Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The world was different just a few hundred years ago

I’m at the bottom of my ideas as to what to post here. Just to show you how much though I’ve given this, I considered asking you to tell me what color your favorite M&M was.

Something that has been rolling around in my mind lately is man’s inhumanity to man. So it’s a toss-up between writing a post on M&Ms, or man’s inhumanity to man. Oh well, everybody knows that you like the red M&Ms the best, so I’ll just move into my other subject.

Man’s inhumanity toward man. I think that the most brutal way to die would be the be dragged, drawn, and quartered. Up until the mid nineteenth century is was legal in Great Briton to drag, draw, and quarter a person found guilty of treason. For those of you unfamiliar to the process, it was to be as follows from old English Law:

“Then Sentence was passed, as followeth, viz. That they should return to the place from whence they came, from thence be drawn to the Common place of Execution upon Hurdles, and there to be Hanged by the Necks, then cut down alive, their Privy-Members cut off, and Bowels taken out to be burned before their Faces, their Heads to be severed from their Bodies, and their Bodies divided into four parts, to be disposed of as the King should think fit.”

They did this only in the cases of “High Treason”, which basically means that you disagreed with the king.

“Women found guilty of treason in England were sentenced to be drawn to a place of execution and burned at the stake, that was later changed to hanging by the Treason act of 1790 in Great Britain, and 1796 in Ireland.”

As you can see, they were much kinder the gentler sex.

After looking around the world a little bit, and looked at some of the methods that used to kill each other, I thought that probably the only people in the world to treat each other decently would be the American Indian. Although I’ve heard of tales of great brutality, most of then were against the white man during the Indian wars of the eighteen hundreds. So, I started my search of the Indian culture. I found that some of the north coast Indians held slaves.

From Wikipedia:
“Among some Pacific Northwest tribes about a quarter of the population were slaves. Other slave-owning tribes and societies of the New World were, for example, Comanche of Texas, Creek of Georgia, the fishing societies, such as the Yurok, that lived along the coast from what is now Alaska to California, the Pawnee and Klamath, the Caribs of Dominica, the Tupinnamba of Brazil, and the Tehuelche of Patagonia.”

The South American Indians were much more unfeeling toward their fellow human beings, it seems that they used their slave much as we use cattle today:

“In Brazil slavery was already part of the native population traditions. Native Americans would enslave other Native Americans, captured from rival tribes, and would often eat their slaves after some time. After the arrival of the Portuguese, the Native Americans started to trade their prisoners, instead of using them as slaves or food, in exchange for goods. But the enslavement of Europeans could also occur as happened with Hans Staden who, after being set free, wrote a book about the habits of the Native Americans.”

I’m not writing this to point out any great fault in the American Indian, but to point out that much of these kind of things went on before organized civilization. So when people start feeling bad about what their ancestors did, there is enough shame to go around on ALL sides. The early men were brutal to each other.


USelaine said...

I always liked the tan M&Ms. Just a boring person, I guess.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I always worried about why they didn't have blue M&Ms then they started making them, then I wondered why they didnt't make them all along. ???

Ben said...

Ernie... Tribes very near our area kept or owned "slaves". Rather different from our idea of slavery, Indian slavery was a form of indebtedness to the one who owned the person. The "slave " worked to pay this debt and was often able to free himself eventually. It was expected that a slave was well treated. Some tribes to the east of us raided for slaves, especially women. In Indiana, two of my umpty-great uncles were captured and lived as slaves of the Indians until they escaped. In our neighborhood, the most recent version of slavery was the "Act for the Benefit of the Indians" which legalized Indian slaves for whites until well after the Emancipation Proclamation freed the blacks. The California white community may have been the last slave owners in the United States.

spyrock said...

In 1493 Pope Alexander VI, while granting Spain the right to colonize the New World, mandated that the indigenous people be converted to Catholicism and prohibited their enslavement. However, he added a "catch 22" by going on to say that those who did not accept Christianity or reverted to their old religion, should be punished and could be enslaved. Only a fraction of the enslaved Africans brought to the New World ended up in British North America-- perhaps 5%. The vast majority of slaves shipped across the Atlantic were sent to the Caribbean sugar colonies, Brazil, or Spanish America.

i took mexican history in college so i learned this stuff years ago.
white americans seem tame when compared to the conquistadores and the spanish inquisition. the indian religion and spirituality that existed here for thousands of years is what is needed. there are good and bad in every race and many of the people who came to america didn't have any money and signed on as indentured servants or slaves until their passage was paid. most people are slaves to their conditioning. so i don't condemn people who don't understand reality because they were misled.
in other words, i don't condemn anyone.

Ernie Branscomb said...

The South American Indians treated their slaves well until they ate them. I guess it's all a matter of perception.

Richard Branscombe came to America as an indentured servant. He paid off his debt, and went on to become quite wealthy by colony standards.

I agree with Spyrock, we all jump through somebody elses hoops.

Well, I've got to go to work...

Dave Kirby said...

In the case of the Modocs, captives, particularly female captives, were traded into slavery in exchange for horses and other goods. They raided the neighboring tribes and developed a reputation as fearsome and merciless. It should be noted that they only began this practice after the white traders arrived in the northwest. The Modocs were not a fur gathering tribe but found that they could trade with the horse indians of the north and participate in what was a regional trading network.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Dave, horses are from the "Old World" so anything to do with horses has to do with the old world.

I'm sure that any outside influence will change people. Look at what the computer has done to us in just a few short years.

Anonymous said...

Two little girls in my family were kidnapped by Indians in the Southeast in 1790. One escaped and returned to her family several years later. The younger girl died of exhaustion and exposure only a few weeks after being captured.

Indie said...

How sad.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Indie. Thank you for caring about them.

spyrock said...

i've read quite a few books about modocs including the one by joaquin miller which isn't about modocs at all. the mexicans were the ones trading horses for slaves. slave labor exists in mexico today. and i'm sure everyone is hearing about all the murders near the border between the drug cartel and the government. the same drug cartel that is growing weed in et or in your neck of the woods. this type of insanity would hold my attention rather than to worry about some modocs who are mostly all dead and gone. the modocs were mostly out for revenge. they got tricked by indian killers several times. so when they couldn't get along with the klamaths who called them women, they left the rez and went back home. when the general, preacher, and indian agent showed up to make peace, they killed them all. something they learned from the white man. the modocs would make quite a movie. lots of movies to be made up in the et. but the mexican mafia up your way. that is what you should be concerned about. talk about drawing and quartering. this is happening in mexico right now as we write. what a price to pay for some weed.

Robin Shelley said...

I was kind of thinking the same thing, Spy... I think... that modern men are pretty brutal to each other.

Anonymous said...

How many women did it take to get a horse?


Ben said...

Oregon.. In the deal the Azbill's made at Red Bluff, they traded a herd of horses for about twenty children. The purchasers were Californios from the Central Valley. The kids were from Round Valley. If you look at census records, most indian girls living with white men were 13 to 15 years old.

Anonymous said...

Ben, I was making a stab at being humorous.