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Do you agree that the ‘discovery’ of the New World resulted in Paper

Words: 604, Paragraphs: 5, Pages: 3

Paper type: Essay , Subject: Colonialism

“Do you agree that the ‘discovery’ of the New World resulted in genocide? Support your answer by drawing on example from both Yellow Bird’s article and Sainte-Marie’s song.”

I agree that the ‘discovery’ of the New World resulted in genocide for the Native Americans. Settlers killed many natives, forcibly transfer children of one group to another group in an attempt to convert the natives to western ideology, “You force us to send our toddlers away To your schools where they’re taught to despise their traditions Forbid them their languages…” (Sainte-Marie, 1966:line18-21). The effects of this successful genocide can be seen to this very day, as read in Yellow Bird’s article under “Toys of Genocide”, where he compares selling of “little red toy Indians” and “blue cowboys” to selling toys of “African-American slaves and their white slave masters, or Jewish holocaust prisoners and their SS Nazi guards…”(Yellow Bird, year:2004, pg35). This shows how the modern view of the Native American genocide is not viewed as negatively as the Jewish holocaust was, this is likely due to the fact that those who committed the Native American genocide won, while Nazi Germany lost.

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One can also find residual colonialism in the glorification of previous presidents such as George Washington, who has the honour of being the face of the one-dollar bill, because the Native American genocide was largely a success, he is well known as one of the founding fathers of the United States, “while the Seneca called him “Caunotaucarius” (the town destroyer).” (Yellow bird, year:2004, pg37). On the 5 dollar bill it shows Abraham Lincoln, known as “Old Honest Abe”, but the natives know him best as the record holder for the largest hanging of people from one gallows following the Dakota uprising. (Yellow Bird, year:2004, pg37). This again shows how genocide has taken place- all atrocities committed by the victors has been forgotten and they are widely remembered as heroes.

Yellow bird also describes how colonialism directly affected him while growing up, cowboys were seen as role models- people who were strong and worthy of admiration- being called a “cowboy” was a compliment reserved for male children after doing a good deed (Yellow Bird, year:2004, pg41). He describes how the older men in the community viewed them as girls when their hair “got even the slightest bit long” (Yellow bird, year:2004, pg41).These members of the community had been taught this view of what a man should look like at reservation schools, where the education was “well versed in the oppression, control, and intellectual and cultural domination of us [Native Americans]” (Yellow bird, year:2004, pg39). These men would then say “Gee, you look good now, you look just like a cowboy” after shaving their heads. Yellow bird also describes how his uncle would often expect him to act like a cowboy, ie – “…Cowboys don’t need rest and cowboys don’t need to eat…”(Yellow bird, year:2004, pg41). All of these above examples show the extent to which colonisation has romanticised the story of the settlers who committed genocide and indoctrinated the Native Americans in their boarding schools, where they learnt to look up to the settlers as valiant heroes.

In conclusion, it is clear that the ‘discovery’ of the New World resulted in the Genocide of the Native Americans as the settlers made a conscious effort to kill any who resisted them, all while forcing their children to live in specific reservations where they would be forced to praise the settlers’ ideology and condemn their own culture and tongue, the settlers did this with the specific intent of eradicating the Native American culture, as they saw their own culture as superior.

About the author

This paper is written by Sebastian He is a student at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; his major is Business. All the content of this paper is his perspective on Do you agree that the ‘discovery’ of the New World resulted in and should be used only as a possible source of ideas.

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