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Curious question...





Arseniy
How do you think:
Why Europeans developed so highly in 14-15 centuries and Indians (I mean habitants of North and South Americas) was so un-developed?
I asked that question many times and haven't got any reply. What do you think?
Moonspider
Arseniy wrote:
How do you think:
Why Europeans developed so highly in 14-15 centuries and Indians (I mean habitants of North and South Americas) was so un-developed?
I asked that question many times and haven't got any reply. What do you think?


I personally believe it to be a lack of competition. There was no need for the native peoples of the Americas to advance any further. Their stone age culture sufficed.

I know some people may see the Indians as simple people, but remember that Tenochtitlan rivaled any European city in size. Furthermore, the politics of even the North American tribes was highly complex.

Perhaps the greatest reason though was that Indians did not have horses. They could not travel great distances in short periods of time. Therefore contact between tribes was not as constant and as rapid as it was in Europe and Asia where horses could relatively quickly deliver messages, news, emmisaries, traders, and armies.

Respectfully,
M
bassman
Moonspider's insights are great. In addition, I think one reason the American Indians didn't develop along the same lines as the Western (European) world because they had a different focus. At least as we understand them today, the American Indians were much more interested in living closer to and coexisting intimately with nature. Since they spiritualized and held sacred many aspects of nature, to them progress was perhaps more of an internal thing and less about building infrastructure, etc. Also, in addition to their lack of competition, perhaps population density has something to do with the discrepancy. I don't have any numbers or anything, but it would certainly seem that the Indians in America were more spread out and therefore required less optimization of resources, etc. than their European counterparts.
Holy
Well, I think it was mainly because of the Indians Religious views. Their gods provided things for them and the were contient with the lives they lived. They found no need to advance their civilization. I can't see a reason they should have either. It was nice living, peaceful yet adventurous. More than enough food. No really, really bad fighting. What I want to know is why we (America I mean) have to try to keep on advancing up to the point where living areas are extremely close together and our environment is taking a big fall. Confused
{name here}
Arseniy wrote:
How do you think:
Why Europeans developed so highly in 14-15 centuries and Indians (I mean habitants of North and South Americas) was so un-developed?
I asked that question many times and haven't got any reply. What do you think?

The native peoples of the Americas took to the philosophy of integrating with nature. The native people of the European countries took to the philosophy of conquering nature.
Moonspider
{name here} wrote:
Arseniy wrote:
How do you think:
Why Europeans developed so highly in 14-15 centuries and Indians (I mean habitants of North and South Americas) was so un-developed?
I asked that question many times and haven't got any reply. What do you think?

The native peoples of the Americas took to the philosophy of integrating with nature. The native people of the European countries took to the philosophy of conquering nature.


I personally think that a lot of nonsense, idealistic history which really doesn't ring true. (The whole concept of some sort of "Paradise Lost" when the nasty Europeans came in the 15th Century.) The notion is revisionist and absurd.

Indians are humans just like everyone else. How did they hunt buffalo before Europeans brought horses? They drove entire herds off of cliffs and then salvaged the corpse as best they could and left the remainder for, well, nature. Archaeology has provided evidence that they hunted some animals to near extinction. They had problems with garbage and where to place dump sites just like anyone else if they had permanent settlements. (Sometimes they were even forced to relocate if they imprudently placed dump sites.)

Like all humans, Indians did their best to live with nature, at which they were also at odds and often at its mercy.

One reason nature seemed so pristine when Europeans began settling in earnest during the 16th and 17th Centuries is because up to 90% of the humans (Indians) who originally lived there had been wiped out by European diseases that spread faster by decades than the Europeans themselves. Thus nature (forests and animals) was recovering dramatically with a lack of human (Indian) competition.

I highly recommend the book "1491" by Charles Mann for anyone with a desire to know more than the canned, popular myth of Indians everyone seems to know and loves to repeat. Indians had many advances (some of which we are still learning in the Amazon and trying to apply) and the population of North and South America prior to 1492 was possibly even larger than all of Europe. The Americas were not sparsely populated until European diseases ravaged the native populations.

The truth is always far more complex and more interesting than the myths and legends.

I listed another recent article below on the subject which has stirred some controversy.

http://media.www.dailyutahchronicle.com/media/storage/paper244/news/2006/02/21/News/DumpsterDiving.Through.History-1621275.shtml

Respectfully,
M
Azmo
Don't know anything specific about this, but sure is interesting to read what other people think and knows.. you do learn alot.

