Colonization to 20th Century Part 1Feb 19, 2023
hello today we are going on a long journey from
centurywe learned about our indigenous ancestors now we will learn how it came to an end and evolved into what we know as mexican american history so we started with the
colonizationof the continent i know as abiala and island tortoise but many of you will know it as north and south america so whenever i say abiala i speak of north and south america it is important to know that our language is embedded in our culture and as we will learn in this lesson that we have been taught to align with European values so I'll use the term indigenous as a way of moving away from this and toward an indigenous perspective when I was in school I didn't connect with history but that's because I was taught American history from a white perspective and that never connected with my life.
They tell us that if we don't know history, we are forced to repeat it, but I don't think that's true. The reality is that we are repeating. because we don't know as you go through this lesson think about the connections to your current life and to today's social issues first we have to understand what colonization is colonization is when one country lands in another country they take it as their own and then take it over exploits for resources usually through violence and religion we are currently in an era of european colonization for the last 500 years europe has colonized almost the entire world and it hasn't worked out very well for the people who were there before them mexico and the united states the states are colonized countries are the product of european colonization of indigenous peoples on this continent believe it or there were no global voyages before columbus long before despite much belief to the contrary neither columbus nor the conquistadors were the first people from other continents in abiala the indigenous communities here were in contact with africans, asians and other europeans hundreds and sometimes thousands of years before the continuation of the belief that the colonizers were the first is eurocentric and reinforces the myth of european superiority the myth that the colonization of indigenous peoples was progress many other cultures had made contact with our indigenous ancestors without disturbing the cultures that already existed in the 15th
centuryeurope had experienced more than 500 years of economic hardship overcrowding unsanitary living conditions and rising inequality of wealth to prevent revolution royalty began funding expeditions to this continent their warfare tactics had been perfected during the inquisition when the catholic church together with wealthy monarchs led the genocide of thousands across the continent of europe they had also perfected their tactics of oppression in africa and the middle east we are often taught that europe was more advanced than the indigenous, but the reality is that they were sick, poor, constantly at war and so desperate for resources that they were willing to Do anything. indigenous people for work and profit hernán cortes was one of these men he successfully conquered mexico by aligning himself with other indigenous groups against the aztec empire which held most of the power in mesoamerica at the time even though he was married in spain he raped an indigenous woman and forced her to help colonize mexico and fathered her son american narratives say he married her this is another example of how history distorts reality so who were the colonizers and why did they come here in the beginning they were mostly just men poor peasants led by upper and middle class men and accompanied by some priests great britain transported 50,000 convicts to the mainland in mexico settlers remained men who married indigenous women in the united states families began to arrive in the 17th century and instead of getting married they based themselves on a plan of extermination and genocide, so why did they come here? escaping the poor living conditions in europe as i said before there was widespread disease poverty on a massive scale increasing privatization of land inequality was increasing with wealth and land ownership becoming more and more concentrated at the top the rich they were getting richer and the poor were getting poorer many of the first men to come here were criminals or wealthy businessmen who wanted land that was scarce in europe conquistadors or men in charge came here looking for gold and glory wealth and power they would claim the land as their own the crown appoint them governors mayors viceroys etc. and they could profit from the forced labor of the indigenous people and the african slaves they brought with them would also come here looking for adventure the countries paid for the expeditions due to political competition each wanted to weaken each other by having naval outposts and controlling more and more land to prevent the revolution of their poor wanted economic control of the colonies, the extraction of slave labor, gold, silver and other resources, as well as eventually taxation of indigenous peoples along with the slave trade, the Colonies would give them a lot of wealth and free labor Colonization made Europe richer and many other countries poorer Several studies conducted in the early 2000s showed that one third of all income inequality worldwide was owes to the European colonization project much of the political turmoil seen around the world today has roots in the European colonization project immediately subjugated indigenous communities and committed acts of genocide killed or enslaved them raped indigenous women killed Whole villages villages and tribes including women and children remember that from our indigenous lessons we know that this was seen as immoral and Indigenous war practices Innocents were never killed in the war before colonization They appropriated their lands that were sacred and used them for make profit using indigenous and slave labor indigenous people were quite healthy so european diseases killed millions across the continent 24 million in mexico alone sometimes these diseases were released on purpose just like modern chemical warfare too they destroyed entire ecosystems this image shows how thousands of buffalo were killed to prevent indigenous or native people from having access to food they killed the native food supply and burned farmland then they started mining and polluting the waterways as i mentioned before they brought enslaved Africans and used them as free labor, institutionalized inequality and racism through the caste system.
