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Thread: A Question For The History Buffs

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    Being surrounded by oceans isolated the tribes from the rest of the world making the transfer of technology impossible pre-Columbus. If you look at North, Central and South America we are basically one giant island surrounded by oceans.
    " I'm old-fashioned. I like two sexes! And another thing, all of a sudden I don't like being married to what is known as a 'new woman'. I want a wife, not a competitor. Competitor! Competitor!" - Spencer Tracy in 'Adam's Rib' (1949)

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    http://Trade Among Tribes: Commerce ...opeans Arrived

    ...Eventually, archeologists would confirm that Spanish Diggings is a 400 square-mile series of Paleo-Indian quarries, dating to 10,000 years ago. As Gene Gade, president of the Vore Buffalo Jump Foundation, notes, “It was slowly accepted that the ‘Spanish Diggings’ were, in fact, the work of groups of hunters that had lived in the region and quarried the stone for projectile points, knives, scrapers, and other tools.”

    ...A general misperception of Native American enterprise and trade continues today.

    ...Indians of the southern and northern Plains traded with each other for thousands of years. Flint points 13,000 years old, chiseled from the Texas quarries, have been found in eastern New Mexico. Quarried stone from the Obsidian Cliffs near Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo. in Yellowstone Park, traveled to the the Ohio River Valley around 100-350 CE.

    While archeological objects abound in Wyoming, the artifacts alone don’t tell the story of pre-settlement trade among nomadic Plains tribes. Moreover, even before the advent of Europeans, tribal boundaries fluctuated with weather, game populations and alliances with other tribes. For example, the Comanche, one of the most entrepreneurial of tribes, once were part of the Shoshone tribe and lived largely in what's now Wyoming. In the middle 18th century they split from the Shoshone and moved south to rule the plains of Texas and Oklahoma.

    Archeological artifacts do suggest, however, that native-to-native trade expanded over time. Emory Dean Keoke and Kay Marie Porterfield, authors of the Encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions to the World, say that the Hohokam tribe, centered in present day Arizona, traded seashells, which they had acquired from the Mojave tribe, for buffalo hides from various southern Plains tribes. “By between 500 and 200 B.C., North American Indians had established a vital network of trade.”

    Those networks weren’t equally distributed, however, on the central plains.

    ...



    ...

    Isolation from trade would have spelled extinction.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanger4 View Post
    A poster, in another thread, reminded me of a question I've wondered from time to time.

    Why were the indigenous americans many thousands of years behind (Stone Age) the rest of the world's people's ??

    Because they had nothing to compare themselves against and no history of other cultures, unlike the the later European conquests in the rest of the continent. It’s now thought using DNA, that the original native Americans were early nomad Mongolian settlers, coming in across the Bering straits and down through Canada to finally settle in a climate similar to their own.








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    Quote Originally Posted by hanger4 View Post
    A poster, in another thread, reminded me of a question I've wondered from time to time.

    Why were the indigenous americans many thousands of years behind (Stone Age) the rest of the world's people's ??
    Most likely it was due to a lack of necessity. Rome built aqueduct because they were needed. Native Americans didn't need them, for example.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyz View Post
    Being surrounded by oceans isolated the tribes from the rest of the world making the transfer of technology impossible pre-Columbus. If you look at North, Central and South America we are basically one giant island surrounded by oceans.
    Actually a very good point, though we could hypothesize the reverse and say that Europeans were isolated from them, right?

    The question really is one of innovation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kacper View Post
    Most likely it was due to a lack of necessity. Rome built aqueduct because they were needed. Native Americans didn't need them, for example.
    Necessity was a huge part. The Spanish Conquest of the Aztecs happens with the support of the Tlaxcalans btw, the conquistadors really weren't numerous enough yet.

    1. Native American lack of immunity to smallpox
    2. European sailing and navigation
    3. European armor/swords
    4. Firearms

    Spain had been fighting the Moors for hundreds of years during the Reconquista. The route to the east was blocked by the Turks, and actually Venice too....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kacper View Post
    Most likely it was due to a lack of necessity. Rome built aqueduct because they were needed. Native Americans didn't need them, for example.
    I can see that, as Mr. D alluded to no need for the wheel without a suitable beast of burden. Funny no potters wheel though. They say it predates the wheel.

    Also the beginings of copper metallurgy around the Great Lakes at the approximate time of the beginning Bronze Age, then proof it's gone.
    It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right.

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    The original question implies why didn’t the native Americans advance in the same way the Europeans did and the answer is that there was no need for them to do so. In the same way that the European tribes didn’t advance until the Roman conquests which forced them to do so and brought with them the technology of that era. The native Americans didn’t have or need technology and were stuck in a time warp as it were, until they were ‘discovered’ and eventually someoneone
    found that you could earn more by mass producing and selling, than you could hunting and farming – just as in Europe.

    The native Americans then were only settlers themselves and earn the title ‘native’ by length of time in one place, just as you could now call yourselves native Americans (as being born or coming from that place) and not European settlers, or pilgrims. So the term ‘native’ is in fact a misnomer and they just got there long before you did.









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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyz View Post
    Being surrounded by oceans isolated the tribes from the rest of the world making the transfer of technology impossible pre-Columbus. If you look at North, Central and South America we are basically one giant island surrounded by oceans.
    That's a pretty big island and pre-Columbian America contained a substantial portion of the global population.
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    The Central / South American civilizations had certain elements that were pretty advanced. but yes the lack of contact with the rest of the world limited their potential greatly. things like the wheel etc were particularly damaging.

    The Euroasian continent on the other hand were connected pretty much right from Antiquity, the role of the nomads on the steppes were instrumental

    ( spread of chariot tech in antiquity, which includes both the wheel and horse domestication )

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