Were Native Americans (Indians) really savages? (use 1491 article from The Atlantic Monthly)

Essay by tabshHigh School, 10th gradeA+, November 2004

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The article, 1491, by Charles C. Mann, shows us how North America actually was, in the years before Columbus arrived. From the correspondent of Atlantic Monthly and Business 2.0, Mann presents us with evidence to combat the common misconception that all Indians were savages, and they had no technological advancements whatsoever. This article is riddled with evidence, to support, contrary to popular opinion, during the time before Columbus' arrival, the Americas were a pleasant and beautiful place to live in. Even though this article present examples, where the Indians, i.e. burned down a whole forest for hunting grounds, one can realize that they did this, so there would be more abundant game.

First of all, by the analysis of anthropogenic origin studies, scientists now believe that the Amazon Forest might be almost 100% man-made by the Indians, living before Columbus' time. About 4,000 years ago, the inhabitants of the Amazon were hunters and gatherers, but they changed all of a sudden, and they started to become agriculturalists.

They were able to feed themselves easily with the "diverse assortment of trees: fruits, nuts, and palms." As the population grew, more food was needed to keep up with the demand, and as a result, they realized, that if they forcefully reproduced the trees, they would get over 20 years of fruits, nuts, and other food resources. One scientist, Clark Erickson believes that Indians changed the whole region entirely, including the assortment and density of species. He finds the evidence so strong in the South American region, that he said, "built environment...applies to most, if not all, Neotropical landscapes." In other words, he is suggesting, that all of or most of the South American lavish landscapes were all Indian made. This seems very hard to believe, for most people...