Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Killing California's Indians: US Genocide

Benjamin Madley (amazon.com); Xochitl, Dhr. Seven, Crystal Q. (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873
(The Lamar Series in Western History)
This is the first full account of the genocide of California Indians, a mass ethnic cleansing sanctioned by the government of the United States.

Between 1846 and 1873, California’s Indian population plunged from perhaps 150,000 or higher to 30,000.

Author Benjamin Madley is the first historian to uncover the full extent of the industrial scale slaughter, the involvement of state and federal officials, the U.S. taxpayer dollars that supported the violence, indigenous resistance, who did the killing, and why the killings ended.

This deeply researched book is a comprehensive and chilling history of an American genocide.

Madley describes pre-contact California and precursors to the genocide before explaining how the Gold Rush stirred vigilante violence against California Indians.

He narrates the rise of a state-sanctioned killing machine and the broad societal, judicial, and political support for genocide. Many participated: vigilantes, volunteer state militiamen, U.S. Army soldiers, U.S. congressmen, California governors, and others.

State and federal governments spent at least $1,700,000 on campaigns against California Indians. Besides evaluating government officials’ responsibility, Madley considers why the slaughter constituted the legal definition of "genocide" and how other possible genocides in and beyond the Americas might be investigated using the methods presented in this groundbreaking book. More

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