Unfair condemnation of America’s history

For over 30 years, the US has been unfairly condemned in most US history textbooks in high schools, colleges and in the media. History books are very selective about which countries and cultures are condemned and which ones are not. 

America haters focus on America’s shortcomings - and exaggerate those shortcomings. Using the past to condemn the present is not logical. Should Germans and Japanese of today be condemned for the evil their ancestors unleashed on the world over 70 years ago in World War Two? 

Revisionist historians lie about our past. Since 1790, over 76 MILLION people have immigrated to the United States. Why would all these people come to a country that was so horrible? Why would millions fight to save our country? Why didn’t all blacks go back to Africa after the creation of Liberia in 1847? The truth is that no country in history has had a more positive impact on the world then the United States - but this is deliberately ignored. 

Let’s examine the two most common areas where America’s been condemned:

1) Conquest of the Native Americans.

2) Slavery.

1) Conquest of the Native Americans

 
 

Only America has been condemned for doing what most countries did for over 4,000 years - conquer some one else’s territory. Most countries in the world occupy territory that originally belonged to someone else. Only in the 20th century, with boundaries well established, did wars of conquest become unacceptable.

Indians were not superior human beings - nor were they pacifist. Indian tribes went to war with other Indian tribes and often ran them off their land and sometimes exterminated them. The Iroquois League was formed from five tribes about 1450 AD to end chronic Indian warfare - long before the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts in 1620. 

Although nobody really knows for sure, it is estimated that the Indian population was 5 million for the continental US, 2 million for Canada and 65 million Indians for Central and South America and the Caribbean Islands. Because the land in what became the US was sparsely populated, there was plenty of unused land. 

The land that became the US was populated by hundreds of Indian Tribes with no established border. Some Indian Tribes were nomads who moved around. Most white settlers went out of their way to avoid confrontations with the Indians, establishing homesteads and towns a distance from Indian encampments.

Even so, Indians often attacked settlers because they were in their area. Women and children were killed by Indians as quickly as the men and sometimes tortured to death. As a result, a mind set of fear and vengeance developed among settlers. The goal of settlers often was to get rid of the Indians in a particular area no matter how it had to be done. It was massacre for massacre.

While some actions against the Indians can never be morally justified, there were many military actions taken against the Indians that WAS justified. Pioneers had a moral right to defend themselves and their homes. Killing Indians only became an unforgivable crime when the white man did to the Indians what the Indians did to each other. 

Some people believe the Indians had the right to kill anyone who settled in North America. Using this logic, we would have the right to kill all illegal aliens who enter the US. Using this same logic, INDIAN tribes who attacked other Indian tribes would be under the same death sentence. The Spanish conquistadors would be under this same death sentence.

America’s ancestors are being singled out for condemnation while others are ignored. The Spanish conquistadors were responsible for the deaths of literally MILLIONS more Indians in the New World then the other Europeans who conquered what became the US. 

The U.S. does not have a good record with treaties signed with the Indians but there are factors involved almost nobody recognizes. The biggest reason for broken treaties with the Indians was because the U.S. was such a wonderful country that MILLIONS of immigrants came to the United States and they needed somewhere to go. NOTHING was going to stop them from establishing their new life in the New World. Failure was NOT an option. The Indians were pushed out of the way. 

Spain/Mexico never had to deal with millions of immigrants because almost no one wanted to immigrate to Spanish countries like Mexico because they were so dysfunctional. If millions of immigrants HAD gone to Mexico, they would have done what the earlier Spaniards did - taken whatever land they wanted from the Indians. If the U.S. would have had minimal immigration like Mexico, treaties with the Indians would not have been violated.

Some people want to place everlasting guilt on the Spanish and other Europeans for the diseases they brought to the New World - as if they had a choice. Smallpox, Malaria, the flu and bubonic plague all originated in either Africa or Asia. The Europeans were victims of these diseases in the past just like the Indians. If someone must be blamed, blame Africans or Asians. If Asians or Africans had been the first people to explore the New World, they would have brought the same diseases with them. 

Syphilis was a Native American disease brought back to Europe by Columbus and Martin Alonso Pinzon. Syphilis was first reported in Europe in 1495 and raged in Europe and Colonial America until the advent of antibiotics.

Some Mexicans think that if they have Indian blood they can ignore the US - Mexican border, claiming ‘we didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.’ NOT true. All the Indians the Spanish intermarried with lived south of the Rio Grande River - in  Mexico and other Central American countries. Unless you are 100% Indian, your ancestors were invaders. And if you are 100% Indian, you are from south of the Rio Grande. You have no right to ignore the border.

