A Nation of Immigrants
They came first in a trickle, exploreres, adventurers, misfits and outcasts, telling themselves they were looking for a new life, but in reality fleeing from past failures. These small bands of men moved out across the continent, exploring the New World, and sending back word of wealth unimagined, fertile fields and ripe lands for the taking. The word went back to Europe of these riches and opportunities, and the mad rush was on.
The armies of conquest quickly moved throughout the land, driving the natives before them based on superior weaponry and tactics. Oh sure, there were ocasional reversals, but the issue never was in doubt, particularly when the natives began to fall ill from the Europeans' diseases. Their lack of immunity to the invaders' diseases doomed them even more surely than did the invaders' weapons.
The native men were slaughtered, and their women raped and sold into slavery; the bloodlines of the nativ peoples were destroyed forever, ensuring that they would always be a minority in the lands formerly theirs. The native religion was outlawed, as was the native languages; the gods themselves were replaced by European gods, and the tongue became European as well. Even the names of the lands were changed to new European lands, and where the native names were kept, they were Anglicized to make them more appealing to the new settlers.
In short, the usual pattern of imperialist conquest was folowed as the Europeans moved in with an insatiable appetite for land and resources, and the colonies grew in strength and power until they eventually fought a war against their former brothers to establish freedom and independence. Unfortunately, as is usually the case, that freedom and independence was only for the Europeans and their descendents; the native peoples remained in poverty and oppression, where they remain to this day.
It's a familiar tale to anyone on the left who detests imperial agression and colonization, but in this case there's one slight detail I left out.
This isn't the story of North America and the United States.
It is the story of Meso-America and Mexico.
The Spanish conquest of Meso-America was so pervasive and devastating to the indigenous peoples that the vast majority of Mexican citizens are of European extraction; they are immigrants, not natives.
Which makes their claim to large chunks of the US Southwest a bit problematic.
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