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Old 06-10-2019, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
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Lack of beasts of burden in part.

I forget the rest, for good reading try Guns, Germs and Steel. It covers why / how different areas developed the way it did. Kinda a dry read though.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Falls Church, Fairfax County
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BigCityDreamer I think you are making an assumption. I have read descriptions of North America by Europeans that described farming for as far as the eye could see. I think it was quite settled but what they used did not really last except for some things like the mounds that were built.



I cannot find the description now but I will watch National Geographic - America Before Columbus and see if there are some references:






https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whP9RL5huhE
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
"New world" is not the same as the area of the current U.S. being questioned (see thread title). The three sisters (corn, squash, beans) made it into parts of the U.S., but many native groups depended upon hunting and fishing, which limited crop care and protection. When a plant has a presence or history in an area, that does not mean it is widely grown or used by the population. How many acorns do you harvest and eat? How much cattail can you eat without becoming ill? When borders are shifting constantly between tribes, where do you plant to feed yourself and not your enemy? Is it even practical to plant when you have to follow game and move from game depleted areas to survive? The Spanish explorers literally described the southeast as a desert. The definition was not of sandy rocky land, but of land barren of easily available food.
But you need to keep in mind that what Europeans thought was readily available food, was not the same as what Native Americans thought was readily available foods. Natives had little problem feeding themselves with what was available because they knew how to use what was there.
Natives in CA depended greatly on acorns from oaks as a staple of their diets but Europeans would never have known how to make these edible without Native Americans showing them the process. Acorns from native live oaks were available in over abundance throughout the landscape. There was no need to plant them or farm them. Acorns were collected in great quantities and processed for weeks in order to make them edible. They weren't just picked off the ground and eaten.
California tribes could also spend weeks at a time harvesting pine nuts from trees in the mountains and then also weeks at a time along the coast fishing and harvesting clams and abalone. There was an abundance of food not to mention hunting deer, rabbits and other game. That's probably why CA tribes were among the most peaceful in the U.S. There was little need for wars with food and land so abundant. They were advanced as they needed to be.

Last edited by marino760; 06-10-2019 at 10:26 AM..
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:48 AM
 
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I list the one major factor as a cultural/social difference in politics and warfare developed early for the Aztecs and Incas, and before that the Mayans - Warfare was common with most of the Pre-Colombian tribes, north and south, but the Incas and Aztecs became not just a war for pillage and to take slaves but for conquest, assimilation, and long term tribute. Simply killing an enemy or capturing them as slaves, taking there land, and stealing there food does little for long term advancement. Assimilation on the other hand consolidates not only the power but the knowledge of each.

Also I think are the geographical benefits of having natural defensible borders that incorporate it's sphere of influence (same secret to Ancient Egypt). Inca had the Andes to the east and narrow borders to it's north and south. Aztecs had the Gulf and Pacific to it's east and west, deserts to it's north, and once again narrow borders to it's south.

Both of these factors allowed them to focus on development and advancement. None of course which helped them when Europeans came. Steel and disease was the deciding factor in those confrontations.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post



Why do you think the Native Americans in the U.S. never developed much beyond the primitive state in spite of living here for many thousands of years?
What difference does it make?


The both got wiped out by Europeans in spite of their civilization level.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marino760 View Post
But you need to keep in mind that what Europeans thought was readily available food, was not the same as what Native Americans thought was readily available foods. Natives had little problem feeding themselves with what was available because they knew how to use what was there.
Natives in CA depended greatly on acorns from oaks as a staple of their diets but Europeans would never have known how to make these edible without Native Americans showing them the process. Acorns from native live oaks were available in over abundance throughout the landscape. There was no need to plant them or farm them. Acorns were collected in great quantities and processed for weeks in order to make them edible. They weren't just picked off the ground and eaten.
California tribes could also spend weeks at a time harvesting pine nuts from trees in the mountains and then also weeks at a time along the coast fishing and harvesting clams and abalone. There was an abundance of food not to mention hunting deer, rabbits and other game. That's probably why CA tribes were among the most peaceful in the U.S. There was little need for wars with food and land so abundant. They were advanced as they needed to be.
We have the benefit of arm-chair quarterbacking. I'm as guilty of it as the next person. I agree with some of your points, but history is more than examining and speculating, it is also about reading first-hand accounts. This is what I referenced. I recommend it as a sobering read of a time and place not often discussed:

https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/42841
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:34 AM
 
Location: southern california
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Same reason people move to Alaska and live off the land
They don’t want to get with the program
The small tribes living in the wilderness were also off the grid
Not everybody sees big city life as development and progress
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Seattle
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OP: Geography probably had something to do with it. Perhaps natural barriers help a budding civilization develop without as many disruptive incursions?
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
OP: Geography probably had something to do with it. Perhaps natural barriers help a budding civilization develop without as many disruptive incursions?
From what I read, South American ideas and products rarely made it up to N America due to mountains and then dessert.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:07 AM
 
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Because Ancient Aliens helped the Aztec and Mayans as they were "geographically concentrated" as opposed to natives in North America which were scattered all over the place.
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