Monday, October 17, 2011

Thoughts on 1491 (10/17/11 HW)

What is Charles C. Mann's central premise in his article, 1491? Provide a quote to illuminate your response. And, to wit, what does Mann's article suggest about the state of what we have historically considered (Western) knowledge? What is the relationship between scientific revolution and re-evaluation of Western knowledge and "development" (compared to the pre-Columbian Americas)? Feel free to suggest or link to outside sources or web sites.

52 comments:

Shane Crissey said...

Charles C. Mann's central premise in his article is that there are differing views on the amount of people that were present in America before Columbus arrived. Some believe that there were actually more people living in North America than Europe but disease wiped out most of these people before Columbus arrived. "Indians were here far longer than previously thought, these researchers believe, and in much greater numbers. And they were so successful at imposing their will on the landscape that in 1492 Columbus set foot in a hemisphere thoroughly dominated by humankind." This belief questions the standard thought that there were few random settlements of Indians scattered throughout America. If that many people did live here before Columbus arrived, why hasn't there been any proof excavated after all these years?

Chris Baldrige said...

Charles C. Mann's central premise in his article is that The Indians were not the nomadic people that everyone had been led to believe. In fact, they may even have lived in cities that exceeded the cities in Europe at the time."Assuming a 95 percent death rate, the pre-contact population would have been 10 million. Go up one percent, to a 96 percent death rate, and the figure jumps to 12.5 million—arithmetically creating more than two million people from a tiny increase in mortality rates." This suggests that The Indians were not the "savages" that Europeans believed they were and the excepted western premise that Europeans brought civilization to the Americas is all wrong. It isnt that hard to believe that such a large number of humans lived in the Americas since it is such a large continent. The question is, can anyone truly be confident about the real population in the Americas when even a small difference in the predicted death rate can yield such large differences in the estimated past population?

Walker Shelton said...

Charles C. Mann's central premise in his article is that American's are given wrong ideas about native americans. History has a chance to be turned around and changed as it is passed from generation to generation. Often information is changed to make it what certain people want to hear. "Given the charged relations between white societies and native peoples, inquiry into Indian culture and history is inevitably contentious." In school, I was always taught that indians were hunters and lived off the land, and didn't live in cities. I feel like most of the American civilazation was taught this way. Reading this article made me realize that maybe what I learned in grade school was misleading. Maybe today's teachers should be more aware of new discoveries about the past, because these new descoveries often contradict what they have been teaching.

k13mawhinney said...

In the article “1491”, Charles C. Mann’s central premise is that Native American’s way of life was very useful, resourceful, and beneficial to their people, whereas the Europeans were very detrimental to the Indians, destroying their people through disease and their land through building their settlements and introducing new plant and animal life to the Americas. As Hudson, as described by Mann, says in this article, “ ‘the window opened and slammed shut. When the French came in and the record opened up again, it was a transformed reality. A civilization crumbled. The question is, how did this happen?’” The European exploration of North America was a bad idea because these Indian tribes were doing well enough on their own; they had plenty of land and natural resources, so they didn’t need any intrusion by the Europeans. This article also suggests that the state of historically considered Western knowledge is fake. Mann describes on multiple occasions that Europeans exploring North America thought that they were correct in their dealings with the Indians, or correct about food sources or shelter in the New World, but history always shows how the Native Americans always had the better way of life. The relationship between scientific revolution and re-evalutation of Western knowledge and “development” is that science shows that the Indians did have a better quality of life, from having very few diseases to have an abundance of good food to having decent shelters.

Eric Flatt said...

Charles Mann's central premise is that the American continents before 1492 were not the primative ecosystems populated by hunters and gatherers like once thought. Instead, the Native Americans had built vast, complex cultures, and the ruins observed by Henry Breckenridge were described as "Rising from the muddy bottomland was a 'stupendous pile of earth,; vaster than the Great Pyramid at Giza. Around it were more than a hundred smaller mounds, covering an area of five square miles." The reason the Europeans colonizing the Americas never got to see these civilizations was because a deadly combination of non-native diseases swept through the Native Americans like wildfire, decreasing their numbers dramatically. Now, archaeologists are starting to uncover the secrets to these pre 1492 civilizations. These civilizations cleverly manipulated their environments, reshaping them for their own uses. They used mass burning techniques to shape the great plains for herds of buffalo, and engineered soil in the amazon with regenerative properties. This new evidence suggests that many of the environments in early America were also shaped by humanity, and not by natural processes as once believed.

Walter Bradshaw said...

"Faced with such stories, historians have long wondered how many people lived in the Americas at the time of contact." This quote represents the central premise of Mann's argument. He argues that the pre-contact population could possibly have been much higher than the average person and many experts believe. Our ideas of North America's indigenous peoples, are that of a nomadic culture there were mere hunter gatherers. They had no real culture and are thought of as savages. Mann argues that despite the idea portrayed in text books and other widespread media, the native culture was extremely advanced. Many experts cited in 1491 believe the natives manipulated their environment altogether for their benefit. This creates a contradiciton between the idea of a nomadic hunter gather culture and an advanced society. Another contradiction that is created by evidence of manipulation of the environment is the argument of many environmentalist. They want to restore things back to the way it was "pre-contant". If the natives manipulated their environment to create conditions that benefit them, what exactly are the conditions environmentalist are working to restore? Mann lays out the debate between those that believe in the low population/nomadic natives an those who believe there was a huge population with advanced cultures. There is evidence to support both arguments. Many explorers cited huge cities/cultures. After this contact, those who believe there was a large population argue that disease wiped out up to 96 percent of natives. When explorers returned years later there were very few people and the culture had taken huge steps backward. Those who believe there was a large pre-contact population, cite the 2nd wave of explorers and their findings as the basis for those who believe there was a small population at time of 1st contact. They also argue that many who believe there was a small population, only feel this way to justify the taking of land. Those who argue the small populous at time of contact want to dumb down the atrocities of the western world. The other side of the argument is that the pre-contact population was very small and consisted of hunter gatherer nomadic peoples. This argument is based strictly on the lack of evidence. They argue that if these huge civilizations existed there would be vast archaeological evidence to support these claims. The side says there is no basis for those who believe there was a large population and all their evidence is speculative. The relationship between scientific revolution and re-evaluation of Western knowledge and development is simple. Despite new evidence and discovered historical accounts of large populations, many continue to argue there was a small population. It is obvious in my opinion that there was a huge population and extremely advanced cultures. Despite the large amounts evidence, those who argue a small population still cite a "lack of evidence". Their pre-concieved notion is not changed by facts. This is the problem with many issues such as global warming. Despite unrivaled evidence, people are simply not willing to change their opinion. This processes is lamented by the continuation of spreading information regarding the same account of native american life. The other side of the argument is not even mentioned in modern education or media.

