Native Americans

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People have been living in the Americas for thousands of years. Only fairly recently, the past few hundred years, have foreigners begun to arrive and drastically disrupt the way of life of the aboriginal population. The situation has become so severe that a population that was one believed to be numbered in the millions, was at one point reduced to as few as 220,000 in 1910, and entire tribes have been either irretrievably warped or have disappeared altogether. While Native American Indians have almost completely recovered population-wise, they will never catch up to the rest of the world, and their culture can never fully recuperate. At the time the United States was settled by Europeans, it was abundantly populated by dozens of separate nations with diverse civilizations and cultures. Like other colonized regions, the indigenous people suffered first from the introduction of diseases that were common in the regions that the settlers were from, to which the Indians had no immunity. It is believed that millions died of smallpox, measles, whooping cough, and influenza. Some estimate that such epidemics were responsible for more than 80 million deaths during the early colonial period alone. Although The Indians numbers were never accurately recorded (estimates have ranged from in the low millions to as much as around a hundred million) it is certain that they are far from a complete recovery. For nearly 300 years the population of Native Americans had been declining, since shortly after Columbus arrived in the Western Hemisphere to a while after the civil war. But starting in the beginning of the 20th century the United States census bureau has reported an almost continuous increases in native populations (with some exceptions, notably an influenza epidemic that occurred in 1918). From the 1980’s to the 1990’s there is reported a growth of almost 500,000; from 1,478,523 in 1980 to 1,937,391 in 1990. Despite these promising statistics the population of Native Americans is only a small fraction (0.8 percent) of the hundreds of millions of other inhabitants in the United States. Despite their initial confusion to their situation after the arrival of Europeans, the Native Americans did not take their disenfranchisement from their own land lying down. Native Americans have a long history of "fighting back" against invaders encroaching on the land that ...

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... remained of their once vast civilization, Native Americans were beginning to make a recovery. Despite a long history of disease, broken treaties, and constant removal from their own land Native Americans can finally focus within their own society to try to rebuild what they have lost. Although they may never fully recover, Native American Indians are at the best position they have ever been in since their exposure foreign influences.


Bibliography Zinn, Howard. A Peoples History of The United States. 1980, pp. 124-146.

Josephy, Alvin M. The Indian Heritage of America. New York, 1968. Pp. 53, 116. _________. Through Indian Eyes. New York, 1995, Pp. 330-332, 383.

Oswalt, Wendell H. This Land Was Theirs: A Study of The North American Indian. 1966, Pp. 399-400. "Indian Images." News report. ________. "First Nations Histories." ________. "Top 25 Native American Tribes." US Census Bureau. (1995) ________. "The Native American Peoples: A History of Genocide." Boabab Press (2000)

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