America before Columbus

America before Columbus

2010, History  -   131 Comments
Ratings: 7.18/10 from 301 users.

History books traditionally depict the pre-Columbus Americas as a pristine wilderness where small native villages lived in harmony with nature. But scientific evidence tells a very different story: When Columbus stepped ashore in 1492, millions of people were already living there. America wasn't exactly a New World, but a very old one whose inhabitants had built a vast infrastructure of cities, orchards, canals and causeways.

The English brought honeybees to the Americas for honey, but the bees pollinated orchards along the East Coast. Thanks to the feral honeybees, many of the plants the Europeans brought, like apples and peaches, proliferated. Some 12,000 years ago, North American mammoths, ancient horses, and other large mammals vanished. The first horses in America since the Pleistocene era arrived with Columbus in 1493.

Settlers in the Americas told of rivers that had more fish than water. The South American potato helped spark a population explosion in Europe. In 1491, the Americas had few domesticated animals, and used the llama as their beast of burden.

In 1491, more people lived in the Americas than in Europe. The first conquistadors were sailors and adventurers. In 1492, the Americas were not a pristine wilderness but a crowded and managed landscape. The now barren Chaco Canyon was once covered with vegetation. Along with crops like wheat, weeds like dandelion were brought to America by Europeans.

It’s believed that the domestication of the turkey began in pre-Columbian Mexico, and did not exist in Europe in 1491. By 1500, European settlers and their plants and animals had altered much of the Americas’ landscape. While beans, potatoes, and maize from the Americas became major crops in continental Europe.

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131 Comments / User Reviews

  1. very good info, well put together - 5 stars

  2. As an antidote to this film read An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz; Savage Anxieties: The Invention of Western Civilization, Robert A. Williams, Jr.(Lumbee); God is Red, Vine Deloria (Sioux) for starters. This "documentary " manages to completely gloss over the deliberate extermination of the First Nations and would have us believe that the uninvited invaders innocently wiped out the indigenes with germs only. Read history and the horrors that the murderer Columbus inflicted on the Tainos for a start. Then the numerous trails of tears. And now as we titter on our collective extinction due to the twin crisis--ecological and nuclear--brought to you by the European and their descendants--madmen-- let us remember their crimes of greed and racism.

  3. Just brilliant. However, as someone pointed out, the title is misleading. There is a heavy focus on how Europeans influenced the Americas. I still enjoyed it. All that history crammed into an hour and a half. It didn't miss a beat. It's quite sad, and yet such a necessary step to the modern world we know today.

    The potato and tomato was such an interesting thing to learn about. I'd always assumed that they were always accessible to Europe. Especially considering the stereotypes of the Irish and Italian. As an American of both Irish and Italian ancestry, I was tickled to bits to learn that these foods were not European in origin, among others.

    I thought it was poetic how the Spaniards hoped to convert new Christians, and instead, killed them with the pox. And in the end, they assumed God paved the way for them. It just goes to show how corrupt man is with religion. Hundreds of years later, according to man, God is still hurting other men for your benefit. Christians, Jews and Muslims- all the same.

    1. You are so correct accept for the ending part where you started to bash religion like an oaf with no sense of purpose. If you don';t think religion serves any good purpose at least understand the fact that humanity is always looking a universal truth and a homelike setting. That is why it is necessary.

    2. This is a basic mistake. The fact that you are looking for something (like universal truth) doesn't justify settling for fantasy. If you lost your keys you don't pick up a pair of scissors and yell "I found them". Questions are eternal, answers temporary. All monotheistic religions are in fact manuals how to survive in an early neolythic desert society and have become redundant in answering modern day issues. Not only that: they hold us back. The concept of a personal god with character (he is 'good', strict but forgiving, he can be 'angry' or 'disappointed' about things even though he knew what was going to happen) is completely contradictory to the concept of omnipotency, since each choice 'he' makes closes off other paths. The way religious people who claim that god is good try to explain suffering and hardship is pathetically ridiculous. Anyone believing in allah or jahweh is living in a fairytale world. In fact, religions like the ancient Greek one make more sense, empirically. A bunch of selfish, jealous and competitive gods who don't care for humanity explain the state of the world far better than a single benign entity. The brave thing to do, as far as I'm concerned, is to admit that these fundamental questions so far have found no valid answer, and that any religious belief that answers them is a copout.

