Many people know of the murder of 6 million Jews and 70 million Chinese and also 20 million Russians, but many people are not aware of the number of native American Indians that were slaughtered by the new settles over a period of about 400 years.
American Indian Genocide or American Indian Holocaust are terms used by specialists in American Indian history, as well as American Indianactivists, to bring attention to what they contend is the deliberate mass destruction of American Indian populations following the European arrival in the Americas, a subject which they allege has hitherto received very limited mention in history, partially because some of the deaths happened before European chroniclers arrived to record them. Many acts which American Indian activists view as genocide are sometimes brushed aside as wartime deaths by non-Indians. Raphael Lemkin (you know the guy who LITERALLY CREATED THE WORD GENOCIDE) thought what was done to various American Indian groups amounted to genocide, including massacres, “genocidal enslavement,” sexual abuse, and assimilation into Christianity.
Estimates of the pre-Columbian population vary widely, though uncontroversial studies place the figure for North, Central and South America at a combined 50 million to 100 million, with scholarly estimates of 2 million to 18 million for North America alone. An estimated 80% to 90% of this population perished after the arrival of Europeans overwhelmingly from factors which deniers of genocide argue were beyond most human control — e.g., smallpox epidemics— except for all the deaths caused by Europeans, especially the Spanish conquistadors who killed 1.4 to over 2.3 million by forced labor, repression, and warfare not including the 44.1 to 45 million who perished from epidemics.
In terms of recognition by foreign governments there has been no official declaration like for the Armenian Genocide or Holodomor but some notable world leaders have commented on it; Vladimir Putin had this to say on the colonization of the Americas:
- “large scale ethnic cleansing…it’s scale had no precedent in history…In the colonization of the Americas by Europeans, the earth was not doused in salt because it was needed…they exterminated the native population”
The term “extermination” implies he believes what happened to Native Americans was a genocide. Hugo Chavez called the colonization; “the biggest invasion and genocide ever seen in the history of humanity.”
The Belgian defense minister, André Flahaut , argued in 2004 that the greatest genocide in world history was committed in North America , claiming that the demographic catastrophe was due to murder and extermination and minimizing the role of epidemics. The extermination continues according to the minister until today. This was stated when he presented on April 8 , 2004 a government report entitled Genocide. The journalistic chronicle thus transcribes his affirmations:
- “… in North America the greatest genocide in world history was committed (…) only in North America 15 million indigenous people were killed since Christopher Columbus set foot on this continent in 1492, and suggested that the extermination continues until today. Another 14 million were massacred in South America (…). Although the number of victims can not be known with certainty, there is irrefutable evidence of a deliberate campaign of extermination, dispossession and acculturation of native peoples, opposed to different denial theories. Such theories argue that the diseases that killed much or most of the indigenous people were an unfortunate byproduct of “contact” between cultures.
Given that Putin and Chavez have geopolitical interest against the U.S. their claims should be taken with a grain of salt, but in that case so should the U.S.’s recognition of the Holodomor which Russia denies was a genocide. Both the Holodomor and atrocities against American Indians (As aforementioned) were called genocides by Raphael Lemkin.