A very brief history of North America after 1492

Posted on Wednesday 01 August 2012 at 11:22 am in category: USA
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Back in 1492, there was a pretty crazy dude called Christopher Columbus (or actually Cristóbal Colón). He was one of those guys that went out on a ship to go discover stuff, which was pretty lucrative business. Anyway, he thought he'd do something else, and instead of leaving Spain and going around Africa to get to the East, he decided to keep going west. What he did not know yet, is that you run into the Americas if you do that.

Eventually he arrived in what is now the Bahamas. He loaded up the boats with all the funny things he found there, and a bunch of funny people, called Arawaks. That was not too hard, since these Arawaks didn't have guns. He killed a couple, and the rest was scared shitless so he could make them servants. All in all a pretty succesful trip.

But let's skip ahead a little bit, because I wanted to talk about North America specifically, what is now the good old US of A. Sometime in the 17th century, the French, the Dutch and the English started claiming ownership of North America.

For example, there was a bunch of people known as the Pilgrims, who settled somewhere in the north east of North America, early in the 17th century. The people that lived there pretty much ran away from them, because they had already seen English people before, and kinda knew what was going to happen. They'd kill some, take some as slaves, and then chase them away. Of course this pissed them off, but you can't win with a bow and arrow against a gun.

Pretty soon, the English more or less 'owned' the place. They thought this country was given to them by their god, so they had the right to do with it whatever they wanted. There was a little problem though, and that was these 'Indians' that kept popping up everywhere. But they just did what every good Christian would do, they killed them, or made them slaves. Actually, it turned out it was not too hard to convert them to Christianity. As long as you kept a gun pointed at them, they'd pretty much believe anything you said. The problem here is, once they are Christians, you can't really kill them anymore. Since these people didn't make good slaves, they'd have to go. Over time, they were driven back farther West, a little bit at a time.

The main food source of the native people was the bison. Now, a bison is more or less a big brown cow. And it likes to roam around in big herds. The fun thing about that is, that if you can reload your gun quick enough, you can kill like a thousand a day. So that's what the white man did. They killed them. All of them. Now, the natives didn't really have much to eat anymore, so they pretty much died. Problem solved. The few that did survive, somehow could not withstand all the new diseases the Europeans had brought to the New World, and died in big numbers as well.

Pile of Bison Skulls.

So now this whole big piece of land belongs to the white man. Of course, they wanted to do something with it too, so they started trying out some things, and it turned out that in the South, you could grow cotton really well. The problem there is, it is really hot, and it's not fun to work outside all day. This is where the Dutch come in. They had found that you could go to this other piece of the world called Africa, and load up your boat with the black people that lived there, bring them to America, and then sell them as slaves. Another problem was solved. Hallelujah, praise the Lord. These people were blessed, I tell ya.

The big plantations in the South ran on slaves. The slaves did all the work for you, and all you had to do was make sure they stayed. Every now and then one of them would try to run away, but then you could organise a fun hunting party with your friends to get them back. Even better, you could hire other people to hunt them for you, so you could just sit back and relax on the porch. If they brought them back alive, you could put them back to work. If they brought them back dead, you just made sure all the other slaves saw that too, and they would rethink their running-away plans. Life was good if you happened to be a plantation owner back then.

A store where you can buy slaves.

Now, up in the North, there were some enlightened people that did not like the idea of slavery that much. So slavery was not allowed over there. This of course caused a problem, because the people in the South could produce their goods a lot cheaper. Slaves might have been pretty expensive if you wanted to start a business, but once you had a couple, you could pretty much breed your own slaves. Of course, the people in the North did not like this. Not because the people in the South had slaves, but more because it was not fair that they had to pay their workers, and the others did not. So they started a war. Both sides in this war were praying to the same god, for a change, but apparently the North was a little more in favor of the Almighty, and they won. Slavery wasn't allowed anymore anywhere in what was now the United States. This was accompished in 1865, which is really not that long ago, if you think about it.

The people that inhabit America now, have come from this piece of history. And I don't know about you, but I think it's prety fucking disturbing that the white people call this 'One Nation Under God'.