But aint the reason why we see indians in the way we do because we know so little about them.. or atleast not enough, but indians did build some amazing buildlings aswell.. like all temples and stuff.. thinking of the indians close to amazonas.. of maybe we dont call them indians, what's the difference then? They do live in america, south or north, doesnt matter.. same people with diferent knowledge, different interests and thoughts on how to evolve and how they wanna live.. but like the tribes around the amazon jungle they were not dumb or slower then europe, they were just alone. Europe have alot of countries working together and compeeting against eachother to create the most amazing buildings and keep up with the other coutnries.. they didnt.. and IF they would have, is there anything that says that they wouldnt have been able to build the same things we build in europe? or know as much about sience as the people in europe did?

Correct me if I'm completley wrong... as I said before.. I dont know shit about this, was just a personal thought Smile
Arseniy
And maybe Europeans are oldest part of humanity and Indians are other biological type that appeared later than Europeans and their evolution was more primitive than evolution of Europeans?=)
truespeed
I watched a programme recently on the history channel about the spanish going over to the americas,it was implied that when cortez (not sure of the spelling) entered mexico city,that it was on a par with any of its european counterparts of that time.

So its not true that the americas were backward compared to the europeans.
Moonspider
Arseniy wrote:
And maybe Europeans are oldest part of humanity and Indians are other biological type that appeared later than Europeans and their evolution was more primitive than evolution of Europeans?=)


No, that would seem to imply that they (which would include myself since I am part Creek and Cherokee) are a lesser species. However Indians are Homo Sapiens just like the rest of us.

I'm sure no offense was meant but many would probably take offense to such a notion.

Respectfully,
M
springbok
I think that Europeans developed more rapidly than native americans, africans and native australasians because of a lack of natural resource and space. As europe started developing space was limited and people fought over the limited space and resource.

Whereas in the rest of the world the population was smaller and more wide spread over a larger area of land. Because of this they were able to better live in harmony with the natural processes. Sure they would come into contact with each other and sometimes fight but the natural ecosystem did not suffer from their "expansion".
Coclus
Yeah it was the high competition that a closely together living humans automatically start..
medievalman26
Arseniy wrote:
And maybe Europeans are oldest part of humanity and Indians are other biological type that appeared later than Europeans and their evolution was more primitive than evolution of Europeans?=)


Actually Europe devolped several key technologies after Asia so the were not as advanced as you think. You have to remember that gunpowder was used by the Chinese well before the Europeans even knew about it. other things like reading and writing also came out of Asia. I agree with Moonspider that they had no real need for new technology because they were self sufficent and lived with the land.
Arseniy
2medievalman26
Doh... I mean Chinese as European too=) Men of Eurasia.
sondosia
I think that part of the reason was because Europe had just gone through the Middle Ages, and people must've had an earnest desire to improve their conditions. Native Americans, on the other hand, had huge amounts of land, were unfamiliar with the diseases that plagued Europe during that time, and had no large-scale wars. Therefore, they probably didn't see a need to reinvent their culture.
truespeed
Ok by the 14th 15th centuries and before the spanish came the incas and the aztecs had quite advanced civilisations,so why didnt the north american indians do the same? the aztecs were only in mexico,the north american indians must of come into contact with them,so why didnt they build anything?

Why didnt they advance in the same way the central americans and the south americans did?
{name here}
medievalman26 wrote:
...other things like reading and writing also came out of Asia...

The Futhark(Runic), Latin, Grecian, and Cyrillic alphabets all came from the Phoenician alphabet, which came from the proto-caanite alphabet, which came from the heiroglyphs of Egypt, which developed on their own from a sort of proto heiroglyphic system invented in Egypt, so you could say reading and writing in the western world actually came from Africa, and was developed into the full fleged alphabet by the Greeks.
medievalman26
too Arseniy Oh if you meant...then no problem.

{name here} wrote:
medievalman26 wrote:
...other things like reading and writing also came out of Asia...

The Futhark(Runic), Latin, Grecian, and Cyrillic alphabets all came from the Phoenician alphabet, which came from the proto-caanite alphabet, which came from the heiroglyphs of Egypt, which developed on their own from a sort of proto heiroglyphic system invented in Egypt, so you could say reading and writing in the western world actually came from Africa, and was developed into the full fleged alphabet by the Greeks.


