Download Murder State: California's Native American Genocide, by Brendan C. Lindsay PDF

By Brendan C. Lindsay

In the second one half the 19th century, the Euro-American citizenry of California conducted mass genocide opposed to the local inhabitants in their kingdom, utilizing the methods and mechanisms of democracy to safe land and assets for themselves and their deepest pursuits. The homicide, rape, and enslavement of millions of local humans have been legitimized via notions of democracy—in this example mob rule—through a discreetly geared up and brutally powerful sequence of petitions, referenda, city corridor conferences, and votes at each point of California government.
Murder State is a complete exam of those occasions and their early legacy. Preconceptions approximately local american citizens as formed via the preferred press and through immigrants’ stories at the Overland path to California have been used to additional justify the removal of local humans within the novices’ quest for land. The allegedly “violent nature” of local humans was once usually basically their response to the atrocities devoted opposed to them as they have been pushed from their ancestral lands and alienated from their conventional resources.
In this narrative background applying a variety of fundamental assets and the newest interdisciplinary scholarship on genocide, Brendan C. Lindsay examines the darker facet of California heritage, one not often studied intimately, and the causes of either local americans and Euro-Americans on the time. homicide country calls cognizance to the misuse of democracy to justify and dedicate genocide.

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Additional info for Murder State: California's Native American Genocide, 1846-1873

Sample text

Euro-Americans of the era, however, would argue that their attempts to eradicate savage Indians were legal and in self-defense, typically of property as opposed to life. And they would be right in the context of nineteenth-century local, state, and federal laws. In nineteenth-century American California, killing Indians was essentially legal, based on the unwillingness of prosecutors, lawmen, and courts to bring killers of Native Americans to justice. But as with other cases of genocide, justice should not be left in the hands of the murderers—something even Euro-Americans of the nineteenth century would have agreed with, as long it was not justice for Native Americans or other nonwhite groups being sought.

Much evidence exists to the contrary. Yet when it came to fearsome, savage Indians, they seemed capable of many terrible exceptions. Euro-American settlers, soldiers, and miners were able to kill infants, slaughter defenseless women and children in their homes, rape women and young girls, starve entire villages into death and disease, execute prisoners without trial, and murder dozens of people at a time to avenge the loss of a single cow or horse. Like many people in history who have committed monstrous deeds, Euro-Americans in California did not see themselves as monsters but rather as righteous, religious, pragmatic people.

The notion of a divinely ordained progress of Euro-American settlers westward provided an essential relief to any moral qualms about Indian genocide. As Ervin Staub remarked, “Historical examples show that ideologies, including religious ones, powerfully affect human conduct. . Unfortunately, followers of ideologies often identify some people as a hindrance . . ”6 In this case the fulfillment of Manifest Destiny and its connections with Christianity meant a North American continent home to all the best elements of liberty and democracy.

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