The Amazon Rain Forest Summary

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1. Mann’s overall thesis is that the Native American’s way of life was very sophisticated and advanced for its time. Evidence of the Native American’s resourceful way of life is illustrated in their ability to manipulate their environment. Mann states that it is likely that the Indians shaped the land more than the Europeans have over the course of 250 years. The Indians literally created their environment through the use of fire so it would be easier to hunt for prey. The Amazon Rain Forest is a perfect example of how the Indians changed the land to meet their needs. After soil analysis in the Amazon, researchers found a large amount of inhospitable terrain; however, they also discovered areas of rich, fertile soil that the Indians are now…show more content…
When the Europeans arrived, they wiped out most of the Native American population and destroyed their carefully sculpted land by building. Europeans, however, were not able to adapt to their new life in the Americas since they just didn’t know how to manipulate their environment like the Native Americans. Life was actually so brutal for the Europeans that many of them ran away to live with the Indians, suggesting that the Indians had a higher quality of life than the first Europeans did. “Horrifying the leaders of Jamestown and Plymouth, scores of English ran off to live with the Indians” (Mann, p9). The “high counter/low counter” argument further suggests that the Native Americans had a high standard of living, probably higher than the European standard of living at that time. To support the large population that was believed to have been present in the Americas before Columbus, the Native Americans had a culture and methods of agriculture that were extremely advanced. Since it’s believed that there was a larger population in the Americas than in Europe, chances are that the Indians were more advanced than the Europeans were at that
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