Posts tagged with colonization
Today, all of Africa is suffering one of the bloodiest wildlife slaughters in history—of not only the elephant, but the rhinoceros as well. Asia’s booming economies have spawned an insatiable market for contraband luxuries and traditional “medicine.” (The truth is that, contrary to persistent myth, rhino horn has no more medical value than your fingernails, which consist of the exact same substance: keratin.)
Having effectively destroyed its own wildlife supply (the Javan rhino was declared extinct on the mainland in 2011), Asia has turned to Africa’s comparatively well-stocked populations. Conservationists warn that, at current rates, only drastic action will save the elephant or the rhino.
If Auschwitz marked the culmination of state violence against racially defined alien populations, the war against the Herero and Nama was surely the first step in that direction.
This is a series of maps charting the shrinkage of Native American lands over time, from 1784 to the present day. Made because I was having trouble visualizing the sheer scale of the land loss, and reading numbers like “blah blah million acres” wasn’t really doing it for me. The gif is based on a collection of maps by Sam B. Hilliard of Louisiana State University. You can see the original map here.
For those who do prefer dealing in numbers, here are some:
By 1881, Indian landholdings in the United States had plummeted to 156 million acres. By 1934, only about 50 million acres remained (an area the size of Idaho and Washington) as a result of the General Allotment Act* of 1887. During World War II, the government took 500,000 more acres for military use. Over one hundred tribes, bands, and Rancherias relinquished their lands under various acts of Congress during the termination era of the 1950s.
By 1955, the indigenous land base had shrunk to just 2.3 percent of its original size.
—In the Courts of the Conqueror by Walter Echo-Hawk
* The General Allotment Act is also known as the Dawes Act.