Anna Waynick said...

Charles C. Mann's central premise is that the population of the America's before Columbus could have been much higher than any historians believed it to be. The article states that, "Indians were here far longer than previously thought, these researchers believe, and in much greater numbers. And they were so successful at imposing their will on the landscape that in 1492 Columbus set foot in a hemisphere thoroughly dominated by humankind." The Western knowledge that we have been taught in grade school could be a huge lie. It is very possible that this knowledge was strung together with assumptions about Western civilization before European inquiry. The relationship between scientific revolution and re-evaluation of Western knowledge is strong. As a Western society, we must research our background thoroughly from a scientific standpoint. This is to make sure our kids are learning the historically correct knowledge of the Western world unlike the knowledge we were taught.

Anonymous said...

Alex Eldridge English 101

I think that his premise to this article is to make others realize how much the indians really did suffer. As well as to express how much effect and forced change, that was uneccessary, the foreigners brought to america. I feel like there are a few quotes that express this. "The Spaniards arrived, and then Indians died-in huge numbers, at incredible rates. It hit him, Dobyns told me recently, "Like a club right between the eyes."" this quote shows the realization of the force behind the dying native americans, how huge their numbers were, as well as the foreigners effects. "Dobyns estimated that in the first 130 years of contact about 95 percent of the people in the Americas died- the worst demographic calamity in recorded history. Dobyn's ideas were quickly attacked as politically motivated." This shows what a difference in statistics between what was originally thought and what Dobyns is saying now. "The smaller the numbers of Indians, she believes, the easier it is to regard the continent as having been up for grabs." This quote points out the other theme in the article that express how the Indians dwindled slowly and other countries mercefully took it, taking away the original connections on the continent between human and earth. I think that Mann suggests that we are not always correct about pasts when it comes to our own history. Sometimes things can be skewed a certain way in order to justify our right to be where we are today. I think he shows this by pointing out all of the criticism that the new ideas of past events took. Finally, the relationship between scientific revolution and re-evaluation in the article has to do with the process it took to get to this new information and these new insights. If no one had taken the time to rethink the possible outcomes and theories of our western development then the same ideas would remain. The ideas of the past will not always be the same and may pan out through trial and error. But without being explored we are stuck in the same thought process forever.

Garrett Zafuto said...

Mann's premise in this article is that for so long the Europeans believed the Native Americans to be savage and uncivilized, and even when confronted with evidence to the contrary, such as when Brackenridge found the large, manmade mounds of earth near the Cahokia River. Instead of attributing this achievement to the Native Americans, others "attributed them to, among others, the Vikings, the Chinese, the "Hindoos," the ancient Greeks, the ancient Egyptians, lost tribes of Israelites, and even straying bands of Welsh." The Native Americans were seen as primitive, and from the same token, many today still take their apparent population at the time of colonization for granted. Most believe that the amount of Native Americans present could not have totaled more than about a million people, and do not take into account that the colonists were not taking a census of the Native American population at the time, and also did not realize that they themselves had brought immense suffering and death to the Native Americans in the form of plague. Some guess that we could have had as many as a hundred million Native Americans when the first colonists arrived and the colonists wouldn't have been any wiser. To this day, most people assume that the Native Americans were quite primitive and did not do much more than hunt down buffalo. However, when we look at massive structures like Tenochtitlan, the Incan capital of present day Mexico, we can be sure that there was a level of sophistication that may have even dwarfed that of the Europeans, who could not learn to live in harmony with the land in order to feed all of its people and keeps its cities clean. Instead of taking these wonders as precious gems, the colonists invaded and ransacked as many Native American colonies they needed in order to survive, damaging rich cultures and essentially wiping out an entire way of living. Perhaps there was more we could have learned from the Native Americans about agriculture and sustainable living long ago, but according to Mann, that possibility has long since passed.

Alice Robbins said...

Charles C. Mann's central premise in his article is that much of what we know about Native Americans is wrong. We have been taught information in elementary school that might not be scientifically correct. He says, "Indians were here far longer than previously thought, these researchers believe, and in much greater numbers. And they were so successful at imposing their will on the landscape that in 1492 Columbus set foot in a hemisphere thoroughly dominated by humankind." This explains that Indians may have lived in greater numbers than what we have been taught and they also had control over the land they lived on. Mann's article suggests that Western knowledge taught this far could be a lie. The Native Americans had a better life before Columbus came along. Scientific revolution and re-evaluation have lead to the new information we know now about the past. Without it we would still believe what we learned as children that ultimately might be completely wrong.

Sam Dearstyne said...

Charles Mann's central idea in 1491 is that the native cultures that lived on the American continent before European's arrived were far more advanced than modern culture gives them credit for today. As stated by Mann in 1491, "Back home in the Americas, Indian agriculture long sustained some of the world's largest cities. The Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán dazzled Hernán Cortés in 1519; it was bigger than Paris, Europe's greatest metropolis. The Spaniards gawped like hayseeds at the wide streets, ornately carved buildings, and markets bright with goods from hundreds of miles away." Although the natives of the Americas are often considered to be unsophisticated and primitive, it is possible that they achieved levels of sustainable sophistication that modern culture has yet to achieve.


Mann contends that by the time Columbus had arrived in America, many of the booming cultures that once inhabited the land had been killed by diseases brought to America by previous explorers. This is one of the reasons why Europeans believed that their conquest to move to the new world was a story "of the creation of a civilization where none existed."

1491 proposes the idea that perhaps the knowledge that western indigenous cultures had is more meaningful than once thought. If these cultures were able to survive for thousands of years more than our already declining industrial civilization, than perhaps they were even more advanced than we are. Instead of fragmenting the land like was done in Europe and now in today's culture, natives reshaped the land to benefit all the various parties within the ecosystem. As supported in the article. "Like people everywhere, Indians survived by cleverly exploiting their environment. Europeans tended to manage land by breaking it into fragments for farmers and herders. Indians often worked on such a grand scale that the scope of their ambition can be hard to grasp. They created small plots, as Europeans did (about 1.5 million acres of terraces still exist in the Peruvian Andes), but they also reshaped entire landscapes to suit their purposes."

