Today is a holiday for celebrating the discovery of the New World by the Old World. Modern revisionists who make a hobby of denigrating the civilization created and still led by European white people like to say that New World wasn't discovered, it was there all along as a home for the "native" Americans. Why do they use that term ? Because they want to be under the panoply of implied "good" things created by America, yet differentiate themselves from the European white people. After all in their view, everything bad in the world is caused by them.
Turn back the clock to 1491. What was in the undiscovered New World ?
Aztecs dominated the center of the hemisphere with a culture focused on ritual murders of captive peoples. Writing and science of the Maya civilisation had been lost, probably due to conquest.
No metalworking skills - not even copper axes. Steel tomahawks came from Europe as trade goods. There were no horses or even oxen, hence no wheel for transportation. Ships ? Nope, just canoes.
Almost no people lived on the Great Plains - hunting buffalo was very difficult without horses. Native peoples used spears and arrows tipped with crafted flint arrowheads. The skills were about the same as existed in the Old World 10,000 years earlier. "Armor" was made from folded hides worn over the upper body.
The northern hemisphere was a mass of tribes in constant warfare. I've read histories that focus on the very earliest contacts of the European with the New World in North America - both in the Southwest and south with the Spanish and in the north with the French, English and Dutch. accounts. The cultures are rather reminiscent of Germanic tribes depicted in Caesar's commentaries. Tribes fought and massacred each other to get as much land as possible for hunting, leaving a huge swath of vacant land around them.
The European gets blamed for the plagues that surely killed large numbers of New World peoples after "first contact". One area that I do know much about, viz., the Ohio area, was NOT depopulated by the plagues. The Iroquois did it, via simple genocide. A combination of the two destruction forces probably happened in most areas. A tribe was weakened with loss of half its people from plague, then the stronger neighbors could move in and wipe them out. [Reference: "The Battle for North America" by Francis Parkham who uses original French accounts of the earliest explorers.]
Plagues existed in the Old World, too. The Black Death is well known, but one can read a history book titled, "Plagues and Peoples" by William H. McNeill to see that many, many plagues swept through the Old World for thousands of years. Those arose from east and south Asia and Africa, mainly. Do we condemn those cultures for destruction of human life. Nope. They aren't the dreaded "white European".
Heck, AIDS came from black Africa. Do pundits and revisionists write about that plague as being from black Africa ? Nope. They concoct phony ways to blame it on the white man and the CIA.
The New World in 1491 was an early neolithic society with culture levels around the level of perhaps at most 4500 BC in the Old World - about 6000 years behind technologically and culturally. The discovery of the New World by the Old World lead to huge advances in human civilization, including the most important one to date, namely the creation of the United States of America, the first democratic republic of free people with no aristocracy.
Where would the world be without that discovery ? Germany would have won World war I, Bolshevism would rule north central Asia, and east Asia would be ruled by either a Japanese military empire or a Maoist theocracy or both. No forces of freedom would exist anywhere: just endless genocides and massacres. And then one of those "wonderful" nations would "discover" the New World and spread the same plagues and even more deadly technology to a primitive people.
Obviously, the world is hugely better off from the discovery of Columbus. Let's celebrate his drive to look over the horizon and find out what's out there; it was a great achievement for humanity that led to many great and wonderful events.
Nothing planned. I will go over my positions today and evaluate them for risks and reward potential.
Word of the Day
"Adventitious" - adjective [$10]
Adventitious means 1. a. acquired by accident, not inherent; b. accidental, casual; 2. added from outside; 3. Biological appearing in an unusual place or in an irregular manner; 4. Law (of property) coming from a stranger or by collateral succession rather that directly.
Sentence: The adventitious position of the western hemisphere permitted to its unexpected discovery by Columbus in 1492. Had it been 1000 miles further west, discovery may have been delayed for a century or more as all attention would have focused on the route around southern Africa to the East and its profitable trade.