    3. That was a wonderful straw man. As a Christian, I don't recognize the traits you described as those of any major religion today, but you are free to believe whatever makes you feel satisfied.

    4. What do you mean you don't recognize them? Did you read the Torah, the Old and New Testament and the Quran? They are filled with monologues of a personal god, angry at or disappointed with mankind, forgiving or punishing. Your remark 'whatever makes you feel satisfied' is nothing short of a condescending attempt to turn the tables. Discussions are carried out with arguments and you submitted not a single one.

    5. I realize it's been a long time, but I never caught this reply. I wasn't bashing religions, just their followers. And in reference to the documentary.

    6. Speaking as an Atheist, I believe that religions are just early forms of humans trying to understand the world around them. I also believe that religion is outdated and has been replaced by science. Learning about science - just like what they thought reading scriptures, etc. did - brings us closer to a complete understanding with the universe.

  4. This was a beautifully presented doc.
    I learned a lot.
    It wasn't all about Europe, just explained what the conditions were that drove people to come here.
    Graphics show the viewers what different parts of America must have looked like.
    We see how the natives must have lived, what they grew, how they hunted and fished.
    How they used nature to manage their crops and the animals they depended on.
    All kinds of interesting material.
    I thought it was very well done and educational, too.
    Would love to see it shown in our schools.

  5. they were doing great..........until the white man came!!!! lol

  6. I thought this was about AMERICA BEFORE the Europeans. More than half of this goddamn movie is about EUROPE. wtf seriously guys?

    1. Yes, this was a bit of a disappointment for me. I was hoping to learn about more about the mound cities..

    2. That's because Europe is where the white (important) people are from. Who cares about a buncha redskins? Sad fact of life

    3. The ONLY reason I watched it.

  7. I'm an european, but ashamed of beeing one, because of what they've done few centuries ago.
    Shame on you europeans ! and spanish people and british people,etc.!!!
    For all that matters, i wish the europeans have never discovered The New World, even if that means no tomatoes, no french fries, no cocoa and other good stuff T_T

    1. Aztecs and incans were maiming/killing people for their gods , native americans also fought other tribes and exterminated them - women and children included at times.

      We are all humans , don't think pre-colombus america was some kind of heaven.

    2. Did you miss the part about the clean water and abundant resources ???????

    3. Right, did you miss the part about one of the smallest continents in the world being over populated? We are all human with a natural instinct for survival.

      Sure, you could accuse Europeans of being greedy, and going for the finer things in life i.e. tobacco and sugar. That's cool, but please chuck you computer in the trash considering it was made from metals and minerals from third world miners, who's countries never see the benefit of it's resources being valued. After all, it's a luxury, not a necessity. Until then, you're part of the problem, not the solution However, I won't hold it against you if you don't..

      It may be an ugly life, but nobody is willing to give it up. So it can't be that bad. Can it? ;)

    4. So then why do you whites keep crying when brown-skinned individuals leave THEIR over-populated countries to settle in white countries?! Suck it up! Natural instinct for survival it is!!

    5. White people descend from Asian people, who in turn descend from Africa, humans travel. Always will always have done. We talk about race as a big divide , there used to be 8 different species of humans . Now there's only one, because all races of us played a part in their extermination. China was once 7 different countries, but it became one via bloody battles. Now its people see it as one nation. Chinas emperors were once there super powers whilst Europeans squabbled amongst themselves. The Emperours had got as far as Africa , then the next in line was afraid of travelling. As foolish as it sounds this played a massive part in stopping the Chinese empire expanding. Had this not happened its likely China would have concquredconcqured parts of Europe, Africa and eventually the Americas. It would have been just as bloody and brutal as what Europeans did to other nations...

      Also this era Europe was not democratic, we were ruled by royalty. If you didn't do as you were ordered youd suffer. Normal folk didn't own land but merely lived on the land they worked for the rich. Who always wanted more money. Do you honestly think people willingly did half the things they did back then. Its a matter of class not race. And what a few greedy Europeans did would have been done by Asians or another race . As mentioned by other commentors all nations did this to their neighbours. England was enslaved by Romans and Vikings. Its part of being human, ethics weren't such a major issue back then just as they arent in North Korea , if your used to seeing people tourturefd then your less likely to act freely or see what your doing is wrong to avoid making the same mistake. Torture can be found in all kinds of civilisations

    6. What does this good information have to do with what I said? I said that white people should not b**** around when browns and blacks settle in their country when they are themselves in black and asiatic lands (eg. South Africa) Your answer proves my point. If you can travel, so can we.