Some people claim ‘white Americans’ or ‘Anglos’ were illegal aliens 300 years ago and WE should be deported. This is a flawed argument for many reasons: 

 

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a) You can’t undo what happened 300 years ago. If what happened 300 years ago needs to be “fixed”, we need to go all around the world and kick lots of people out of lots of countries who didn’t live there 300 years ago. Oh, and who would enforce this forced relocation? 

b) There is no rule on how long someone has to live in a place before they become a ‘native.’ Many whites have been here for over 100 years and many over 200 years. That’s long enough to be a native. 

c) Most immigrants arrived in America after the Indian Wars ended and had nothing to do with it.

d) If all non-Indians leave, the Indians should have to pay for all the upgrades - homes, highways, etc. There is a big cost difference between a teepee and a modern home. 

e) All of white America’s inventions would go. The Indians would have to live the way they did before the white man arrived - in teepees and only bow and arrows to hunt for food. No horses (they were imported from Europe), no firearms to hunt with, no screens to keep bugs out of your teepee, no air conditioning, cars or hospitals.

f) What about Americans who are part Indian? Can they stay? 

g) If Whites leave, Spanish, Blacks and Asians would also have to leave. If all non-Indians left America, America would be depopulated, the world economy would collapse and lots of people in Africa would starve to death. The US military would disappear, Russia would rule the world and occupy what used to be the USA and take all the land from the Indians. 

 
 
 

Slavery

 

People who condemn America for slavery apparently forget that America INHERITED slavery and then fought a horrific Civil War to end slavery. Slavery was common all over the world in the past. Virtually every civilizations since recorded history began had slaves. Africans, American Indians, Muslims and a host of other cultures openly traded and owned slaves. Incredibly, there are black slave auctions in Libya today.(1)

Slavery has a long history in Africa, where slaves were eagerly sought to perform many tasks such as farming, domestic duties, army duties and even bearing children for their owners. Most slaves were captured soldiers from neighboring tribes.  Orphans, criminals and social outcasts were also sold into slavery.     

After Europeans made contact with African kings, a whole new market developed abroad.  Many African kings grew rich selling people from other tribes into slavery abroad. Some blacks who came to the US had been slaves in Africa. They just traded owners.  

There never was an anti-slavery movement until white Christians - Englishmen and Americans - created one. The Founding Fathers set in motion social action by Christians who made slavery morally reprehensible in all of America and around the world. The critical importance of our founding document is that it gave a moral legal basis to the eventual eradication of slavery, not only in America but around the world. 

Supporters of slavery used an economic argument to advance slavery - no one knew how farming could survive economically without slavery. Abolitionists declared that slavery is morally wrong and freed slaves should be paid for their labor like anyone else. 

Many of today’s civil rights activists dismiss any Presidents or Founders of America if they owned slaves - as if nothing they said or did was of any value. This is perverted logic. To condemn the Founding Fathers for having tolerated a society that allowed slavery was to expect far more from them then they were able to attain at that time period. 

The Founding Fathers acknowledged that slavery violated the core principles of the American Revolution - not one of them ever publicly praised it. But their highest priority was unity among the colonies, which prevented them from making a bold move against slavery. If the south didn’t join in the revolution against the British, there was little hope of winning the war. The slavery issue was pushed back for another generation to deal with.

If you want to compare the Founding Fathers with Jesse Jackson, Sharpton, etc., or leaders of the political left, consider John Adams entered Harvard at sixteen and was able to speak Greek, Hebrew and French. ALL of the Founding Fathers were highly intelligent, well read, well educated and were true visionaries. The critics of the Founding Fathers and our early presidents would not have a clue how to write a Constitution for a free society.

While the Founding Fathers couldn’t end the institution of slavery - it was too entrenched - they did make every effort to keep slavery from spreading, banning slavery in the Northwest Territory in 1787. Congress abolished the importation of slaves into the US in 1807. Great Britain also banned the African slave trade in 1807.

Slavery was a pervasive reality of life in Latin America and the Caribbean. More than 90% of the approximately 10 million enslaved Africans brought to the New World were taken to Latin America and the Caribbean. The trade of African slaves to Brazil and Cuba continued until the 1860s.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
Sources:
1. https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2018/03/21/595497429/migrants-passing-through-libya-could-end-up-being-sold-as-slaves
https://www.theroot.com/how-many-slaves-landed-in-the-us-1790873989

Jun 2019