’s you and I learned about in Class.
I guess that comes as no surprise. History is often written through the eyes of the conqueror. But what of our responsibilities, our great genealogy, and even the world view from whence we came? Is there something in our culture that continues to scream for others to be civilized, when a deeper look into another way of life may give us new ideas for how to shape our own?
If you’re into reading History and your interested in learning about pre-1776 America specifically, this is an interesting look at what might have been.