Really? I did not now that. Thank you for the information(note to self check info before inserting foot into mouth)
roninmedia
Read "Guns, Germs, and Steel"

A quick outline from Wikipedia.

In our earliest societies humans lived as hunter-gatherers. The first step towards civilization is the move from hunter-gatherer to agriculture with the domestication and farming of wild crops and animals. Agricultural production leads to food surpluses and this in turn supports sedentary societies, rapid population growth, and specialization of labor. Large societies tend to develop ruling classes and supporting bureaucracies, which leads in turn to the organization of empires. Although agriculture arose in several parts of the world, Eurasia gained an early advantage due to the availability of suitable plant and animal species for domestication. In particular, Mesopotamia had by far the best collection of plants and animals suitable for domestication, and Europe adopted Mesopotamia's animals, plants, and agricultural techniques.

Eurasia's large landmass and long east-west distance increased these advantages. Its large area provided it with more plant and animal species suitable for domestication and allowed its people to exchange both innovations and diseases. Its east-west orientation allowed breeds domesticated in one part of the continent to be used elsewhere through similarities in climate and the cycle of seasons. In contrast, Australia suffered from a lack of useful animals due to extinction; the Americas had difficulty adapting crops domesticated at one latitude for use at other latitudes (and, in North America, adapting crops from one side of the Rocky Mountains to the other); and Africa was fragmented by its extreme variations in climate from north to south: plants and animals that flourished in one area never reached other areas where they could have flourished, because they could not survive in intervening areas.

Hence Eurasia was able to support larger, denser populations, which made trade easier and technological progress faster than in other regions. These economic and technological advantages eventually enabled Europeans to conquer the peoples of the other continents in recent centuries.

Eurasia's dense populations, high level of trade, and living in close proximity to livestock made the transmission of diseases easy, and so natural selection forced Eurasians to develop immunity to a wide range of pathogens. So when Eurasians, especially Europeans, made contact with inhabitants of other regions, especially Native Americans, European diseases ravaged the Native American population, rather than the other way around. This made it easier for relatively small numbers of Europeans to conquer much larger indigenous populations.
hicham_the_webmaster
May be it's due to the lack of competition as people said before, with their ignorence of the european existence even, indian people where not under pressure if we can say that Laughing , good question.
Mrs Lycos
You may say that it was because of lack of "competition", and you can say so because technology and science have evolved the most in times of war.
But then why even today in Africa, where it's supposed to have the oldest human groups in the world ("the origin of humankind") and with tribes that even today are still at war, no technological advances appear in such groups, very limited language and no writing, no signs of evolved culture or civilization.

So I don't think it's a question of competition. Perhaps a question of competence?
roninmedia
Competence, you really want to argue it's all due to innate genetic differences? You're treading down a dangerous road of bigotry and racism.

Competence really has nothing to do with it, because competence is adaptive to the situation. You may be a medical doctor with mass stores of knowledge in your head, but do you have the competence to survive in any harsh condition outside the comfortable confirms of electricity and running water?

And guess what, if you aren't give the luck of geography to give you the tools and resources that build the foundation, what can you do? Some areas had no domesticated animals for beasts of burden or the rich nutrient crops to sustain the farming and good base for a sustainable population, the subsequent advances can never happen.
Mrs Lycos
roninmedia wrote:

And guess what, if you aren't give the luck of geography to give you the tools and resources that build the foundation, what can you do? Some areas had no domesticated animals for beasts of burden or the rich nutrient crops to sustain the farming and good base for a sustainable population, the subsequent advances can never happen.


That unlucky chance you're talking about can only be applied to only very few places, what about the natives from America (North, Central or South?) or tribes in Africa? They all had some kind of animals - call it ox, buffalo, llama, as beasts of burden, and you can't say that the land isn't rich enough for crops.
The Conspirator
Population. Europe, Asia and Africa had a many, many more people. With more people, there was more people to research, experiment and invent. Much of the technology the Europeans had was invented in The Middle East Asia and Africa and came to Europe through trade.
roninmedia
The ox was an Eurasian species. The llama and its relative, the alpaca was confined to South America. They were only in North America until the ice age.

