Re: Native americans and property rights

Michael S. Lorrey (
Mon, 24 May 1999 00:47:22 -0400

Jeff Davis wrote:
> Michael Lorrey wrote:
> >The fact that every treaty that
> >was signed between europeans and native tribes dealt with the disposition
> of ownership of land
> >indicates that they understood about real estate property rights.
> To use any part of the history of european and native american relations as
> an element to support legal legitimacy or property rights, is more than a
> bit of a stretch.

I see you have never read the constitution of the Iroquois Confederation, which predates european settlement, and which explicitly recognises property rights.

> We Americans have been brought up in a culture where public education uses
> the euphemism "western colonialism" to sanitize the historical record of
> the western European juggernaut of military conquest, subjugation, and mass
> murder.

While the revisionist socialists exaggerate by far the differential in military capacity between european infantry and natives to make the europeans look ever the bully.

> The treaties of which you speak were drawn up by the europeans and employed
> to give documentary legitimacy to territorial acquistion accomplished
> through the use of superior military technology. The documents thus signed
> were little understood by the defeated parties and, in any event, were
> signed under conditions of the most extreme duress imaginable. These facts
> are more applicable to subjects such as corrupt historical scholorship, the
> brutality of realpolitik, and the morally perverse employment of legalistic
> instrumentalities, than to any discussion of legal legitimacy and property
> rights. Bad form that, at best.

On the contrary, a bow and arrow was a far superior weapon to the brown bess musket (or any muzzle loading gun) during the colonial period, and on frequent occasions, native americans owned superior firearms in a face off with US military, because of the slowness with which the military procurement process worked. Custer's last stand, for example, occured because the natives were armed with lever action repeating rifles, while the cavalry was armed with muzzel loading horse pistols and single shot bolt action rifles.

Natives usually never had any opposition to signing treaties. What they objected to was the continuous violation of those treaties by white settlers. When they did object to treaties it was because of this lack of credibility of the whites. The US Cavalry was originally set up in the western territories to enforce the treaties upon both the natives and the white settlers.

> (In the new Star Wars movie the evil-emperor-to-be tells his military
> proxies to proceed with the invasion. When challenged about the legality of
> this course of action he says, "I will make it legal." Whereupon he
> instructs the proxies to capture the queen and force her to sign a treaty.)

Speaking of currupt historical scholarship. Using the plot of a science fiction movie written by liberal revisionists from Hollywood in an argument on past history is the height of corrupt scholarship.

Mike Lorrey