The scientific revolution created technology that overshadowed tried and true indigenous practices and principles. This absolutely caused non native people to view the natives as, as stated in the article, "feeble barbarians, destitute of commerce and of political connection". Technological, political, and economic achievements may be gratifying in the short term, but is it truly sustainable? The article says that the natives didn't marvel at our achievements but instead they scoffed at our uncleanliness and ill-reverence for the environment. Furthermore it states how European explorers marvel at the natives, completely contradictory of what modern culture describes as unknowlegable savages. Just because technology is possible doesn't mean it's necessary. I for one would rather belong to a culture that survived for thousands of years based on sensibility, as opposed to the culture I am tied to now that will probably leave a legacy as the culture that taught the world how not to live.

Anonymous said...

The premise of Charles Mann's article 1491 was to show just how little we really knew about the Native Americans in our history. "Indians were here far longer than previously thought, these researchers believe, and in much greater numbers. And they were so successful at imposing their will on the landscape that in 1492 Columbus set foot in a hemisphere thoroughly dominated by humankind." This quote demonstrates our lack of responsibility of being informed about the Native Americans. Before reading Mann's article, I had always been taught that there were not that many Native Americans in relation to the number of Englishmen who came over from Europe and other places to explore the "new world." When Columbus and his fellow men on the expedition found America, they sought it as their own. From then on, America became "their land" or "their property." I believe that this article points out how we've messed up throughout history, in the way we've treated others as well as the environment. We took advantage of the Native Americans, while calling them nothing but savages. However, when the first white men appeared on this continent, we had to gain knowledge from the natives on how to survive by hunting, harvesting, and making different living supplies. Without those natives here originally, the white male may have not been so successful in his conquest of America.

Katherine Atkinson
English 101

Kayla Whitley said...

Mann's premise in his article, 1491, is that the population of America was in fact much higher than estimated at the time (and still thought of today). A quote made stresses this point: "If all those people died, how many had been living there to begin with? Before Columbus, Dobyns calculated, the Western Hemisphere held ninety to 112 million people. Another way of saying this is that in 1491 more people lived in the Americas than in Europe." Everything that we as Americans were taught about pre-Columbian America is essentially incorrect. Mann stresses the fact that there are people that still deny that America had a considerable population before it was "discovered". In addition to denying their existence, these natives were portrayed as savages. The reason the population dropped so dramatically is that the Indians were subjected to diseases that Colonists had, and because they'd had no previous experience with it, the had no tolerance. (This part, at least, was not denied: In a manifest destiny-esque belief, William Bradford, the governor of Plymouth states: “The good hand of God favored our beginnings, [by] sweeping away great multitudes of the natives … that he might make room for us.”) Mann's article basically goes on record to say that everything we are taught in books, movies, and other media is incorrect. To this day, most Americans are either too ignorant or too uneducated to realize the devastation and havoc that colonists had on the natives.

Madison Broadway said...

1491 Response

Mann's central premise is that there were more numbers of Native Americans here before the French, British, Spanish, etc. came; however, the number is debatable. The Native Americans were so good to the land that we would never expect that that many could exist without great damage and there were so many different epidemics that came though slowly making each generation smaller and smaller. "Indians were here far longer than previously thought, these researchers believe, and in much greater numbers. And they were so successful at imposing their will on the landscape that in 1492 Columbus set foot in a hemisphere thoroughly dominated by humankind...Smallpox was only the first epidemic. Typhus (probably) in 1546, influenza and smallpox together in 1558, smallpox again in 1589, diphtheria in 1614, measles in 1618—all ravaged the remains of Incan culture. "

This suggests that the historical western knowledge that the natives were uncivilized could be incorrect and that diseases brought over from Europe killed off many more natives than originally thought.

Scientific revolutions have shown that original ideas about the natives could be wrong. I was always taught that there many less of the natives than the Europeans and so they never had a chance against them. I knew they migrated with the animals and adapted to the land rather than making the land adapt to them. This brings a new idea that yes, they still did that, but a large number of people can still live in one area without an enormous amount of damage done to the land. I think these new ideas should become more popular in schools, so that the children will not only have one idea about the Native Americans. Now that other people have re-evaluated how many Native Americans were here, other generations can too. If that many more people were here then that means that however many more died. The Europeans from the pre Colombian era already have a bad name, but maybe it was all much worse. This is a subject that will never have a correct answer and I don’t think anybody needs to go to war about it, but I should be something thought about.

Jamie DeRose said...

I believe Mann's central premise is that Native Americans may have lived a dramatically different lifestyle than we have always believed. For the most part, we have been taught that the natives helped the environment, but not that they set fires to huge forests to clear unwanted vegetation. We also thought there were far fewer Americans than Europeans; however, evidence may prove that "in 1491 more people lived in the Americas than in Europe." Mann's article suggests that what we have been taught, or "Western knowledge," may have been skewed to make us re-evaluate our own ways, or there may not have been enough information to teach us the (possible ) truth. The relationship between scientific revolution and re-evaluation of Western knowledge shows that science may have proven that Native Americans had a different life than we imagined. It is hard to determine which story is true, but it is interesting to think of this alternative point of view. Perhaps we should try to learn more about how the Indians lived because they may have used techniques that we could use today. While Mann thinks it may be, hopefully it is not too late to utilize methods from the Native Americans.

Anonymous said...

Charles C. Mann's central premise was how the indians were inhabiting way before the europeans arrived. They arrived sooner yet what we learn now is that they were there for not that long and lived in the land of wilderness without much destruction to the land. "One way to summarize the views of people like Erickson and Balée would be to say that in their opinion this picture of Indian life is wrong in almost every aspect." Mann's argument revolves around how there is not exact numbers of how many people inhabited before columbus. Western knowledge may have been altered to make us think differently about our past. The relationship between the scientific revolution and re evaluation of the western knowledge is that with our new advancements comes new ways to find more information about the what we supposedly knew and thought was right.

Suath Penagos

Andrew Bowden said...

I think the quote “After we landed, I asked Balée, Should we let people keep burning the Beni? Or should we let the trees invade and create a verdant tropical forest in the grasslands, even if one had not existed here for millennia?” portrayed the main point of the article. Mann was trying to illustrate that there are two different perspectives to a story. In the case of this article it was concerning the New World before Columbus’ discovery. One perspective being the accepted norm was that the North American natives were not as populous, ingenuitive, or civilized as the Old World. The other perspective speculates that the native population was once great and ingenious with cities such as Tenochtitlan being larger and more beautiful than Paris. Currently the accepted perspective in the Western World is that the Natives, being such a small population, were savages and primal acquiring food by hunting and gathering. As an American this perspective helps those give reason to why and how the New World was colonized. For example, it eases the mind to think that our ancestors colonized America with God on our side. Rather our ancestors “colonized” the New World by killing large populations of Natives either by disease or brute force. This is similar to the humans’ mind set toward animals. Since animals are dumb and primal, we humans as the smarter being can manipulate their lives. No one thinks twice if a squirrel, deer, raccoon, or opossum is hit and killed by a car. If something is considered as being below a human then that thing has no value in terms of existence. Although there are some accounts and evidence that support the New World being populous and ingenuitive the scientific community has yet to accept the evidence as factual. We will most likely never fully know the past of the New World and the state of its inhabitants. The accepted perspective will continue to be taught in schools as it has been for decades.

