by S.A. Prince
The 1800s were an incredible and ugly time in America. In the 1800s we saw the emergence of many inventions and ideas that paved the way for our life of prosperity. The telegraph was used to spread messages throughout the country and worldwide, prompting the Associated Press to be created in 1846. The Transcontinental Railroad Race begun, stretching to the Pacific Coast and uniting east and west, eventually solidifying what America believed was its “Manifest Destiny.” The Central Pacific and the Union Pacific bore down, taking their nail, hammer, rail and some elbow grease, achieving what previously was just a vision.
In a time of great challenge and division, Americans answered the call, and pushing themselves beyond their limits, grabbed ahold of greatness.
But not everyone got to grab ahold of greatness, or experience the satisfaction in being a part of something beautiful. Some groups of people as a result of America seeking to fulfill its “Manifest Destiny” suffered incredibly, and those lasting effects are still seen to this day.
Let’s not beat around the bush any longer. I think that introductory bump in was long enough. Don’t you agree?
The two groups that suffered as a result of America’s “Manifest Destiny,” were the indigenous Indians and black Americans. Both groups are currently disenfranchised, as black Americans lack an identity, and the indigenous Indian population is at a level orange nearing extinction emergency.
Interestingly, on the flip side indigenous Indians do have an incredible sense of identity, even if it is only within the confines of their government sanctioned reservations. Blacks lack a central identity, but what they do express often becomes media fodder, a catch-22 of sorts, because the fame they are given is also strip-tied to their downfall. Exhibit A: Rap Music!
There are other groups that have been under incredible persecution in America. They have since recovered, but their sacrifices should be noted. For instance, look up the history of Irish and Asian immigrants and their treatment on the railroads, though I will not be going into detail about those groups at this time.
The lasting effects however are not ALL bad. America as a whole has benefitted from both slavery, and the decentralization of indigenous Indians. That benefit is the America you see today, its glorious microwave consumer economy that stretches from “sea to shining sea.”
America shouldn’t hide from its history. The three MOST important aspects of its foundation are as follows: The Colonial Americans and their successful breakaway from England, the institution of slavery, and the decentralization of indigenous Indians. Without all three of these aspects, there is no “Manifest Destiny,” and America would not be the power it is today. All are of equal importance.
I don’t have the slightest idea as to why they won’t admit that in American history classes. Also, I bet you’ve read up to this point and you’re like, “I came here for the Holocaust part, but he hasn’t even mentioned it yet.” Well, wait no longer my friend.
America pretty much subdued the indigenous Indians and enslaved the Africans at an unfettered pace. Who opposed them? Slavery didn’t end until Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, AND the Union won the war. The indigenous Indians’ slaughter didn’t cease until they agreed to be caged. In the 1800s America did not take the moral high ground. They enslaved and pillaged until “Manifest Destiny.”
Fast-forward to the next century, and we see the rise of Mussolini in Italy, and the Nazis and Hitler in Germany. Together, they began to terrorize Europe. They wanted to manifest their own destiny (literally a century separated from the first appearance of the idea of “Manifest Destiny”), and to Adolf Hitler that in part meant the fervent genocide of the Jewish people. We called that the Holocaust.
In case you don’t know what the Holocaust is, CLICK HERE.
Unfortunately for Hitler, he and the Nazis were not allowed to operate unfettered. America, their wrongdoings in the rearview mirror, stood as a beacon of integrity and justice, refusing to stand by as Hitler terrorized Europe and the Jews.
And I’m not against that. I’m glad the Jews were freed from the grip of a tyrant. I just find it interesting that America (and even England) opposed Hitler, as they built their empires in a similar fashion.
It begs the question, “What if the Holocaust happened a century earlier?” America wouldn’t have the moral high ground. We wouldn’t be able to point and say, “Bad Hitler. Leave Europe and the Jews alone,” not while we were killing the indigenous Indians and enslaving the Africans.
What would have happened to the Jews if that were the case? Would their people be nearly extinct like the indigenous Indians of America? I think so.
Sorry indigenous Indians. Wrong place, wrong time, I guess.
- Would it be foolish to rewrite American history, and admit that without the Atlantic Slave Trade and the genocide of the indigenous Indians, America would not be the power it is today?
- The oppression of anyone is unacceptable, Jewish, African, indigenous Indian and otherwise. They should be defended and liberated. Rwanda shouldn’t have happened. It bothers me that history picks which minorities to support.
- We know why nobody came to the defense of slaves. The Atlantic Slave Trade was an entire system, benefitting America and other European nations. They weren’t going to cut into their money.
- But why did nobody defend the indigenous Indians? Is it because we did not see them as people, but as savages. Because they were not converts to Catholicism or Christianity. An entire race of people is nearly wiped out. I think they’d trade all their casino money just to have their relatives back.
- I guess the genocide of indigenous Indians was an unnamed American war. Those who weren’t killed were subjugated. All is fair in war, right? So, if Hitler had won World War II, and the Jews were nearly wiped out, would that be fair too?
- It just bothers me that the victors of history get to write it, regardless of how immoral their actions may have been. God bless the blacks, the indigenous Indians, the Jews, and anybody else who has or is being oppressed, Lord knows you deserve it.