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Themes in U.S and World History
The purpose for which government has been instituted, according to Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, is “because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraint.” In an effort to constrain men’s passions, nations and revolutionary groups have tried many forms of government. But the institution of a new government necessitates some form of revolution, either violent or peaceful. In many cases, the onset of this revolution begins with the subjugation of a people, often through the process of colonizing a land which is already inhabited.
The Rise of Colonialism in the Americas
Christopher Columbus’ only real claim to fame (other than, perhaps, one of the earliest perpetrators of genocide) is that he began a period of conquest and colonization in the Americas. Columbus made no secret of his plans for the first native peoples he encountered, the Arawak. He wrote to his patrons, “With fifty men all can be kept in subjection, and made to do whatever you desire” (Colbert, 1997, p.6).
During the following …