Native American Genocide

When digging deeper into American history and learning about what happened to Native American Indian populations brings extremely dark and unpleasant facts surrounding America’s foundation to the surface. These facts are often used to help undermine the commonly held belief that America is a great nation founded on moral principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is undeniable that Europeans committed many atrocities against the American Indians. This has led some to raise questions of genocide and ultimately charge Europeans for committing it. It is made clear that these allegations are extremely far-fetched following a close examination of the term “genocide” along with historical facts concerning both the relationships between Europeans and Indians along with the causes of death for American Indians. While it is undeniable that the coming of European settlers to the Americas brought about death as destruction for native populations, charging European settlers with genocide against Native Americans is misguided.

Although the exact numbers are difficult to determine, it is an accepted fact that the population of American Indians’ has declined immensely with the coming of the Europeans to the Americas; however, this does not mean that Europeans committed genocide in America. Early 20th century scholars have estimated there to have been approximately 1 million Indians living in present day America and Canada prior to the coming of European settlers; however, recently scholars likely favoring the allegations of genocide have labeled these previous estimates as “low-counts” and pushed the numbers up settling on a “middle-ground” estimate of 5 million, which is still a fivefold increase over the early estimates (Taylor 40). These numbers are difficult to determine due to a lack of evidence and are highly speculative; however, there is no denying the massive decline in their population following European settlement and this is a widely accepted fact. The massive decline in the Indian population following European contact has become the primary reason for allegations of genocide to be made. Although historians’ estimates vary greatly, there is much agreement on the causes of death which is important information in assessing the allegations of genocide. Jared Diamond, a UCLA professor states that “diseases introduced with Europeans spread from tribe to tribe far in advance of the Europeans themselves killing an estimated 95% of the pre-Columbian Native American population (Diamond 78). These figures help put things into perspective and show that regardless of how many deaths actually occurred, nearly all of the deaths were unintentional and not caused by genocidal action.

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A Cultural Value

A cultural value is a term which is widely used to describe the people’s way of living in their own community. This can as well be discussed as the people’s way of life which is considered to be acceptable and it does not offend anyone in the community at large. It also clearly explains how a certain group of people do their things systematically according to their society. This can include both the acceptable and inacceptable where the acceptable is considered to be right to the society while the inacceptable is considered to be wrong according to the people’s beliefs. The cultural values explains what a certain group of people a society are characterized with for example their way of dressing, their eating habits which explains their preferable foods and also their religion.

Culture is known to have quite a number of characteristics which include learning. This is an essential element in understanding a society way of life. The cultural practices are passed from one generation to another through inheritage where the young ones acquire the knowledge about their communities way of life like dressing code and religion from their forefathers or rather their parents. The second characteristic of culture includes sharing. Culture is also considered to be a practice of many people belonging to the same community or society and therefore not an individual practice. The cultural practices are shared among people in a society because each one in a particular community should leave their lives according to their beliefs in the community.

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Culture can be widely shared through using a common language to communicate to one another. This leads to unity among people in the same society because they can share ideas and understand each other. Another characteristic of culture includes social element. People who belong to a particular society should be able to interact freely in order to exchange their beliefs and also learn the cultural practices from one person to the other. An individual can’t be in a position to acquire the knowledge on their cultural practices when they do not interact with the rest of the community therefore it is important to come together as a society and learn from the others about the community cultural practices.

Culture is also known to be a continuous process which is passed from one generation to the other without changing its meaning. For instance, if a community believes in a certain way of dressing it is therefore considered to be practiced by all the generations to come. Culture is very easy to adapt because anyone going against it is seen to be an outcast in the society. It is easy for the people belonging to the same community to adapt to any changes which may be experienced in the communities culture. There are different types of culture which includes the way of dressing. People of the same community are appreciated through a certain choice of dressing. If anyone visits a country like Pakistan and they do not dress like the Pakistan they will definitely be considered as intruders without etiquette for the community practices. It is therefore important to respect other people’s culture.

Food is also an important type of culture were different cultures have a different way of cultivating and also preparing it. Language is also an important type of non material cultural practice where each community has its own language which they use to communicate to one another. Those communities with their language been almost similar it is very easy to differentiate from the way they speak. Religion is an important aspect here in any culture and it is respected in all cultures.

In conclusion, culture is important because it helps people to consider a problem to be affecting the whole country rather than seen the problem to affect an individual. Culture can also be important to the whole community because it helps to solve problems affecting the community at large. The cultural practices can also be used as an important tool for ensuring there is unity in the nation when different communities consider themselves as a family.

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