    7. So the point of your post is to make you feel better from what happened to the native Americans? But that would be strange because you have a Jew flag in as your pic. So you most be haplogroup J (Semitic) not one of us Europeans. But as many Jews you probably think you are. No need to justify the killing we did in the Americas, you and your kind did nothing. You are free of guilt.

    8. Very strange response: at the time the greedy and intolerant queen of Spain was expelling Jews from Spain she was underwriting the extermination of the First Nations of Turtle Island. You don't see a link here?

  8. Not good, not bad, not right, not wrong, just the way it was

  9. Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand threatened my family with death, conversion, or exile. We were accepted by the Ottomans. The Sultan Beyazit "is said to have exclaimed thus at the Spanish monarch’s lack of wisdom: “Ye call Ferdinand a wise king he who makes his land poor and ours rich!”

    We narrowly escaped the inquisition. Columbus had to leave from a swamp infested port because the normal ports were clogged with people escaping the inquisition.

    1. you personally narrowly escaped the Inquisition? stop taking history and yourself so personally

  10. There are no Native Americans. The so-called "Native Americans" came from Asia. Their migration was no different from Europeans other than their time of arrival. The so-called "Native Americans" were at war with each other well before Europeans arrived. War was glorified in the so-called "Native American" culture. They were NOT angels despite what this "politically correct" documentary tries to portray them as.

    1. You are absurd. The immigration of the first humans across the Bering Strait is by no means equatable with Europeans rape, pillage, and transference of disease. How dare you white wash the horrors that the Europeans consistently unleashed on the various and numerous cultures in the North, Central, and South America. Read The People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn.

      You have the ignorance to paint all Native American cultures with one brush and the arrogance of what I suspect is racism.

    2. Not only the people but the land aswell

    3. I guess the land was at war with itself as well

    4. "Native" means "born in" a certain place. After "Indians" migrated to the Americas they had children: that made the children "Native Americans." Period. And nobody called them "angels" but they certainly did not (for the most part) center their lives around war, like the Europeans clearly did. You sound like a Zionist who, to deny his own crimes, is always pointing at others and saying "they're worse!"

    5. Good point, Jack.

      I'd just like to add that, considering that there were no humans in the Americas prior to the Native Americans (aka "Indians"), I think they do, in fact, qualify for the "Native" part...15-20 thousand years later. Sheesh, how many generations does it take?

    6. Native America consisted of 500 nations, don't kid yourself that it was some peaceful land. Disney might portray Natives that way but history clearly tells us that, whilst there were a few peaceful people like on every continent you generally always fought with your neighbouring nations. Why? Because of resources and to exert dominence, all humans needs that all humans have as a collective. Hence can be found every where humans of any race/nationality have ever been

    7. wow this might be the most ignorant comment i have read in a long time.

    8. May I point out that, according to this argument, we are all just so many degrees of East African.

    9. You are right. The Copper-colored Aboriginals (as described by Explorers in the encounter of FIRST PEOPLES) were already in the Americas BEFORE the Mongoloid Nomads. The farther you go back you always find "black".

  11. The concept of European agriculture as an artificial ecology and Native American agriculture as the management of natural ecology is a simple yet insightful idea which explains a huge number of differences between the two cultures. I remember reading from original sources how the colonists had trouble telling the Indian's gardens from the surrounding forest. That now makes perfect sense. Also very interesting to learn syphilis originated in the Americas. Totally surprised by that one.

  12. Sounds all nice and rosy, the colombian exchange was good for who? I don't think the Americas benefitted, nor did the natives. Europeans and their capitalist ways exploited and destroyed a continent. But the real kicker is at the end when they talk about the melting pot of the races, which is code for brownies are made to be like whites and the main key to it all? Darwin and social darwinism! Whites and Europeans are a superior race! Oh, what a disappointment.

  13. I need help with my homework and I am not sure what the answer is, anyone willing to help? The questions is:
    Why was America transformed 500 years ago?

