Spain´s own naval victories?

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Byron Angel

Re: Spain´s own naval victories?

Postby Byron Angel » Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:12 pm

The relationship between the Europeans and the indigenous inhabitants of the "New World" is a complex one IMO. It has been both skewed by a hindsight influenced by modern mores and perverted by modern political agendas. Without attempting to craft an apologia for the European exploitation and mistreatment of the native peoples of the Americas, it must be said that those native peoples had conquered, massacred, and enslaved one another with an equal degree of enthusiasm and efficiency for centuries before Europeans ever set foot upon their shores. The single factor which made the impact of the European incursion so powerful was disease. The vast populations of the New World had absolutely no immunity to the array of Old World diseases which accompanied the European adventurers. Millions died and civilizations collapsed as a resut.


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Re: Spain´s own naval victories?

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:36 pm

Byron Angel:

The relationship between the Europeans and the indigenous inhabitants of the "New World" is a complex one IMO. It has been both skewed by a hindsight influenced by modern mores and perverted by modern political agendas. Without attempting to craft an apologia for the European exploitation and mistreatment of the native peoples of the Americas, it must be said that those native peoples had conquered, massacred, and enslaved one another with an equal degree of enthusiasm and efficiency for centuries before Europeans ever set foot upon their shores. The single factor which made the impact of the European incursion so powerful was disease. The vast populations of the New World had absolutely no immunity to the array of Old World diseases which accompanied the European adventurers. Millions died and civilizations collapsed as a resut.


Very good argument, also.
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Re: Spain´s own naval victories?

Postby lwd » Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:20 pm

It should also be noted that European countries in general had by that time incurred a severe distatste for religions that practiced human sacrafice. The Aztecs in particular generated considerable antipathy due to this and not just among the Europeans.

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Re: Spain´s own naval victories?

Postby RF » Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:05 am

marcelo_malara wrote:......October 12th being many times proposed to be eliminated as a day to be remembered.


I don't understand, please explain.
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Re: Spain´s own naval victories?

Postby RF » Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:13 am

marcelo_malara wrote:I don´t know much of Spanish history, surely Jose has more to say, but I think that Spain´s days as a power came to the end with the French invasion at the start of the XIX century. That was one of the reasons behind the search of independance of the colonies, as there was no longer a Spanish king in the metropolis. With the colonies lost, Spain started to loose power, and by the end of the century, she was no match for the USN, it is no wonder that she lost the war of 1898.


Spain lost power because all her wealth was sourced from the New World, in the form of plundered gold (very inflationary!! - per Irving Fischer and the Quantity Theory of Money!!), which was lost by the end of the seventeenth century, and then because Spain was left behind as a largely agricultural economy while Britain, the US, Germany and France went through their industrial revolutions. To an extent it mirrored the decline of the Ottoman Empire, also left behind in the process of industrialisation and technological development.
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Re: Spain´s own naval victories?

Postby RF » Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:17 am

lwd wrote:I've read however that the Spanish crown discouraged such activities. They perhaps did not make a strenuous enough effort but internal and European politics would clearly have taken precidence over New World affairs.


The Spanish Crown was located in Madrid, in an age of very slow transport and communication. As a result it would have no control over its colonies beyond appointing the colonial governors, who would be sufficiently remote from Spain to do what they liked - which of course was to further their own interests......
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Re: Spain´s own naval victories?

Postby RF » Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:26 am

marcelo_malara wrote:
Animals hunt for food, no more no less than needed. Humans conquer for ambition


A digression I know, but some animals, like the fox and hyena, kill for pleasure rather than just food. Other animals, including domestic cats, kill because their instinct tells them to, and then don't know what to do with the killed carcase, because humans feed them instead.
Human ambition has a very wide ambit - it includes earning an honest living and helping people. Much of the Spanish conquest of Latin America was in terms of ''saving the souls'' of the native population, ie converting them to Catholicism, in the belief it would better their lives.
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Re: Spain´s own naval victories?