Yes, there are beasts of burden in the sense they could do work, but you have to make the distinction of animals that could be domesticated. You have animals in Africa that could serve the role of beasts of burden, the zebra, antelope or the buffalo in North America but could not be domesticated. With domestication of animals, it does make it easier to settle down along with farming and eliminate almost all hunter-gatherer operations.

Europeans, "living in close proximity to livestock made the transmission of diseases easy, and so natural selection forced Eurasians to develop immunity to a wide range of pathogens".

And I won't argue the point of agriculture because each continent found a series of staple crops. However, notice the large north-south axis of the Americas and Africa, limiting the areas in the same latitude to a small area unlike the large Eurasian east to west axis. Note that the same latitudes tend to have similar climates to crops could easily be transplanted to those areas.
Mrs Lycos
The Conspirator wrote:
Population. Europe, Asia and Africa had a many, many more people. With more people, there was more people to research, experiment and invent. Much of the technology the Europeans had was invented in The Middle East Asia and Africa and came to Europe through trade.


I don't know if you know that there were Empires in South and Central America, the Incas and Aztecas. I don't think an empire can be made up of few people. They did have an advanced system of agricuture, a complex system of social clases, but still never developed technologically to the level of Europe or Asia.
nopaniers
I think that there were several reasons why the Spanish and Portuguese were able to conquer South America with relatively few men. I wouldn't have said that Europeans were so far in advance of Indians. They built some amazing cities, and had a well developed (if horrible in some respects) culture.

The Europeans had imported and improved on gunpowder and canons from the Chinese. The first European cannon, for example, is meant to be around 1350. With improved metal work they made better rifles, and that's got to be a big advantage over someone who doesn't have a gun yet.

Another thing was that when the Europeans arrived, the South American population was decimated by disease. That's got nothing to do with Europeans being more advanced, but it was a major reason why the Europeans were able to ride rough-shot over the South Americans.

Anyhow, I'm no historian, but I think guns and disease probably had a bit to do with it.
SPXLS
Arseniy wrote:
How do you think:
Why Europeans developed so highly in 14-15 centuries and Indians (I mean habitants of North and South Americas) was so un-developed?
I asked that question many times and haven't got any reply. What do you think?


Hmm, good question.
xanarulz
Well from what I remember from History, Europe was the first country to go through the renaissance first and became for the first time a global power after the fall of Qing dynasty in China. From there Europe became economically successful and its arts flourished and became valuable throughout the “old world”. With its flourishing economy came extensive trade routes and made Europe extremely rich, Constantinople was the richest city in world, and with a stable economy and stable political system Europe went through another metamorphous and went through the industrial revolution which helped ship out products extremely quickly and was kept hushed up from the rest of the world so they could take in all of the benefits it brought about. Major invention was the rail road which helped increase trade to distant lands in “shorter” amounts of time, and the discovery of interchangeable parts which set a standard on goods, I.E if something broke you could just go to a store and pick up a new part instead of going to the person who made the machine and having them to custom make the part from scratch. And the interchangeable parts became useful in gun making and increased the amount of weaponry available to Europe giving it a superior military compared to the rest of the World, Britain was the most superior military force in the world until WWI where Russia successfully sank a British fleet.
The Conspirator
Mrs Lycos wrote:
The Conspirator wrote:
Population. Europe, Asia and Africa had a many, many more people. With more people, there was more people to research, experiment and invent. Much of the technology the Europeans had was invented in The Middle East Asia and Africa and came to Europe through trade.


I don't know if you know that there were Empires in South and Central America, the Incas and Aztecas. I don't think an empire can be made up of few people. They did have an advanced system of agricuture, a complex system of social clases, but still never developed technologically to the level of Europe or Asia.

I never said there where no empires in the Americas, I said in Europe, Asia and Africa there where allot more people than in the Americas.
Revvion
Quote:
How do you think:
Why Europeans developed so highly in 14-15 centuries and Indians (I mean habitants of North and South Americas) was so un-developed?
I asked that question many times and haven't got any reply. What do you think?


Who is to say you can develope in only one way? I dont think you can really compare the two as a whole, because there cultures where just differend. I think the un-developed statemend is just a point of view.
nopaniers
xanarulz wrote:
Europe was the first country to go through the renaissance first and became for the first time a global power after the fall of Qing dynasty in China.