  14. There is a great problem with how they have down played the genocide of the colonizing nations. Columbus is personally responsible for reducing the population of Haiti from 7 million to 600,000 in 6 years. Cortez wiped out the Aztecs. DeSoto raped and pillaged along his march from the southern tips of Florida up the eastern coasts and looping around. He was quite prowd to report the fact that he was not bringing supplies but rather stealing it from the native tribes he killed along his path. It is also well documented that the blankets with small pox were sent from Europe after the great epidemics with the intention of being given to the natives.

    1. that is correct.They distributed blankets with plague and small pox to native americans to reduce the population.

    2. Can you provide the source?, I would like to read more about it. Thanks!

  15. a sad reflection on colonial legacy and consumption patterns that are destroying our planet

  16. A sad reflection of colonial legacy and an economic system which is destorying our planet.....

  17. I think we could all look at this celebration of destruction and despair.

  18. does anybody know what America was called back then ?

    let me know

    1. In Northeastern Algonquian languages it was "Nittauke"----"my land."

    2. Native Americans often called it Turtle Island, apparently b/c when the waters began receding the land looked like the shell of a turtle sticking about the water. My ancestors were here for over 10,000 years, which is easy to prove since skeletons at least that old have been found in Florida. I'm sure they were in other parts of America before that. Also, people traveled on Kelp beds via rafts around the Pacific rim & others obviously came from the Eastern side like the Vikings. Its obvious to anyone with eyes that natives in the eastern U.S. are taller & fairer, though of course they tan & used red grease & paint to keep bugs off & just to look cool. No red men. That's a myth. Eskimos are obviously of different stock, as they are much shorter, heavier & more Asian in appearance. Other migrations brought groups here from other places thousands of years before Europeans moved here. I'm sickened by those who would deny that my ancestors are the native peoples of this land. How pathetic can you get?

    3. It was not one country until 1776. Before the Europeans, it consisted of Seminole country, Navajo country, Miami country, Algonquian, Sioux, Pow wow, Sonoran, Squamish, Gabrilenos, etc.

  19. I haven't seen the documentary yet, but whoever wrote the above article does not have a clear understanding of English grammar. I hope that isn't a peek into things to come.

  20. they raped the natural resources in america then, all the way until now. now we pay the consequences of a unsane society based on waste rape and ignorance

    1. And they still are! Check out what they're doing in South America right now to people who have lived on their own land for thousands of years! They are pushing them off their ancestral land so they build a big dam, which will destroy the environment there. Native peoples are being harmed all over this earth right now!

  21. Does anybody know Christopher Columbus's geneology and who he married?

    1. Geneology is fun and full of hidden secret lies. Do you really think that in the days of Columbus any infidelity by a woman would go unpunished? Even my own sister had one child out of 3 with other than her husband. Her husband was free to womanize but she had to hide her affair. Just multiply that scenario a few times and you can understand my cynical viewpoint.

  22. I was going to watch this one, but from the comments I have chosen not to watch it.

  23. Some of these post are sad, too many people with too little knowledge. Of course there were people here before Columbus arrived; and it's not the "discovery" that is important to understand, it's the exchange. Were other Europeans on these continents prior to 1492--yes, but they didn't have the impact Columbus did because they didn't have the backing of a crown or the need to show results. It was the exchange of plants and animals that make this story vital to the creation of the modern world.

    Now you can label it good, bad, or indifferent--that is totally up to your personal perspective, the major thing is to understand the big picture and then to learn from the mistakes and successes that went before us.

  24. the comments here are almost as entertaining as the documentary

  25. The first explorers knew nothing of glacial advance and retreat

  26. This documentary is important as a study but I found myself falling asleep. I thought that I would be learning about the unknown story of Native American civilization beyound the tepee, instaed I get another European dominated study. I discontinued watching the documentary.

  27. they kept mentioning how natives were killed by disease, but failed to mention white people intentionally infected them as a means of germ warfare. Definitely a bias doc, and totally misleading title, Ive seen enough docs about how glorious colonization supposedly was, i wanted to learn about precolumbian cultures.

    1. You know, actually, Europeans didnt really know about germs...

    2. It was an old warfare and assassination tactic. They might not have been germ experts, but they knew enough to not touch the belongings of plague victims. They used to send around old handkerchiefs and such to enemies inside old-school sealed boxes, etc.

