Posted by Rich on July 09, 1998 at 17:26:27:
In Reply to: Re: history and speculations posted by Tom on July 08, 1998 at 23:31:51:
Interesting topic all around ... good points on both sides. I have to take issue with one point, though:
>> At one point the Lakotas, whose seven bands could not have exceeded a population of 50,000, laid claim to most of the Dakotas and large parts several other states. You know as well as I do that those states are still sparsely populated even with their populations running into the tens of millions and that they are a breadbasket that feeds untold millions throughout the world. Yet the claim of 50,000 people to that vast region for the sole use as a private hunting preserve with trespassers facing death or worse does not strike you as a tad greedy? <<
This was the basis of much of the notion that argued for taking, or swindling, treatifying (Yes, it's a word! At least in the Rich Fed World Dictionary :) ), or blatantly stealing land from Indian nations. Think about it! We own 16 acres. Much of it is lived on, grazed, or tilled, but we have 5 acres or so in woods, just sitting. We DON'T use them. One of my neighbors, let's say, feels that's a terrible waste - greedy, in fact - so he cuts down a couple of acres of trees and builds a house on my land. Anybody think that's OK? Sure, in the example above, we're talking about a vast tract of land inhabited by a relative handful of people. Their nomadic, hunting lifestyle, however, DEMANDED such spaciousness, ESPECIALLY after pressure, and slaughter, from encroaching "civilization" began to drastically decrease the amount of available game. Still another point, today, the 3rd largest state in the union, Montana, has what, less than a million people living in it? Somebody must own some awfully large parcels of land out there. Is it OK if I decide to just go squat out there and start a homestead? It comes down to two distinctly different world views coming in contact. The more powerful side wins out. Perhaps this IS how history, throughout the world, has played out, but, it is wrong to lie, cheat, murder, pillage, DEMEAN ... in order to get your way. THAT IS what happened here. And it happened at a point in our civilized progress, that we should have known better. We DID know better. Remember the Peace Policy? I could go on, and on, and on ... but that's the basics of my viewpoint on the "land grab" issue. Except for one thing ... what was the excuse back east, where there wasn't quite so much open land? Maifest Destiny was a powerful force!
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