Anonymous said...

Charles C. Mann’s central premise is that what we have historically considered Western knowledge is not as true as we thought it was. For an example there were more Indians than what has always be thought. Mann says, “Indians were here in greater numbers than previously thought, and they imposed their will on the landscape. Columbus set foot in a hemisphere thoroughly dominated by humankind.” People has always been taught that Indians lived in a way that sustained the environment but this was possibly not true. Mann also says, “Like people everywhere, Indians survived by cleverly exploiting their environment.” Mann believed that what we have historically considered (Western) knowledge is not true, people were taught in school things are not accurate. The relationship between scientific revolution and re-evaluation of Western knowledge is that they both have lead to new information and proven that what was once taught maybe was not the whole truth.

Savannah Morgan

Loveless said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loveless said...

Man's central premise in his article, 1491, is that there were much more Native Americans living on both the North and South American continents before the Europeans even set foot on American soil. The quote: "Before Columbus, Dobyns calculated, the Western Hemisphere held ninety to 112 million people" evinces that statement. Though just a theory made by a couple historians, it's an understandable one. Essentially, everything that we were taught in school concerning Columbus' "discovery" of America and the Native Americans is wrong. We've already considered the whole "Columbus discovering America" notion incorrect, so why not this next? It was also said that the Europeans thought the Native Americans were nothing but savages, as they did the same when they set out expeditions to colonize Africa. Their mindset was also incorrect, as Mann says that the Native Americans had a complex civilization, one that was perhaps further ahead of Europe. It just goes to show that you can't trust what you're told all the time; you have to verify things for yourself, especially when the subject is history.

- Aaron Smith

Jenna Miller said...

Charles Mann’s central idea is that Native Americans lived and thrived a lot longer than historians give them credit for. Native Americans were on the Earth long before Columbus discovered them in 1491, and they were very sustainable. Mann states “Indians were here far longer than previously thought, these researchers believe, and in much greater numbers. And they were so successful at imposing their will on the landscape that in 1492 Columbus set foot in a hemisphere thoroughly dominated by humankind.”

Mann’s view on Western knowledge is that the diseases that the Europeans had brought over with them had killed off many Native American cultures. When Columbus arrived these cultures were not thriving the way they once had, therefore Europeans believed that they helped create the Native American environments but really they just came in and messed up their way of life.

The article presents the notion that previous knowledge of Western civilization is false. Europeans thought that they knew a lot about the land and ways of Native American life, when in fact they knew little to nothing about the Americas. Europeans were wrong about how Native Americans lived and interacted with each other, also certain kinds of foods that they ingested and the landscape surrounding them. The relationship between the re-evaluation of Western knowledge and scientific revolution is that science now shows us that Native Americans had a better understanding of everything around them than first believed.

Laurin Brown said...

Charles C. Mann's central premise of the article, 1491, is that americans have the wrong perception of how native americans lived. They were actually more sucessful in establishing their civilizations than the Europeans were. Their influence upon the environment that they lived in is far greater than what they are given credit for.The quote that supports this argument is one that talks about what Spaniards viewed when they saw how the Aztecs lived. "In the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan the Spaniards gawped like hayseeds at the wide streets, ornately carved buildings, and markets bright with goods from hundreds of miles away." Basically, most of the knowledge that was taught in schools about the native americans and columbus were wrong. The Native-Americans had a more complex civilization than even the Europeans. The relationship between scientific revolution and re-evaluation of Western knowledge and "development" is that as we expand our technologies, we begin to learn what is fact and fiction.

Courtney Alston said...

In found 1941 to be very insightful and it enlightened me on the history of Native Americans. This article dramatically changed my view on Native Americans before European settlers came about. For instance I did not know that In 1491 there were probably more people living in the Americas than in Europe or the fact that the earliest cities in the Western Hemisphere were thriving before the Egyptians built the great pyramids. I had no idea that the Native Americans were so technologically advanced and that when the Europeans arrived, a great deal of the western hemisphere was already landscaped.
Man’s central premise is that the Native Americans were a lot more sophisticated than deemed to be by history. In the article Mann says “Indians were here in greater numbers than previously thought, and they imposed their will on the landscape. Columbus set foot in a hemisphere thoroughly dominated by humankind.” When thinking about Native Americans before I read this article I imagined Native Americans as very primitive people. I am glad this article shed some light on how advanced Native Americans were. The relationship between scientific revolution and re-evalutation of Western knowledge and “development” is that science can prove what Western knowledge tells us is true.

dmcmillan said...

Charles C. Mann's central premise is that the Native Americans lived a much more sustainable lifestyle than the history books tell us. “Indians were here far longer than previously thought, these researchers believe, and in much greater numbers. And they were so successful at imposing their will on the landscape that in 1492 Columbus set foot in a hemisphere thoroughly dominated by humankind.”
What ruined the Native American culture and people, was the Europeans coming over and imposing their will and spreading diseases like wildfire. Had it not been for Columbus's "discovery," the Native Americans would still be around today.
The article agues that a lot of what we believe to be true about Native Americans is false because most of the facts were merely based on assumptions that the Europeans made when they arrived. Science now shows us that these people lived a far more advanced lifestyle than we thought they did, and arguably a much more sustainable lifestyle than we do today.

Anonymous said...

The premise of the article, "1491" by Charles C. Mann is that what people have always thought about the population and lives of the Indians in early America may not actually be true. A quotation that displays this idea is from the first page, fifth paragraph: "I was taught that Indians came to the Americas across the Bering Strait about 12,000 years ago, that they lived for the most part in small, isolated groups, and that they had so little impact on their environment...this picture of Indian life is wrong in almost every aspect." As this quotation explains, Mann's article suggests that the Western knowledge that people have previously believed to be true and taught in schools may not be accurate. This also contributes to how the scientific revolution, re-evaluation of Western knowledge, and development are related. Americans must have a clear, accurate understanding of past events and situations to have a positive development in the nation. This may be done by re-evaluating what was thought to be correct Western knowledge.
Mary Eskandari

Wiley McLeod said...