Postby RF » Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:46 am

marcelo_malara wrote:
Can we condemn the conqueror for being the hunter? Can we condemn a Lion for being a predator, or a Tiger or an Eagle? I


I am not condemning the Spaniards for the conquest, as you said there are many similar instances in history, but I resist the idea of justifing it on cultural, social and religious grounds. We don´t remember the date of Barbarrosa or Weserubung, and if we do, is as something regrettable that should not have happened. The same must go the the New World conquest. My opinion of course.


This may be suitable for debate off topic, but I would think that without the European conquest of Latin America when it happened, there would today be no Argentina, Brazil or Colombia etc. today. I suspect Marcelo (and I am not saying this in any offensive way) that you and most of your fellow Argentinians are very much a product of the Spanish colonialisation and the intermixing of races through marriage etc. The survival of the native tribes was largely through this intermixing and is predominantly seen in the racial make up certainly of countries like Chile and Argentina, which some see almost as European type countries. Other countries further north, with warmer climates such as Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, saw less racial intermixing, and with a tropical hinterland with little in the way of rapid transportation the indigenous tribes were able to retain their separate identity from their colonial masters. When independence came they didn't have the imported ''European atitudes'' and continued much as before - so their countries are less wealthy or industrialised, in spite of a wealth of natural resources. Other countries, such as Venezuela and Brazil, come some way between these two extremes. Brazil is significant because of the size and diversity of the country.
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Re: Spain´s own naval victories?

Postby RF » Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:55 am

Another aspect to this is what would have happened if Spain had not been involved in the Napoleonic Wars and had been strong enough as a result to have retained its central and south American empire into the twentieth century. Spain could have developed as a trading nation, using wealth sourced from its colonies to develop its domestic economy and industrialise. With an industrial base you can have a stronger navy and retain authority in its colonies and to some extent mirror the development of the British Empire, with South America as Spains' ''India.''

Such a Spain could have emerged as a more powerful country than France, and have had more colonies in Africa.

And a stronger navy? More naval victories! And a much more serious opponent for the US in 1898. In fact I think that conflict would have happened much earlier, and the earlier it happened the more likely Spain wins.
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Re: Spain´s own naval victories?

Postby RF » Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:03 am

Byron Angel wrote: Without attempting to craft an apologia for the European exploitation and mistreatment of the native peoples of the Americas, it must be said that those native peoples had conquered, massacred, and enslaved one another with an equal degree of enthusiasm and efficiency for centuries before Europeans ever set foot upon their shores.
The single factor which made the impact of the European incursion so powerful was disease. The vast populations of the New World had absolutely no immunity to the array of Old World diseases which accompanied the European adventurers. Millions died and civilizations collapsed as a resut.

Byron


Your first paragraph reproduced her I think is overstating it - yes it did happen, but there were stable empires also like that of the Incas, Mayan and Aztecs with considerable abilities in the field of civil engineering.

Disease certainly was a killer. But it was made more so by the effects of forced labour, starvation, flogging and a lack of the medical attention that was afforded to the invading settlors.
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Re: Spain´s own naval victories?

Postby lwd » Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:03 pm

RF wrote: .... But it was made more so by the effects of forced labour, starvation, flogging and a lack of the medical attention that was afforded to the invading settlors.

From my reading the greatest effects were on those who were not under control of European powers. Indeed the South East may have lost 90% of it's population following rather benign contact with Spanish explorers. Apparently one of the reasons for the number of fatalities in this case is that entire villages were exposed at essentially the same time. A disease that's debilitating but not necessarily fatal can become one when most or all those who would normally care for the sick person are also debilitated.

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Re: Spain´s own naval victories?

Postby hammy » Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:58 pm

You also have to bear in mind that the communities of natives , both when considered in the context of individual villages , or as whole peoples such as the Aztecs , were pretty dependent on a constant schedule of agricultural work to keep up the food supply . Much of their astronomical knowledge was originally about this , the need to predict when to sow , to harvest , etc .