Do you mean the Ming dynasty? You're right about the railroad and the industrial revolution - but in the early 1500's when the Spanish were plundering South America, these things hadn't happened yet.

Personally I think it's wrong to assume that Europe was always the center of the world. Just because it was from the late 1500's to the middle of last century doesn't mean that it has always been that way. It is certainly true - like you say - that up until the 1500 other civilizations were more advanced than the Europeans, most notably in my humble opinion, the Chinese.

In the late 1400's and early 1500's, despite their success in Spain, Christian Europe lost control of the overland route to Asia fell into Islamic control. That forced them to look for other ways around. Portuguese sailors tried going around the cape, and the Spanish - as all the Americans will tell us - sent ships to try to get to China and India by crossing the Atlantic ocean (It is a common misconception that medieval Europeans thought the world was flat). Constaninople fell in 1453, some half a century before Columbus sailed for the new world. The strongest European power at the time was the Ottoman Empire. So I don't think that Europe was the strongest power around when they attacked South America.

But after colonization of the new world, and trade with India and South East Asia, I certainly do think that the Europeans were more powerful. A lot of their power came from the wealth they got from their new "possessions".
Slash
Well, Europe virtually always had trade going on...

And was always being conquered... The Greeks/Romans... Etc
corridor_writers
While I am no historian, I would whole-heartedly agree with the over-all consensus I am seeing emerge from this post.

Essentially, I would guess that it came down to how they lived with the land (space vs. lack of space) and how European warfare evolved more quickly (most likely due to the readily available pick of nations to go to war with) – as they were always looking to expand into land already occupied by others.

I would also say it was because Europe stood to gain more from the advancements being made in the cradle of civilization (i.e. the Persian Empire, Greece, Mesopotamia, etc.)

That, and it is well known that while Europe was organizing and expanding, many of the older, more ‘rooted’ empires in the Southern America’s were still sacrificing each other in pagan rituals (not that the Europeans had a lot of room to talk when it came to unnecessary bloodshed – one must only look as far as the Spanish Inquisition for evidence of this.)
corridor_writers
<REMOVED>
This post was supposed to have been put into a different thread. Smile
Moonspider
corridor_writers wrote:
This post has been awfully quite. Does nobody else have opinions on the Eu and it's future?

To try and resurrect conversation, might I ask what peoples views are on the EU and the ‘New World Order’, and their roles together are or will be?


I think this would be more suitable as its own thread, since it does not directly relate to this thread's subject.

Respectfully,
M
WebKitten
Arseniy wrote:
How do you think:
Why Europeans developed so highly in 14-15 centuries and Indians (I mean habitants of North and South Americas) was so un-developed?
I asked that question many times and haven't got any reply. What do you think?



This is a great question!
I myself have been thinking about this lately.
Well what about the African tribes these days?
Are they any more developed then former Indian-Americans?
WebKitten
Revvion wrote:
Quote:
How do you think:
Why Europeans developed so highly in 14-15 centuries and Indians (I mean habitants of North and South Americas) was so un-developed?
I asked that question many times and haven't got any reply. What do you think?


Who is to say you can develope in only one way? I dont think you can really compare the two as a whole, because there cultures where just differend. I think the un-developed statemend is just a point of view.



You are a bit too general on the matter of "un-develop-ness" lol
What about to similar seed of anything falling into the different kind of a soil?
Actually I think nature gives us the best answers.
Twins can b identical but still not perfectly alike even though they "should" be
Smile Wink
corridor_writers
Moonspider wrote:
corridor_writers wrote:
This post has been awfully quite. Does nobody else have opinions on the Eu and it's future?

To try and resurrect conversation, might I ask what peoples views are on the EU and the ‘New World Order’, and their roles together are or will be?


I think this would be more suitable as its own thread, since it does not directly relate to this thread's subject.

Respectfully,
M


Oops - my bad.....this was supposed to have been on a different post. I have made a note and removed the content in the post above.

Arggggg!
amicalindia
In america there were too many resources with no need to compete. A Situation exactly opposite to the Europe. Always necessity is the mother of invention.



Arseniy wrote:
How do you think:
Why Europeans developed so highly in 14-15 centuries and Indians (I mean habitants of North and South Americas) was so un-developed?
I asked that question many times and haven't got any reply. What do you think?
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