Charles Mann's premise is that Native Americans lived much better and knew much more than anthropologists previously thought. The lived in much higher numbers than they thought and they had a much better understanding of agriculture. In fact, the Native American were so well off that they considered the Europeans the more uncivilized people saying they were "physically weak, sexually untrustworthy, atrociously ugly, and just plain dirty".

Mann also gave a lot of evidence on the misinformation of Western knowledge. Many of the widely accepted "facts" of Western knowledge (such as the number of people on the continent before Columbus) are constantly getting uprooted and disproved. It seems that many scientists would just naturally accept anything that had decent evidence without looking into it much.

One of the main factors that caused the re-evaluation of Western knowledge was the scientific revolution. Once the scientific revolution got underway, they started disproving popular beliefs left and right. Basically everything children have been taught about Native Americans was discovered to be completely false. And while it may have taken a long time for the information to get out, it is nice for the Native American people to finally get credit for all the things they gave to Western society and to no longer be seen as a savage people before Columbus arrived.

Stuart Anderson said...

Charles Mann’s central premise in his article “1491” is that there is a misunderstanding of western civilization and existence of Native Americans. “One way to summarize the views of people like Erickson and Balée would be to say that in their opinion this picture of Indian life is wrong in almost every aspect. Indians were here far longer than previously thought, these researchers believe, and in much greater numbers.” According to Mann, the information about Native American life in the Americas that is being passed down and taught in school is not correct. Scientists have began to realize that it is possible that these Indians survived much longer due to their care for the land, ability to live only on necessity, and their invincibility and resistance against deadly diseases. People will either remain comfortable with the belief that Indians lived in small, spread out tribes and lived in savage manners; others will take into account the new evidence and research supporting the theory that the population of Native Americans is much higher and much older than what the average person believes.

Alex reid said...

The central premise of this article is how actually the Native Americans were actually living a quite sustainable lifestyle and were quite capable of living there own lives. What Charles Mann is trying to explain is the devastating impact the Europeans had, and the misconception the Europeans had of the Native Americans. The Europeans came and destroyed the Native Americans, and the arguement before hand was that the population in North America was larger in Europe. But the europeans slowly devastated the population of the Native Americans.

Brandon Rowell said...

Brandon Rowell English101 (3:40-5:20)

Charles C. Mann’s central premise in the article 1491 is that far less credit than deserved is given to the indigenous North American people for their sophistication, sustainability, and ability to transform large scale landscapes into useful areas. Mann quotes William Denevan when he brings up the facts about how the Native Americans controlled the landscape by saying “the pristine myth—the belief that the Americas in 1491 were an almost unmarked, even edenic land, untrammeled by man, as said in the words of the Wilderness Act of 1964.” This is just the beginning of the evidence supporting how Indian populations had prospered in sophisticated ways. The Aztec capitol is a good example of how sustainable and remarkable the city itself and the agriculture that supported it actually was. Mann uses references from Cortes himself about how astonishing the capitol city was compared to those in Europe by saying “In the Aztec capital Tenochtitlán the
Spaniards gawped like hayseeds atthe wide streets, ornately carved buildings, and markets bright with goods from hundreds of miles away.” The secondary premise of the article talks about the estimated population of North America before Europeans infected, destroyed, and began to inhabit so many parts of the continent. Over the course of history, estimates have generally been low because it is easier to believe that settlers took a less occupied continent than one that is chock full of inhabitants. However, the truth about the number of people that occupied the land comes out when you know the underlying cause of underestimates such as “Non-Indian ‘experts’ always want to minimize the size of aboriginal populations,” says Lenore
Stiffarm, a native American specialist. The re-evaluation of knowledge comes up when you look at how the natives have been able to sustain themselves and allow the environment to prosper in harmony with one another. The introduction of Europeans, their sciences, and ways of life are what ultimately left the Indians with the shit end of the stick. If you are curious about the opinions of the archeologists that made this information available, then you will be happy to know that Charles Mann asked each of them. “I asked seven anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians if they would rather have been a typical Indian or a typical European in 1491. Every one chose to be an Indian.” As to what they said, I agree in full. I would rather belong to a culture that promotes growth and sustainability, as opposed to the European culture that obliterated centuries of (Western) knowledge and acted as true savages would against the native population.

Anonymous said...

James Goethe
Since Christopher Columbus first landed in 1492 in the Mayflower to today, census' are taken to determine the number of people living in an area. However, when it comes to native American's, an issue arrises-there is no way to tell from 1492 of how many were living in America. Estimates have come out that there may have been between 1.8 million to 25 million Native American's living during the colonialization period. However, as soon as the European's arrived, in the following years, nearly all (95%) of the indigenous population became "extinct." Many theories as to how this happened have come about, but the most probable cause was illness. Because the Native American's had no line of defense towards European diseases, they simply kept dying. However, because of their harmony with the environment, there are theories that suggest that the Native American's have survived longer than the Europeans. In order for this to occur, however, the land had to have been properly used. The final question arrises now-who was more civilized? The Europeans, or the Native Americans?

Anonymous said...

Jacob Brotzman

In Charles C. Mann's 1491, the main premise is that the pre scientific revolutionary beliefs of the Native American people before they were conquered by Columbus were proven to be far from accurate with the coming of the scientific revolution. "Indians were here far longer than previously thought, these researchers believe, and in much greater numbers. And they were so successful at imposing their will on the landscape that in 1492 Columbus set foot in a hemisphere thoroughly dominated by humankind", verifies this premise. Mann's article suggests that as Americans, we simply absorbed what was taught to us as fact without any real scientific evidence. We believed that the Native Americans were simply savages and wild when in reality they were intelligent people who had a very sustainable society. With the scientific revolution, Americans have been able to re evaluate these long held false beliefs and replace them with scientific facts about what actually occured in the 1940's.

Nicole said...

In the article, 1491 by Charles Mann, the audience is presented with very startling facts. One that the populations of indigenous people on the American continent has been miscalculated several times because of contradicting analysis of archaeological finds. Population estimates range anywhere from 1.8 million to 25 million which is a wide and astounding range. If the populations were in the higher part of that range then Europeans wiped out a group of people larger than their own without even having to touch them. The other fact is that it was not just a population that was eradicated but a whole keystone species in an expertly cultivated ecosystem. By entwining the fate of other animals with their own, the Native American civilizations ensured that resources would not be depleted or overrun the land.
The idea of indigenous sustainability in America has always astounded many people but if it was in fact used to the extent that Mann is implying then Europeans should be the "savages" in the story.