This is one of the first ways the breed is created. The graphics all the way down were created to let everyone know where they were. They also forced gender roles that were previously unknown in indigenous communities. Indigenous women were equal to indigenous men, but because European women were essentially property, they unfortunately had to force this change on indigenous communities. much of this was done by the catholic church, they also enforced the masculine feminine bi-gender binary we see in our culture today, many indigenous communities accepted and honored five genders with an acceptance of trans and queer people progressive enough to weed out the indigenous population also forced them to assimilate this was more common in the United States than in Mexico they forced them to leave their languages and speak only Spanish or English they forced them to convert to Christianity and attacked them when they did not assimilate which they also did once they arrived here it was to create a new identity mestizaje or being mestizo in mexico means that you are a mixture of indigenous and european blood most mexicans are mestizo but remember that there are still millions of indigenous people on this continent both in mexico in the united states in canada and in every latino something that is very important to understand about colonization is that it is not a one time event it continues to this day sometimes with the same level of violence as before many of us think that colonization is only the europeans land on this continent, but colonizing the way people think and behave is a multi-generational process because you're trying to destroy culture, not just take land, destroying indigenous culture on this continent is a practice that has never stopped after the initial. the violence of forced baptisms due to the threat of death the oppression against indigenous religions continued and continues in 2010 a mexican american woman had to move to mexico because texas police threatened to take her children from her for practicing satanic witchcraft she was practicing her beliefs indigenous spirituals this was in denton texas a supposedly progressive city the effects of the caste system can still be seen today in mexico just as the effects of indian removal and slavery linger in the united states in the united states if you look at the outcomes of life they can be predetermined based on the color of your skin in all categories including education housing employment or job wealth prison system medical system in mexico indigenous communities have been murdered for fighting against american corporations that they have been benefiting from mexican labor and land since the industrial age in the usa native americans were murdered in the 1960s by the us government today protectors of water are jailed for protesting against the construction of poisonous pipelines in the united states the government stole children from their families and took them to indian schools to get the indian out of them this is a real quote the last school closed in 1985. in mexico schools beat children if they spoke their indigenous languages just like later in the united states mexican american children would be beaten for speaking spanish education across the continent remains eurocentric centering europe while perpetuating myths of white superiority and sometimes actively lying about indigenous cultures if they are mentioned the next time you take a history class where you learn about the founding of this country you should expect Native American history to be covered in depth if that is not happening you are in a racist classroom add to these racist mascots white-privileging media and entertainment criminalizing land activists fighting for clean water and there are hundreds of small and large ways our culture continues to be colonized.
Thinking of the colonizers, as racism has prevented the cultures of many people who contributed to what is here now from being
partof the national identity of the United States. I know this can be a grim lesson, but it's important to face the reality of our storied past honestly. and honoring everyone who was there and still is here later this semester, we'll talk about decolonization how young Mexican Americans are trying to unlearn the toxic ways of European culture and adopt the indigenous knowledge of their ancestors to live a live healthier protect the environment and fight against gender and racial oppression remember that our prejudices are complicated sometimes we think we believe something like all indians are dead or indian culture was not that good or they were better for that reason not because it is true but because it is what we have been taught as reality, learning to think critically means knowing that there are rarely easy answers and that there are many sides to every story just as there are many ways to live your cultures, this lesson was also a way to decolonize many of your understandings on these issues now you know that in mexico and latin america it is indigenous and in the united states it is native american but we are talking about the same thing because before the european colonization the indigenous cultures across the continent were incredibly diverse and connected through the same indigenous culture indigenous and native are the same and both were violently attacked during the colonization of this continent creating a legacy that would continue to this day.
In the next
partof this lesson we'll look at the history up to the
20thcentury, but first let's review some of the terms in this lesson. you
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