    3. Because they thought you breathed in germs! Europeans didn't intentionally kill Natives with germs , its only recently by historical terms we know more as to how germs and immunity work. They burnt the objects to avoid breathing in the infected persosns scents

    4. No King George himself wanted it done as a powerful agent of biological warfare to wipe the Natives out of existence.

    5. When DeSoto marched in through Tampa Bay & headed up to the other areas in Cherokee territory, runners who ran ahead to warn the villages unfortunately carried deadly germs with them, germs that natives had no immunities to, so not all was on purpose. I'm disgusted by the comments & don't think I'll bother with this documentary if the dumb comments are any reflection of the information in this film. Sad.

    6. This doc is well worth watching.
      If anything, it is biased against the Spanish.
      Still we can digest the information and think for ourselves.
      This film, using computer graphics and sweeping cinematography, is a gem.
      But that's just my humble opinion.
      Peace, from Canada.

  28. If anyony and i mean anyone was a true american hero it was Columbus!!! A hero! And one if not the greatest and bravest explorer of all time. And all that stuff about what he did to the natives honestly who cares what happened to some natives i mean for real we're talking about Christopher Columbus here. To bad though he didn't get all the fame and fortune he desrved while he was still alive . Thankfully now he's a symbol of greatness to all real americans anyway.

    1. i hope you are kidding.

    2. Why would I be kidding? And what would make you think that???Columbus is a HERO!!!


    3. you are a sociopath

    4. Why is Columbus an American Hero? That just shows how stupid you are! Columbus was Spanish and had no intention of founding a United States of America. A Viking called Eric Liefson discovered America around the year 1000 and then it was re-discovered by a Chinese man called Admiral Zheng in 1421. So if Columbus is a hero he is still the lesser of three men.

    5. Columbus was Italian, *****.

    6. he was only born there

    7. "...Columbus was Spanish..."

      you failed bro.

    8. He was born in the republic of Genoa which was under the control of Spain!! Just because it's not Spanish today doesn't mean anything and i'm not your bro you wit!!

    9. Not to nitpick, but Genoa was never controlled by Spain. By France and Milan, briefly, yes, but not Spain.

    10. I take it your Italian and are looking for a piece of history to call your own, instead of all the facism everyone remembers

    11. Italians have plenty of history to be proud of, you fool. Just because you're too stupid to read or comprehend history doesn't make your b.s. true.

    12. Everyone also remembers what you lovely 'muricans did to millions of people in Vietnam and Iraq!

    13. He's just a dumb troll, Willie. But, to be fair I must tell you that Native Americans discovered this place, not Leif. He might have found his way here, but he certainly did NOT discover it. People from other continents apparently kept finding it & full of people, yet glorify themselves as Discoverers. Gee, if I hop on a boat & it lands in the Bahamas, can I claim I discovered them? lol

    14. Hero for white people and white people only.

    15. WOW.
      I am torn between thinking you are an i***t or just s****d.

    16. No, I disagree I feel it was more curiosity and greed conqueror devotee. Nothing noble about that. Three boats and more men were involved. He just found funding for it. Very simple minded when it comes to greed, war, anger. They shipped all their murderers, criminals, rapists to fight. It has taken only 600 years so far and we are almost depleted. You are spreading or how ignorant some people can be when it comes to true caring and humanity. I wish you enough, not too much, just enough. Get rid of your anger, hurt and be strong enough to love. Cree Native.

    17. You know where you can shove that b.s dude. Columbus was lucky to find the island, where the natives saved his sorry butt. Letters written by him state that he really thought the natives were good looking & nice people & that they would make excellent slaves. I don't believe the old toad ever stepped one foot on the soil of the United States. But, you are just a pathetic little troll anyway. Not worth the time to educate.

  29. Um the spanish didnt use the horse to conquer the natives. Actually when the Spanish attacked the natives they lost. What actually killed off a majority of the natives within the first decades was disease the Europeans brought such as smallpox

  30. F**K columbus day.

  31. I am a cross of Mississippian decent and English, Irish, and Dutch. After
    Seeing this, I am proud of only One of these. The Native Americans. My Roots are here, Yet I am ashamed of Mankind for the Loss of A race and A way of life. With Blight killing peaches, apples, and Mountain hemlock. Monsanto controlling seeds and Hebrides. The World will pay for the destruction of the new world in more ways than it can now imagine.