It is very unfortunate that many historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists can not accept that Western knowledge by Mann's comparison is not as superior as they once thought. If the assumptions some have presented are true, then humans in the present day are actually not as intellectually advanced in many ways.

"They were in the process of terraforming the Amazon when Columbus showed up and ruined everything"

Anonymous said...

The main premise of Charles C. Mann's article is that we have been greatly misinformed about the lifestyle of Native Americans before Columbus came to the Americas. We have been taught in schools that until the Europeans began moving to the Americas that the land was occupied by small, isolated tribes who had little impact upon the landscape. Mann completely discredits this idea and says instead that the Native Americans had quite complex social communities that were able to take control of the land in a way that was beneficial to them but for the most part did not harm the land itself. This is how they were able to live so sustainably for such a long period of time; according to Mann, much longer than the 12,000 years we once thought. A quote from the piece that reinforces these points is "Indians were here in greater numbers than previously thought and they imposed their will on the landscape. Columbus set foot in a hemisphere thoroughly dominated by humankind." This belief completely conflicts with the idea that the Europeans brought civilization to the Americas and entirely changes the way the one looks at the history of the Americas as well as the history of the native peoples of that area.
- Katherine Barrows

Anonymous said...

What Charles Mann is trying to say in his article 1941 is basically that we had greatly underscored what we thought about the Native American way of life. Europeans had come over here to conquer what was an untamed land and thought they knew no more of what they were doing than a man who has no sense of direction. But in actuality the Native Americans may have had more of a grasp to life then the Europeans themselves. They were a people who lived off the land and used the natural resourves that it had to offer them; and did this with no problem and had done it to produce quite a substantioal culture throughout all of America. It may not be as many modern historist suggest about Europeans bringing the "right" culture and life to these new lands. Perhaps it was something that was already here.

Cameron Luper

tmmarti3 said...

Charles C. Mann’s central premise in his article, 1491, was that many of the previously thought facts, primarily about the Western Hemisphere and 1491 Native America, in the early 1490s were possibly untrue. There are debatable facts that are being displayed from different sides of the argument. These different sides are people supporting the previously “known” history and the people that are presenting the newfound theories of a much higher advanced past than we had anticipated. Mann claims that “Before it became the New World, the Western Hemisphere was vastly more populous and sophisticated than has been thought—an altogether more salubrious place to live at the time than, say, Europe.” He believes that there were more people in the Western Hemisphere than Europe. The reason that this was not taken into consideration earlier was that there weren’t that many people when Columbus had arrived. This is believed to be because of a sickness or illness that reduced the population. Though the re-evaluation of Western knowledge is revealing much higher intelligence than we previously thought, the scientific revolution yielded much higher technological advances.

Manny Goti said...

1491 by Charles C. Mann is an article that discusses key principles and points about the Western Hemisphere before 1491. In my opinion the man argument of this article is to slightly discredit, or find discrepancies in, the western knowledge that everyone believes to be true and provide his own predictions and speculations.Charles says, "New evidence of both the extent of the population and its agricultural advancement leads to a remarkable conjecture: the Amazon rain forest may be largely a human artifact." This is just one example of how Charles is trying show that what we've always been told about western history may not be all fact. Mann also believes that the state of current western knowledge is not quite right. For example, Mann writes how for many years now we have always learned how the western hemisphere was first inhabited when the indians crossed over the Bering Strait about 12,000 years ago. According to the article the indians were actually here for much longer then we had ever though and supposedly arrived by the use of water vessels. With the abundance of new technology that is now available Mann is able to state discrepancies he sees with our current Western knowledge. This is the relationship between scientific revolution and the re-evaluation of Western Knowledge because the new scientific capabilities are what are giving scientists the ability to questions Western Knowledge such as whether the indians arrived 12,000 years ago or possibly even earlier. Although this new technology may be revealing new aspects of Western knowledge many of the older generation still do not agree or believe with these new concepts because there is not enough hard evidence. I am in agreement with this older generation because I believe that the article is based on too many guesses and speculations and there needs to be more proof.

Brittany Moore said...

I believe that Mann’s central premise in this article is to raise awareness of the magnitude of Native Americans that were in North America in 1491 as well as before 1491. In this article he claims that he has evidence that proves "in 1491 more people lived in the Americas than in Europe." I believe Mann was also trying to raise awareness of the suffering that Europeans caused the Native Americans. This suffering is far greater than most Americans have previously thought. Mann is also suggesting that what most Americans would call “common knowledge” is wrong, or misconstrued. In 1491, Mann claims that the amount of Native Americans had been considerably depleted. What we have been taught may have been skewed to justify the ways in which we acquired land in North America; "The smaller the numbers of Indians, she believes, the easier it is to regard the continent as having been up for grabs." The relationship between scientific revolution and re-evaluation of Western knowledge shows us that our views of Native American life may not be accurate. It is hard to determine which story is true; many scientists argue about sweeping claims that are made about the Native Americans and their lifestyle. We, as American’s, must have a better and deeper understanding of past events to positively impact our Nation and the world. This can be accomplished by reviewing what we once accepted as “common knowledge.”

Anonymous said...

T'ana Tomlinson
The quote that illuminates my response is "Before Columbus, Dobyns calculated, the Western Hemisphere held ninety to 112 million people. Another way of saying this is that in 1491 more people lived in the Americas than in Europe." Mann gives information on many different cases of Native American and Europeans situations when the two groups of people came in contact with each other. The central premise is that Western knowledge is a bit skeptic. The history we've learned from a young age has been misleading. Native Americans were a thriving culture with many diversities that helped them to become strong powerful societies with a great amount of faith and wisdom. For one, Christopher Columbus did not discover America, he happened to come across an area of land that was inhabited by people who were doing just fine. The biggest issue I had with European society after first learning about them inhabiting America, was that no group of people are the same and just because someone does not look, talk, or act like you does not mean they need to be changed. When the Europeans started to come over to America, they didn't just try to take over the land, they basically manipulated, stole, and killed to get what they wanted. It is absolutely astonishing that the number of Native Americans who died from European diseases was greater than all the people living in Europe at the time. That is a very high number that makes you really wonder if settling in the Americas was worth the casualty rate.
The relationship between scientific revolution and re-evaluation of Western knowledge and "development" proves that what we learned in elementary school was completely false. Information and concepts discovered by different type of scientists (anthropologist, biologist, e.t.c) is what fills textbooks, magazines, and scientific journals. People read these texts and grow to get a better understanding on how things use to be and why things are the way they are today. It is just important to learn about Native American history as it is for European history because Native Americans are the original people. They were the first natives of America.

