Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > General History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

General History General History Forum - General history questions and discussions


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old October 27th, 2016, 06:18 AM   #1
Historian
 
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 4,619
Why so few natives in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand?


Were there few to start with or was it British policy to kill them off?
betgo is offline  
Remove Ads
Old October 27th, 2016, 06:51 AM   #2

The Reality's Avatar
Scholar
 
Joined: Aug 2016
From: Ireland, Dublin
Posts: 691

This my friends is a dark topic....
The Reality is offline  
Old October 27th, 2016, 07:27 AM   #3
Suspended until March 15th, 2018
 
Joined: May 2015
From: Germany
Posts: 1,104

A mix of epidemics and genocides.
Swagganaut is offline  
Old October 27th, 2016, 07:31 AM   #4

civfanatic's Avatar
Quasi-Civilized Primate
 
Joined: Oct 2012
From: Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 3,139
Blog Entries: 13

1. There were few natives in lands north of Mexico to begin with. The entire pre-Columbian population of the modern United States was probably no more than 4-5 million. In contrast, pre-Columbian Mexico has been estimated to have as many as 20-25 million people, due to the greater prevalence of settled agriculture and urbanization.

2. Epidemics, especially smallpox, probably killed off over 90% of the pre-Columbian population in modern-day U.S. and Canada. Already by 1800 there were only a few hundred thousand natives remaining.
civfanatic is offline  
Old October 27th, 2016, 07:35 AM   #5
Suspended indefinitely
 
Joined: Dec 2014
From: Europe
Posts: 1,082

Quote:
Originally Posted by civfanatic View Post
1. There were few natives in lands north of Mexico to begin with. The entire pre-Columbian population of the modern United States was probably no more than 4-5 million. In contrast, pre-Columbian Mexico has been estimated to have as many as 20-25 million people, due to the greater prevalence of settled agriculture and urbanization.

2. Epidemics, especially smallpox, probably killed off over 90% of the pre-Columbian population in modern-day U.S. and Canada. Already by 1800 there were only a few hundred thousand natives remaining.
And add to that wars, forced expulsions, racially motivated murders, and poor living conditions on reservations for already small populations...
Wodz Mikolaj is offline  
Old October 27th, 2016, 07:43 AM   #6
Historian
 
Joined: Jul 2013
From: San Antonio, Tx
Posts: 7,697

Any numbers of native Americans are bound to be guesses. How could they be anything else?
royal744 is offline  
Old October 27th, 2016, 08:09 AM   #7

Tairusiano's Avatar
Skull collector
 
Joined: Jun 2012
From: Brazil
Posts: 2,678
Blog Entries: 7

Quote:
Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
Any numbers of native Americans are bound to be guesses. How could they be anything else?
There is no serious study on the pre-columbian populations of the continent, so yep all the estimates are guesses, representing the various interests and bias.

This graphics shows the various "estimates", and how variable they are. normally the number change, according to the agenda of who is making the counts.
Click the image to open in full size.
Tairusiano is offline  
Old October 27th, 2016, 08:27 AM   #8
Scholar
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 638

Quote:
Originally Posted by betgo View Post
Were there few to start with or was it British policy to kill them off?
Firstly, the majority of them were wiped out by diseases accidentally introduced by Westerners. Estimates suggest that as many as 90% of indigenous Americans were wiped out by disease. But the British certainly did fight wars against them and probably killed many thousands.

But let's not single out the British, the indigenous populations in all of the Americas were largely wiped out, except in places like Bolivia and Peru which still have large populations. In fact the areas settled by the British were the least populated ones, it was the Spanish who wiped out most of the dense indigenous areas in Central America and the Andes. Indeed many of the indigenous populations of the modern USA and Canada were actually wiped out by the Spanish and the French, who owned most of the landmass of what is now the contiguous USA until the early 19th century.