    1. Why do Americans always believe their made up of so many components. In Europe we mixed so much that we base our ancestors on the place were born. I'm English, my dad's Irish and his dad was French ...I call myself English or British. Even if you are why do Americans always express it like it means o much. I understand if your mixed race but honestly in terms of genetics English, Irish and Dutch have no/little variation. So unless you were raised by a n immigrant Dutch mother, Irish father etc then it'd really had little impact on who you are today. Particularly with NW European nations having many similarities

  32. americo vespusy discovered america - not columbas

    1. he mapped it not discover

    2. false, how does one "discover" land where someone else is living... read the book "the lies my teacher told me". There is much more behind this story

    3. What the helll? He was just an explorer after Columbus. And its Amerigo, not americo.

  33. i thogth that this documetery would ne about america before the eroupen came

    1. This documentary did a "great job" in attempting to humanize the inhumane annihilation of Native Americans, exploitation and enslavement of Africans, and moralizing the despicable acts of Columbus and the other invaders.

    2. Good obsevation...! So I thought also. It's definetely a misleading title.

  34. America founded on terrorism, genocide, and slavery... now home of the free masons and the illusion of democracy

    1. I could not have said it any better

    2. This honestly appears to be the most educated and logical response to the act of colonalisation globally, thank you Skyhorse.

    3. still another tale by the imperialist victor. I thought i will hear something different from the usual white trend of telling and exposing their trophies. Claiming the americas was barren and boasting of bringing everything. they killed almost all the indians and claim the land was barren as the marched across the vast terrain (LIES::)... am tired of this hypocrisy of the white folk.

    4. Sorry, but there is no illusion of Democracy in America, because we are a Federation of Republics in union with the Federal Republic. Big difference between Republicanism and Democracy. As for genocide, terrorism and slavery, our European fathers taught us that, which is not a defense at all, its indefensible for any peoples to do such things. Unfortunately, it is also impossible to find a people who at one time or another didn't do one or all of the crimes against humanity you describe. Have we corrected ourselves, far from it - Native Reservations are considered Domestic Dependent Nations, but we deny them a strict interpretation of their borders and powers, and they are not represented separately in Congress, as far as I know. I know if they are - they can't vote in Congress - Then again neither does the Rep. of the District of Columbia. America has its shame, its arrogance, and a love of bureaucracy. As far as the free masons are concerned, IDK, but perhaps you watch too much TV. At its core, our government is so irreparably damaged, that no one group could ever hope to manage it from the sidelines, secretly.

  35. For those who wants to understand the true history of Brazilian colonization - incuding the environmental perspective - I recomend Warren Dean.

  36. I refuse to watch this. It's made by National Geographic, AKA the eduganda channel. Every time I watch something by them, there's an obvious slant of perspective, diversion of attention, and/or blatant omission of critical and relevant information. Not to mention the language is that of a 6th grader's. They're as crooked as a dog's hind leg.

    1. it would be interesting to trace the "bloodline" so to speak on National Geographic to find out who owns it. Who started it? Who bought it out? Probably someone like Ruppert Murdoch or something. Then you know its CRAP!

    2. Unfortunate for you. I suppose you only watch programs that validate your own point of view; a very enlightened attitude.

    3. still another tale by the imperialist victor. I thought i will hear something different from the usual white trend of telling and exposing their trophies. Claiming the americas was barren and boasting of bringing everything. they killed almost all the indians and claim the land was barren as the marched across the vast terrain (LIES::)... am tired of this hypocrisy of the white folk.

  37. Not much info on life in America before Columbus. Much more about life in Europe and the huge populations that destroyed all forests and other resources. Nothing said of the plagues that swept through Europe eliminating 1/3 to half the population at a time. What I also find stupid is that the Indians could kill bison, deer, elk, moose, etc... but couldn't kill the pigs that destroyed their corn fields. Also, no mention of Indian nations having wars. I guess that's because they were all good and friendly towards one another. I know a fella that tried to burn some wooded area near his house to clear out all the thick briars and dead fall. He got arrested. I guess the authorities didn't watch this lame documentary.

  38. @gothnate LOL. I guess in Italy It is the potato, I mean patatoe. Dublin lol. Uggggs lol. Very good DOCU. I really did enjoy this and was very informed. @Anthony, I think it was the music that was most irritating. During the parts were it brought up points of death mayhem and so on the music was light and uplifting and opposite for the good parts. LOL Then to top it all off the ending was a satanic chant. Hmmmm LOL anyhow~ overall this was a decent documentary. I am sure there was plenty left out and leaves me with a good imagination.