Anonymous said...

Charles C. Mann’s article, 1491, provides insight into Native American life before Columbus’ discovery of the New World. Traditionally, Native Americans of this time have been stereotyped as primitive, earth-loving, and lacking the cultural sophistication of Europeans. Mann, however, presents evidence of quite the contrary. It appears that the Native Americans had a thriving civilization, with populations that may have been much higher than originally calculated. They most likely lived even cleaner than that of the Europeans, and appreciated much more human rights. Mann says that “Native Americans managed the continent as they saw fit”, and we must apply this concept to the present day as well, by transforming it to a widespread garden, rather than attempting to preserve it to the pristine condition that it may never achieve.

Jaclyn Mills

simpsonka11 said...

The central premise in this article is that all the previous thoughts about how native americans lived in the pre-columbus era could be wrong. Europeans of that time and even people today commonly believed that native americans were savage people who lived off the land. Recent evidence shows that they could have been much more advanced than that and they could have actually lived in cities. “That’s one reason whites think of Indians as nomadic hunters,” says Russell Thornton, an anthropologist at the University of California at Los Angeles. “Everything else—all the heavily populated urbanized societies—was wiped out.” This quote explains a lot of the common misconceptions about early western civilization. At one point western civilization could have been very advanced, possibly even more advanced than some European societies, but sickness wiped out much of the population and destroyed the cities they had created. Western society could have been more heavily populated than Europe as well, but the illness wiped out much of the population and there was a much smaller number of people remaining when Columbus arrived.

Casey Burns said...

Mann's central premise in writing this article is to display just how little we actually know about native cultures. We have grown up making assumptions based on very limited encounters that people had in the past. What is astounding is that they could possibly have lived in large groups and yet "they had so little impact on their environment that even after millennia of habitation it remained mostly wilderness." These civilizations could have been incredibly advanced, and they still managed to coexist with their environment. I think that this relationship between scientific revolution, and re-evaluation of western civilization should really lead us to question our own style of living. Is it really necessary to try to dominate the landscape just because we are advanced?

Alec Porter said...

Charles C. Mann’s central premise of his book “1491” was that there is a lot of contradicting beliefs as to the size of the Native American population before Christopher Columbus landed there in 1492. History books make it sound like it was a very small population. However, new research indicates that the number of Native Americans that were alive before Columbus came was much greater than what was previously thought. “Indians were here far longer than previously thought, these researchers believe, and in much greater numbers. And they were so successful at imposing their will on the landscape that in 1492 Columbus set foot in a hemisphere thoroughly dominated by humankind.” In fact, it is believed by some that they had cities larger than those of European countries. This suggests that the land of the Native Americans was much more developed than we have been led to believe. Whether or not this is true, we may never know, but this article certainly brought up an interesting point to think about.

Jeff Berger said...

Charles C. Mann's central premise in the article is that the population and complexity of the Native Americans prior to the European "discovery" of North America was largely underestimated. Mann argues that there was a large, sophisticated population of Natives living in the Americas for some time prior to the entrance of the Europeans. "What Dobyns realized was that such diseases could have
swept from the coastlines initially visited by Europeans to
inland areas controlled by Indians who had never seen a
white person. The first whites to explore many parts of the
Americas could therefore have encountered places that
were already depopulated." The reason this large complex population of Indians was never truly acknowledged is because disease traveled faster than the Europeans. As the Europeans traveled west, they came across a decimated population and mistook them for the true population that had been there for hundreds of years.
This reevaluation of history is due to the constant progress made by science and technology. History should be constantly reread and reanalyzed to get closer to the truth of what actually happened in the past.history is written in stone, but the language of the writing is still being deciphered.

Anonymous said...

Lesley Winchester

The central premise of Charles C. Mann’s article 1491 is to show how vastly misinformed current Americans have been. In history books they tell the story of Native Americans as savages, or wild beings with a free spirit, not the intellectual meticulous individuals that are described to be in this article. I believe with this premise Mann uses the murder of the Native Americans to drive home the unconscionable severity of the misconception that history books have told. "The Spaniards arrived, and then Indians died-in huge numbers, at incredible rates. It hit him, Dobyns told me recently, "Like a club right between the eyes." this shows the realization of the dying Native Americans, and how because they were looked at as savages they were treated as such. "Dobyns estimated that in the first 130 years of contact about 95 percent of the people in the Americas died- the worst demographic calamity in recorded history. "If all those people died, how many had been living there to begin with? Before Columbus, Dobyns calculated, the Western Hemisphere held ninety to 112 million people. Another way of saying this is that in 1491 more people lived in the Americas than in Europe." Mann also says, “Like people everywhere, Indians survived by cleverly exploiting their environment.” Mann believed that what we have historically considered (Western) knowledge as accurate, but the things people were taught in school are not accurate. The relationship between scientific revolution and re-evaluation of Western knowledge is that they both show what is told from history may not be the whole truth.

David Morrison said...

The central premise of Charles C. Mann’s article, “1491,” is that American Indians lived in larger, more advanced societies, and manipulated the land around them to suit their needs, than previously suspected. “A growing number of researchers have come to believe that Indian societies had an enormous environmental impact on the jungle. Indeed, some anthropologists have called the Amazon forest itself a cultural artifact-that is, an artificial object.” The implications of this possibility are significant as it directly contradicts a widespread and popularized belief that Indian cultures consisted of small hunter gatherer tribes that frequently moved from one location to another in the pursuit of food. Under this belief is the notion that Indians did not develop and make use of the landscape, therefore the European settlers’ conquest of the Indians is justified. Additionally, the theory of large, advanced Indian societies is significant concerning the “pristine myth” (the landscape in the Americas was unaltered prior to Europeans) that serves as a base for environmental and ecological movements.
Mann argues that education focuses only on the theory of Indians as hunter gatherers who did not develop the land around them. Because the theory of larger and more advanced Indian societies is ignored by the American education system, “Western” knowledge is based only on one side of the debate. As a result, Mann suggests Western knowledge is flawed and incomplete because the theory of larger advanced Indian cultures has not been given enough attention. Generally, people are more likely to believe what they have been taught for years as opposed to a new idea.
Mann discusses differences between the development and advancement of European societies versus pre-Columbian Indian societies. The scientific revolution refers to the period in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries in which the development of new information regarding science sparked the industrial revolution in the 19th century creating major industries. These industries allowed humanity to advance technologically. However, these industries are currently viewed as having negative environmental consequences. As a result, environmentalists and ecologists argue that humanity must return the earth to its natural state before humans developed the land. Essentially, this means that the foundation of environmental and ecological movements rests on the “pristine myth.” If experts such as Henry Dobyns who believes pre-Columbian Indians lived in large, advanced societies and created major changes in the landscape is correct, the basis for environmental movements is challenged.
Because of this conflict, a key area of debate centers on size of the pre-Columbian Indian population. Experts, such as Douglas Ubelaker, who believe in small Indian populations, base their argument on Indian populations that had been decimated by European diseases. Henry Dobyn’s argues that over 95 percent of the entire Indian population was wiped out over a period of 130 years due to various European diseases such as smallpox. Therefore, Dobyns promotes the idea that the Indian population was significantly larger.
Mann’s article reveals a relationship between re-evaluated Western knowledge and the practices of pre-Columbian Indians. Mann depicts the development and advancement of pre-Columbian Indian cultures as environmentally friendly rather than harmful. Soil geographer William Woods proposes that Amazonian Indians created “terra preta” soil which is extremely fertile and regenerates due to the presence of unique microorganisms. Additionally, wildlife ecologist Charles Kay describes Indians as a keystone species that had a major effect on the survival and population of other species. If this is true, all humans must be considered keystone species. Due to the success of the pre-Columbian Indians, present day humanity must learn to develop methods similar to the Indians in order to make the most of the earth.

