American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History by Russell Thornton

By Russell Thornton

This demographic evaluate of North American Indian background describes intimately the holocaust that, even this day, white american citizens are likely to brush off as an unlucky concomitant of appear future. they want to put out of your mind that, as Euro-Americans invaded North the United States and prospered within the "New World," the numbers of local peoples declined sharply; whole tribes, frequently within the house of some years, have been "wiped from the face of the earth."


The fires of the holocaust that ate up American Indians blazed within the fevers of newly encountered illnesses, the flash of settlers’ and squaddies’ weapons, the ravages of "firewater," and the scorched-earth regulations of the white invaders. Russell Thornton describes how the holocaust had as its reasons illness, war and genocide, elimination and relocation, and destruction of aboriginal methods of life.


Until lately such a lot students appeared reluctant to invest approximately North American Indian populations in 1492. during this ebook Thornton discusses intimately what percentage Indians there have been, the place they'd come from, and the way smooth scholarship in lots of disciplines may well let us to make extra actual estimates of aboriginal populations.

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Additional info for American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Civilization of the American Indian)

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Numbers do not reflect quality, demographic or otherwise; other basic demographic characteristics of American Indian populations before the European arrival may provide considerable insight into the quality of their lives. Although large amounts of data do not exist, we do have information on life expectancy and diseases present, which both are good indicators of what demographic life was like. Life Expectancy. The important demographic characteristic of life expectancy (average number of years of life expected at birth) reflects a complex set of factors that include a population's health and general well-being.

It seems reasonable that, as American Indians developed methods of exploiting natural environments, they also developed social regulations on population size. Malthus (1798 : 2643) himself argued that preventive checks on population growth were present among Indians, although he felt that the positive ones were more important in limiting size. Recent research indicates no relationship between population size and carrying capacity of their environments for aboriginal American Indian populations (Locay, 1983; also, however, Casteel, 1980).

See also Grinde (1984) for a discussion of birth-control practices among the Yamasee, Cook (1945) for a similar discussion regarding California Indians, and Ewers (1970) for contraceptive charms used by Plains Indians. html[1/17/2011 5:10:00 PM] next page > page_32 < previous page page_32 next page > Page 32 count early population reductions after the European arrival. 25 million is too large, since it was based on a nadir population that is too high, and his later estimate of 18 million also seems excessive.

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