Any disruptive events will affect this routine of farming activity , and can soon pass a tipping point beyond which diminishing labour inputs reduce the food supply yet further , reducing the labour inputs yet again , and so on .
" Disease " should be seen as "shorthand" covering malnutrition effects , and also include " psychic shock " i.e. victims of mental trauma , in which the reaction to events which the individual is unable to come to terms with results in listless apathy and disassociation from reality , or " Displacement activity " -- ( the Individual or group becomes very active at some other , sometimes wildly inappropriate , task , and is aggressive to anyone who remonstrates with them ).

Where the "movers and shakers" in a group are affected in this way then the weaker group members will cease to be cared for properly very quickly , and will rapidly start to die off , ratcheting up the general grief and depression , and the disruption to the former , patterned , existence .

An invasion by Alien forces , having impressive and frightening unknown technology , having removed your central ruling elite , and having shown your established religious belief system to be helpless and no protection at all , is about as powerful an incentive to crouching in a corner with the duvet pulled over your head as I can Imagine .
A week or two of that , and you have got a complete destruction of the civilisation of which you were a part .

As the Invader , you dont have to have acted in a particularly brutal way to trigger this situation . Your mere appearence on the scene would be enough .
Consider what would happen here if a squadron of starships containing a couple of hundred benign Aliens were to arrive in orbit tomorrow morning , announce that they were taking over control , and that from now on , mankind would be worshipping the actual one true God , The Great Green Arkleseizure .

You'd be tempted not to set off for work as usual , hmm ........ ?
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Re: Spain´s own naval victories?

Postby RF » Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:14 am

Without underplaying what you say hammy, by comparison the Black Death plague in Europe of the fourteenth century is regarded as a disaster because it killed one third of the population of Europe. This is a statistic that discloses that two thirds survived. The civilisations in Latin America prior to what you describe as an alien invasion were fairly advanced by the standards of global human development at that time, perhaps even more so in that their achievements were attained with no knowledge of written language or mathematics.
There is evidence that some of these tribes were able to respond to ''the trauma'' as you call it, such as seen in the construction of new settlements in the most remotest and difficult of construction areas, such as Macchu Picu, a truly herculanean feat of civil engineering.
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Re: Spain´s own naval victories?

Postby hammy » Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:22 pm

I think that is fair comment .

But with regard to the Black Death , the societal structures remained in place , ie the King , nobility , priesthood , etc were all still there , and though medicinal knowledge was primitive , the plague was generally recognised as a plain case of disease , and was therefore explicable , though admittedly probably terrifying , to the majority of minds .

In the case of the "Alien" arrival , It is the effect of losing ( or losing all your confidence in ) ALL of the structures which you previously took for "safe" , permanent and reliable surroundings to your life , and the inexplicability of this which leads to the " mental paralysis ".

The effect is noted today as a human trait ; - After a passenger plane makes a rough crash landing , a proportion of the passengers are liable to just sit there in their seats , as if stupified , after a bomb explosion some (untouched) people will wander about dazed or do irrational things , In our own field of Naval matters , the crew is drilled over and over again as to what to do in various "shocking" situations , where normal realities suddenly cease .

With regard to evidence of attempts to "relocate and restart life elsewhere" by the American native populations , I think that is exactly what you would expect to see after any disaster -- a "survivalist" charismatic leader emerges who leads a group of like-minded , refugees , and people picked up along the way , off to some new "safe" area to try to start again --
( cue countless Hollywood films and TV series ! ) .
" Relax ! No-one else is going to be fool enough to be sailing about in this fog ."

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Re: Spain´s own naval victories?

Postby hammy » Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:39 pm

A further thought has occurred .

As mentioned above , we've all seen countless post-disaster survivalist Films and TV series , and I wonder If , as a result we are not now actually "rehearsed" in what to do in these situations .

There also seems to be a spread of Survivalist documentary and entertainment programmes on the TV here in the UK lately .
You cant turn it on in the evening now without being shown how to build some useful aid to survival using little more than your teeth , how to make fire from snow , how to whittle an airship , or watching some group of "celebrities" trying to cope in very trying conditions .

( Do you think there is something we ought to be told ? ? ? )

:=)
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