Brady Crawford said...

Essentially, Charles Mann's premise for his article revolves around the idea that present American society, and the world at large, seemed to be misinformed about the subject of pre-Columbian America (pre-Columbian being America before Columbus). This is suggested by his reminiscence of his teachings in grade school, stating, "When I went to high school, in the 1970's, I was taught that Indians came to the Americas across the Bering Strait about 12,000 years ago, that they lived for the most part in small, isolated groups, and that they had so little impact on their environment that even after millenia of habitation it remained mostly wilderness." Continuing on, Mann states that this is the same information STILL being taught to his son, some years later, even though the information retains ideas that have become outdated. Through this article, Mann seeks to illuminate how the idea of the "never wrong, all knowing truth" of Western knowledge carries holes. As we discover knew information through scientific advancement, older ideas of Western Knowledge continue to be revised. In this, we can say that scientific revolution seems to have an inverse relationship with the preconceptions of Western knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Mann’s central premise in his article 1491 is that what was once thought to be known about Native Americans is not entirely correct. Columbus was originally thought to have found the New World, but that is not true because the Native Americans were already on it. This is shown when Mann says, “Indians were here in greater numbers than previously thought, and they imposed their will on the landscape. Columbus set foot in a hemisphere thoroughly dominated by humankind.” Mann suggests that what we have historically considered as Western knowledge is wrong. This is because the Natives were thought to be uncivilized, when in fact they weren’t. The relationship between scientific revolution and the re-evaluation of Western knowledge is not complex what so ever and is in fact a cause and effect relationship. Science has proved that Native Americans had very few diseases, and an abundance of food and shelter before the Europeans came over. This has caused the re-evaluation of Western knowledge.

Alexis McDade

Sharese Roberts said...

I believe that Charles Mann's main premise in this article is that Columbus had the wrong preception of Indians when he first discovered this new land. They believed that Indians were a minor species that barely impacted the environment they lived in. Mann states that,"Indians were here far longer than previously thought, these researchers believe, and in much greater numbers." Not only did they significantly impacted their environment, but there may have been just as much indians, if not more, than there were people in Europe.
The relationship between scientific revolution and re-evaluation of Western knowledge and development is that the previoudly thought ideas about Indians is becoming out-dated and is being re-evaluated because we now know much more about the topic that previously known. The historical Western Knowledge is just that, historical. Nowadays there is a new way to look at Western development.

Sharese Roberts

Michael Knowles said...

The central premise of Mann’s article is to expose our lacking knowledge about Native American Indians and how they inhabited North America. Most of us have either been taught or just assume that there were a few random tribes here and there, living in a primitive way, just sort of “taking up space”. Then=, Columbus “found” the continent and exposed it's primitive nature. The quote that highlighted this for me was “the Western Hemisphere was vastly more populous and sophisticated than has been thought—an altogether more salubrious place to live at the time than, say, Europe.” I had never thought of the West as being more sophisticated or advanced when the Indians were the only citizens – I would have never thought that Europe might have been the less occupied and sophisticated land!
I think American's highly underestimated the development that the natives had accomplished. Our media and textbooks have been integrating ideas that have changed the way we view that first, true American culture. The justification for this was that A) natives living there didn't really count (or the territory really wasn’t theirs, they just lived there), and B) that the English knew how to do things better and therefore needed to take over and control the people and their land. The relationship between scientific revolution and re-evaluation of Western knowledge is fairly easy to grasp. Even though there might be evidence to suggest large numbers of Indian inhabitants, many people do not want to let of the original premises they operated under that the so-called “savages” were few and uncivilized.

Kevin Permenter said...

Charles C. Mann's central premise is this article is that our previous knowledge about Native Americans and the Americas is wrong. Americans grew up believing that Native Americans made there way here from the Bering Strait thousands of years ago traveling mainly as nomads never really making an impact on the "new world". Mann says that this was not that case that, that indians were well civilized and had more people in the americas than in Europe, saying that, "Indians were here in greater numbers then previously thought, and they imposed their will on the landscape. Columbus set foot in a hemisphere thoroughly dominated by humankind." Cities like Tenochtitlan had a greater population than any European city and was more sophisticated. they had cleaner streets and running water at that time which was way beyond its time. the relationship between scientific revolution and re-evalutation of western knowledge is that these ideas and revolutions happened long before we previously thought and to help possibly fix the future we need to learn from our past, our deep past.

AgentQuinto said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The central premise is that the Native Americans lived in much larger numbers than it is now believed and also that Native Americans changed the environment of the New World to a large degree. What was once thought of as untouched land might be the work of human hands and intellect. The article states "Amazonia has become the emblem of vanishing wilderness...but the rain forest itself may be a cultural artifact-that is, an artificial object." The Amazon is usually thought of as unadulterated nature but it may be that the whole thing is influenced by human work. Mann's article suggests that some of the knowledge Westerners claim to have may be mistaken. Wrong ideas may have inherited down Western culture from the first colonizers. The article suggests that human intervention through science and technology and a healthy, productive environment are not necessarily contradictory. Land can still be developed for human use without causing much harm to the land itself and other organisms that may inhabit it. The presence of humans seems to always have ramifications for the environment. This has wide implications for the modern world because if nature is not separate from human intervention, then there would be no reason to stop deforestation and things like that because it is part of nature.

Miguel Quinto