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Many of the various tribes, or nations, occupying the pre-Colombian Americas had established governing councils, an area of land over which they claimed exclusive rights, defended from others and sometimes sought to expand and generally fulfilled the definition of "nation" as applied to the German peoples by the Romans, if not the later definition of "nation-state."  They had two serious deficiencies with respect to the Europeans: a late stone age level of technology and immune systems that were relatively much more vulnerable to infectious agents largely arising from domestication of animals.

Europeans arrived, imposed their version of written law, dismissed preexisting law and custom, though often retaining place names, and proceeded to delegitimate native American society and appropriate
their land, either forcing cultural assimilation and effective slavery on their victims or exterminating them and expropriating their land.  It was might makes right, cultural and religious arrogance or both.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Apr 7th, 2009 at 10:32:14 AM EST
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