North America in 1760

North America in 1800

Last edited by Copperknickers; October 27th, 2016 at 08:36 AM.
Copperknickers is offline  
Old October 27th, 2016, 09:45 AM   #9
Suspended indefinitely
 
Joined: Dec 2014
From: Europe
Posts: 1,082

Quote:
Originally Posted by Copperknickers View Post
Indeed many of the indigenous populations of the modern USA and Canada were actually wiped out by the Spanish and the French, who owned most of the landmass of what is now the contiguous USA until the early 19th century.
Fair point, but the US and Canada definitely have plenty of their own crimes during the 19th and 20th century, particularly in the Pacific-Northwest region where Spanish and French presence wasn't as strong.
Let's not forget Russia too. In Alaska they've some things to answer for...

Quote:
In their first encounters with the islanders, the Russian fur-seekers, like Viking raiders, were utterly ruthless in killing the men in order to possess the women. The resistance and retaliation offered by the Aleuts, scattered as their communities were along the archipelago, was easily crushed by the Russian sailors and hunters, and the usual colonial régime was established. Hostages (mainly children and women) were seized as a means of forcing the Aleuts to hunt on behalf of the Russians, and sea-otter and fox pelts were amassed, some as tribute for the treasury in St. Petersburg, but most as profit for the piratical hunters and their Siberian merchant sponsors. One of the most effective measures used by the Russians to prevent any cooperation between various Aleutian communities in defence of their liberty was the prohibition of canoes capable of carrying more than two men. Only after two decades of enslavement, atrocity and genocide did considerations of humanity begin to prevail, when Catherine the Great issued various instructions, in the pious hope that barbaric treatment of the Aleuts would cease.
from A History of the Peoples of Siberia: Russia's North Asian Colony 1581-1990 by James Forsyth.
Wodz Mikolaj is offline  
Old October 27th, 2016, 10:20 AM   #10

mark87's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2014
From: Santiago de Chile
Posts: 1,848
Blog Entries: 1

1. We don't have anything close to an adequate guess even today as to what the actual Precolumbian population of the america's was, we have some educated guesses here and there but nothing definitive. Unfortunately the topic itself has become somewhat 'political' as pro European scholars tend to minimize the population on purpose (so they can claim a res nullius situation) and pro native scholars tend to give the biggest number they can come up with and claim the situation was the worlds greatest genocide (at least in my experience), the truth lies somewhere in the middle probably.

2. North America had 'less advanced' native populations than central america and parts of south america, the Aztecs and Incas and the Mayas had very good irrigation and engineering capabilities which could sustain relatively large populations due to food growth, the situation in north america was not like that at least at the moment of contact. A regions total population will always be subject to the carrying capacity of said region if there is not a major capacity to alter the growing of food and a relatively advanced capability of handling the logistics of feeding a large population. To my knowledge, excepting Cahokia that is only recently being studied, the only areas of north america that had extensive agriculture in precolumbian times were the southwestern state tribes and natives like the Anasazi and the like.

3. Disease killed off most natives before any European sword or musket could reach them, so they were starting from a disadvantages position to start with.

4. There is also of course blame on the way British, american, Canadian, new Zealand, and Australian officials and populations dealt with the natives in the 18th through 20th centuries that further hindered the populations, including war, specific instances of near genocidal behavior (not particular only to north america, south america saw some of that too) and a cultural contempt by some in the 19th century for natives founded on racism, but also a view of the native as a noble savage that would not endure and could not endure the 'modern world', this was a view taken by some as the united states expanded westward in the 19th century and white settlers and officials and the army came into increasing contact and warfare with the natives west of the Mississippi.

5. I would furthermore differentiate different areas of North America from each other because their terrain, climate, and resources differed substantially, areas in the Ohio river valley had far more resources than say the great basin area which even today is a difficult place to etch out a living, similar with the great plains, that were an extremely inhospitable place until modern agriculture turned them into the breadbasket they are (well until the dust bowl and the depression hit).
mark87 is offline  
Reply

  Historum > World History Forum > General History

Tags
australia, canada, natives, zealand



Search tags for this page
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Why didn't New Zealand and Fiji join Australia? WeisSaul Asian History 42 February 27th, 2017 07:30 AM
Historic sites in Australia and New Zealand weezer17 Asian History 0 April 29th, 2015 05:34 PM
Canada vs Australia Toltec Speculative History 33 November 13th, 2009 09:15 PM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.