Posted by Gayle on July 08, 1998 at 09:16:51:
In Reply to: history and speculations posted by Petra on July 08, 1998 at 00:30:11:
Petra wrote - - -
: Anyway, what I sometimes day-dream about is, how things might be if US settlement could have been stopped at some point. Would there be countries along language borders? That's how European tribes found together, by language groups, with the different dialects possibly as distinct as different Native American languages of the same related group. How much of a population increase would there have been, and what size of settlements would there be today? How would the political systems look, like those of many other ex-colonies, still modeled after European systems, or entirely different? I like the idea of the US not being as big as it is today, I can't help it. And of tribes ruling countries, not reservations.
: So, that leads me to wonder if and how white settlement and pioneerism could have been stopped. It seems that starting out nice with the newcomers didn't do anything for the tribes who approached the problem that way. But blind butchering didn't help in the long run either, although it bought some time for those who did it. So, what could have? More alliances with others maybe, and sharing the job of defense? And, out here in the West, quick demolition of new telegraph lines might have bought more time. Any ideas?
This is a subject close to my heart, too. The greatest tragedy and irony, to me, is that the hunters and scouts and trappers, as well as the Indians, who loved the unblemished wilderness, were the ones who most contributed to the destruction of their own world. They guided the soldiers, fed the soldiers, killed the Indians on both sides of the conflict and made the territory safe for the onward progress of the speculators and profiteers of all stripes. Somebody had a world class artistic vision, even that early, of cementing over an entire continent and covering it with billboards. Somehow it seems the settlers themselves were allowed to expand only to serve the interim purpose of clearing the land so that it would be easier for the cement trucks to get through. (This is called "venting my spleen". Forgive me, if I get carried away.) As to whether or not it all could have been averted, beauty means different things to different people. Some love forests, some get turned on by cement.
She of the Natty Bumppo mentality.
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