Indians made a huge contribution to our modern culture and life, including economic, social, political, and environmental fields. Jack Weatherford in his book Indian Givers stated, that Indians who lived on the lands of Americas were very wise men, and they have taught the people from all over the world many useful things in many fields like industry and agriculture, food and culinary, economy and medicine. It is very important for people who live now to understand this and to be grateful for everything that we have.
Lends of Americas were rich and fertile, and Native Americans had a plenty knowledge in various areas. First of all, Europeans craved to increase their funds of gold and silver. American gold used for decoration churches, buildings and palaces; thanks to the American gold Europe had baroque. However, using silver was more wide and deep. Silver mines of Potosi irretrievably changed the economic system of Europe. Europe never before had such a many silver coins in circulation, production increased and people could buy more goods, and began to accumulate their own capital.
Indian Givers Essay Example
Silver has become more practical; with so much money the old system was transformed to the new economic system. At the same time the fur trade was started, there was a huge amount of fur that even middle class can afford it. The fur trade was highly organized and it has led to the standardization of goods, work and laborers. It was the beginning of modern corporations; the discovery of America started the trade revolution, and this revolution needs more and more working class. So, slavery market was huge, thereby the population of Africa was dramatically decreased.
The famous political philosopher Karl Marx said, that the Indian gold and silver started the new epoch of capitalistic production. Another very important field is agriculture, food, and culinary. The most famous products that have given to the Europe were potatoes and tomatoes. Farmers discovered that potatoes did not need many efforts in production and transportation, additionally it was healthy product. Thus, potato had more influence than even gold and silver. That time, Europeans did not eat roots, they use grains, but grains were difficult to cultivate, and sometimes led to problems with digestion.
Using potato improved health of the people, and increased their population. Together with potato, sunflower was the important product for the Northern countries, where people could not cultivate olive to produce edible oil. Also, the corn made the same thing for the beasts as potato did for the people; it became the main resource of forage. This new food for the beasts increased producing of meat, eggs, cheese, milk, and other products. Hereby, American foods helped Europeans to overcome dearth that was very common that time; but they did more than just satisfaction of hungry.
American foods and spices enabled to develop native cousins of many countries in the world; red pepper became irreplaceable in Hungary, tomato and pepper in Spain, potato in Poland and Russia, etc. Additionally, the world had a famous drink Coca-Cola and the product loved by all women, the chocolate. It is undoubtedly that discovery of Americas involved the food and culinary revolution too. I want to note that there was one more serious area where Native Americans had significant knowledge, medicine. Native Americans gave to the world a plenty knowledge that doctors use till today days.
Indians knew useful properties of ocean kelp and applied it in the treatment of scurvy. Also, they successfully used quinine in their fight against malaria, and saved not only lives of the first European settlers, but many lives in the world, (malaria killed millions of people that time). Indians gave the world coca, from which the modern people know Novocain, the most famous and important anesthetics in the world, more efficient then ether. European medicine that time more looked like witchery, and Indians knowledge became the basis of the modern medicine and pharmacology.
However, Native Americans were helpless in fight with Old World diseases; small pox, tuberculosis, yellow fever, etc. killed major population of Indians. It should be noted that Indians also gave us not only good and useful thing, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine and alcohol came from the Americas too. Tobacco was kindly accepted by the Europe. Additionally, cultivation of American grains made the alcohol cheaper, and the world received the new disease, alcoholism, which spread through all over the world with the huge speed.
The industrial revolution began in Americas, because raw materials and new technologies were supplied from New World. The American cotton was more qualitative, and Europeans accepted it immediately. The lack of labor force allowed the mechanization of the textile manufacture, and from this point textile factories were born. Additionally, the high quality dye from Americas helped in development of textile industry. Using of rubber allowed developing production of wheels and later, modern vehicles; rubber insulation began the epoch of electrification.
Also, it is worth to remember the famous Macintosh coat, which has water-resistant characters. Thereby, the union Old and New Worlds began the industrial revolution. Besides of trades and industrialization, Indians gave us the federal and democratic principles which some governments use today. The leader of Iroquois offered to combine colonies to the union, and the League of Iroquois became the prototype of USA and UN. In conclusion, Indians’ contribution is difficult to overestimate. They gave to world gold and silver, cotton and rubber, dye and chemicals, which allowed the industrial revolution to happen.
Native Americans gave many sorts of grain, corn, potato, etc. that today feed millions of people. Indians discovered the quinine, therapeutic properties of coca and other plants that opened the possibility of development of modern medicine and pharmacology. All together it helped people to survive and increase their population. Indians trailed ways that modern American use today. We should not forget all these incredible and significant gifts that we received from Indians, and gave them deserving place in the history.