“deaths and injuries…would be your fault and not His Majesty’s, nor ours.”

A story about the American history…It has parallels in Goa .


It is a strange sense of justice…Just like the sense in previous post…some body gets 90% of the black votes telling it as post-racial…but consequences of resistance is being accused as racist.

Before attacking Indian settlements, they were required to read a summons called the Requerimiento, which spelled out the consequences of resistance: “I assure you that, with the help of God, I will attack you mightily. I will make war against you everywhere and in every way … I will take your wives and children, and I will make them slaves … I will take their property. I will do all the harm and damage to you that I can … I declare that the deaths and injuries that occur as a result of this would be your fault and not His Majesty’s, nor ours.”

Two more intresting paragraphs :

The Indians, of course, had no idea what was being shouted at them, and for the sake of expediency, Hernando De Soto never bothered with the Requerimiento. He preferred to loot the local maize supply, then impress available natives into service as porters and guides. Any natives who tried to escape were attacked by dogs or burned at the stake. In conquering the settlement of Mavila, De Soto’s army succeeded in massacring between 2,500 and 3,000 Indians — a single-day death toll that rivals Antietam.

And Matanzas:

The Indians at least had weapons. Spanish fleet commander Pedro Menéndez, after capturing two parties of unarmed French Huguenot settlers on the Florida coast, condemned hundreds of them to immediate death by stabbing. Among the few spared: those who converted on the spot to Catholicism and a few musicians “to play for dancing.” The river where French blood ran still bears the name Matanzas, Spanish for “slaughters.”

The following is a reflection of two contemporary themes – The smokey right– The savages, whether they were civilized into the European world by losing their independence to organize themselves for speaking theiw own language, history etc , or whether they were objects of european historical imagination – Utopian creatures with a type of organization that Marx assumed for history!

What distinguishes Horwitz’s work from the usual anti-colonial tract is his reluctance to exchange one myth for another. Europeans may have trailed disease, violence and slavery in their wake, but the Indians they encountered were not the happy, dancing savages of New Age imaginings. The empire of the famous Powhatan (known to his people as Wahunsenacawh) extended from North Carolina to Maryland, and he ruled it with as tight a fist as George III’s, exacting tribute from 15,000 subjects. Indian tribes were at constant war; fathers were even known to feed their baby daughters to dogs to keep them from being captured. It was “an impoverished and Hobbesian world,” says Horwitz, “where all struggled against all for survival.” A Spanish traveler found one tribe reduced to eating spiders, worms and deer dung.


One Response

  1. […] “deaths and injuries…would be your fault and not His Majesty’s, nor ours.&#82… […]

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