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1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

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In this groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology, Charles C. Mann radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492. Contrary to what so many Americans learn in school, the pre-Columbian Indians were not sparsely settled in a pristine wilderness; rather, there were huge numbers of Indians who actively molded and influenced the land around them. The astonishing Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan had running water and immaculately clean streets…

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Why did Europeans thrive so well and branch off into America, Australia, colonies, etc. and most South American/African countries/ Native America remain so underdeveloped for so long?(r/explainlikeimfive)

Also remember that the native peoples of the Americas were annihilated by disease before contact with most Europeans. Seriously 90+% died in the 1500 and 1600s following first contact with the Spanish, all across North and South America. Read 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus for more details. Essentially though, the “vast wilderness” of the Amazon rainforest is actually an overgrown garden. The peoples there built on a massive scale, but did so using wood and dirt (no stone in the Amazon). The first Spanish explorers in 1530 or so reported the river lined with cities for literally days on end. It was 100+ years before the next explorers attempted a passage of the Amazon, and by then most of the natives were dead and the cities had disappeared into the forest.

North America has a similar story, with huge population densities lost to disease. The Indians the Europeans encountered in the 1700s and 1800s were essentially the survivors in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, trying to recreate a civilization from the shattered remains of the old while fighting off an invading barbarian horde from the coasts.

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Subreddits

AskHistorians, explainlikeimfive, todayilearned

Number Of Links

7

Sum Of Upvotes

593

Amazon Price

$4.75

NSFW Product

SFW

Book Binding

Paperback

Type Code

ABIS_BOOK

Book Author

Charles C. Mann

Book Edition

1st

Book Publisher

Vintage Books

Book On Amazon

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

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Why did Europeans thrive so well and branch off into America, Australia, colonies, etc. and most South American/African countries/ Native America remain so underdeveloped for so long?

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