  39. i cant decide if the narration is simply irritating due to the patronising droll or the simplistic nature of the vocabulary. he speaks very very Despite the clueless narrator, who's annunciation and rhythm lead you to believe he is a complete simpleton, its certainly worth a watch.

  40. A nice piece of edutainment that is broadly cutting out the rough edges without at least noting a couple of them. I'm not one who glorifies the natives as noble-minded but they got disenfranchisement, dispossession and dead as they share of the "Columbian exchange" for the last half millennium up to this day. Which could've made be a bit clearer in the film.

  41. Are we Westerners not somewhat arrogant? i mean:

    "As population took hold onto the America's in the NEW world... ??

    ..they might rephrase that into:

    "As an UNSUCCESSFUL population took hold onto the America's in the SUCCESSFULLY CO-EXISTING other world.. THEY DESTROYED WISDOM"

    @peter thanks for the tip!

  42. @peter

    I love that book! It's been over ten years since i've last read it, thanks for bringing back to mind. It was well documented and well written. My first real eye opener to the true American History that the victors did not write.

  43. mmmm... guilded the lily somewhat, a good book to read to clear up the naievity of this film: American holocaust by David E Stannard.

  44. good doc. Never knew so many were here before Columbus.

  45. @SweetLeaf

    That's one of my favorite books! Love Howard Zinn! I would also recommend "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James Loewen.

  46. basically well done - i wish, though, someone could do a documentary that is clear-eyed about the history, without patronizing the natives.

    there was not a little war prior to the europeans' arrival, and a good bit of human sacrifice. those guys hauling the wood on their backs, stones up the andes, etc., probably weren't too happy about it, we needn't imagine.

    much of the sustainability of native-american culture was attributable, imo, to the lack of population pressure. this doc did, to its credit, point out such pressures on the euro side of the water - but there was a good bit of head-patting for the amerinds and scolding tones for the dumb, greedy euros.

    the cure isn't to become primitive. usually, that's the unspoken inference of value documentarians default to.

  47. Columbus the terrible

  48. Hey, what about cuy? That's an important domesticated animal in Andean culture.

  49. Very, very nice. A high quality and intriguing documentary that successfully blends history of civilization, agriculture and the natural world together.

  50. Propaganda

    1. What an incredibly insipid remark.

  51. Very interesting! I hope the native forests are still preserved in some places. Also interesting to hear the native population was similar to that of Europe before Columbus ie 100 million...

    1. Populations may have been similar but the Americas were 10 times the size of Europe. The Americas would have appeared unpopulated in many areas, especially after being ravaged by disease.

  52. All and all, a very good one. What I really liked about it though is how it showed the impact European animals on the American lands. Horses, looked upon as noble creatures, still have a huge impact. When I finally went to the Mount Saint Helens blow down zone a few years ago, huge fields of non-native weeds (especially Canadian Thistle) now thrive, brought in by horses. Cud chewing animals spread very few seeds like horses, because they digest most of the seeds. People have a romantic notion about horses and think they must get one. In the Pacific Northwest here, thousands of acres are cleared, for small horse pastures, which usually end up muddy lots, because there are too many horses and the ground never dries out. Horses then suffer from walking in mud and the streams then suffer from the muddy runoff. Many horse owners in our bad economy have resorted to turning their horses loose in dryer Eastern Washington and Oregon, again hurting the food supply of native species and sowing weed seeds everywhere they go. Anyway, a great documentary, in the sense that it showed how we impact this place we call home.

  53. Well if Mr Zinn's book turns everything we've learned so far, perhaps we better first cast a skeptical eye at Mr Zinn before heading full steam into his arms.

  54. Anyone who wants some unfiltered American history, i recommend you read Howard Zinn's "A People's History of The United States". That book will turn everything you studied in your American history class on it's head!

  55. I suppose one could say about the potato, it was "Dublin" the population of Ireland every hundred years. *rim-shot*

    Great documentary and very informative.

  56. Quality documentary!

  57. Oh, and it's also about both north and south america... the title lead me to believe it would focus just on north america, but delves into both quite extensively.

  58. Very informative! 5 stars!

    1. this information is good one because it teacher about the history of Columbus,however i really like this information and it teach mi a lot about the history and about the past,,,,and am really interested in learning about the history of everyday life