The World Turned Upside Down: Indian Voices from Early America - Introduction Summary & Analysis

Colin G. Calloway
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While the Euro-centric narrative insists that Europeans "discovered" America, America was in fact full of relatively advanced Indian nations, complete with unique art, mythologies, complex political systems, irrigation networks, architecture, and all the other trappings of civilization. Europeans called different peoples "tribes," but in fact identity often shifted because societies were in flux.

The Indian people were devastated by all the diseases, like smallpox, Europeans brought over from the Old World. Many tribes were wiped out entirely, while others lost 50 percent or more of their population. Europeans like the Pilgrims attributed the epidemic to God's will. Population loss from disease destabilized Indian people, who lost their elders, healers, families, etc. Indians were also damaged by European trade. They became dependent on manufactured goods, and thus dependent on Europeans. Often, Indians would fall into debt to buy goods. Alcohol and the resulting alcoholism was also a...

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This section contains 492 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The World Turned Upside Down: Indian Voices from Early America Study Guide
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