Genocide is as old as history. It has been a part of the human condition from the very beginning.  There are two main forms of genocide.  One is direct genocide, a deliberate campaign to kill all members of an ethnic group.  The second form of genocide is indirect genocide, which achieves the same result by seizing or destroying the land, the crops, the livestock and other essential items needed for survival.  In World War II, for example, the Germans used both forms.  Direct genocide took place in the gas chambers.  Indirect genocide took place via programs like "Operation Hunger" where food was diverted from local Slav populations.

In the European conquest of North and South America both forms of genocide were also used although by far the predominant form of genocide was indirect genocide.   A particularly horrible aspect of this tactic was the near extermination of the buffalo herds.

We do not know the exact number of people killed in the Americas. There was no one back in the time of Columbus compiling a census or doing a mass survey.  However, we conclude that a figure of 75 million is reasonable.

A death toll of  100 million figure has been documented by the authors D.E. Stannard, author of American Holocaust, D.E. Stannard has said, "The destruction of the Indians of the Americas was, far and away, the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world." . And apparently it didn't take long for the Europeans to get this genocide started.

Today there are only around 5 million Native Americans left in the United States (Navajo Times). Is it really likely that the area encompassing the U.S. only had 5 million people when the Europeans arrived? We doubt that. After all, as a point of comparison, the population of Africa had approximately 86 million people in the year 1500 (Demography: Analysis and Synthesis, Four Volume Set: A Treatise in Population, p. 42).

According to Necrometrics, by as early as the 16th century, the Native American death toll had already reached an estimated 60 million.

The Spanish historian Bartolomé de las Casa wrote about genocide in his time. In 1561, Bartolomé de las Casas, wrote that Spanish colonists had slain 12 million men, women and children in 40 short years. (A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies, Bartolomé de las Casas 1552).

American Colonies Volume 1 of The Penguin history of the United States, History of the United States Series by Alan Taylor, also discusses the different theories about how many Natives populated the Americas before European colonization.


Unfortunately, there are those who wish to engage in holocaust denial.  A common myth is the effort to blame the massive death toll exclusively on diseases brought by the European invaders.   Like all deceptions in history there is an element of truth here.  Many native Americans did die of European diseases.  However, there is a very convenient effort to ignore the fact that all too many of these people became vulnerable to disease when their essentials of life were either stolen or disrupted by the invaders.  Furthermore, the campaigns of direct and indirect genocide certainly killed millions all by itself.

From the initial invasion by Columbus native Americans were the targets of hundreds of years of war from the invaders.   Does any honest person really believe that these wars had only minor death toll?

In the USA native Americans were driven off 99% of their land and herded into so-called "reservations", where they were subjected to some of the worst poverty and horrible living conditions in the country.


A troubling reality is the religious justification for genocide.  More than any other major holy book the Christian Bible celebrates and endorses genocide.  The "good guys" in the Bible are the people who commit genocide. Saul, for example, is very specifically rebuked by Samuel for the "sin" of not completing an act of genocide that he was ordered to carry out. Religious totalitarianism in the Bible is also framed as a very desirable goal. The "good guys" in the Bible are the people who slaughter people of other religions, and stamp out other religions, and crush any other form of religion. The "bad guys" are the people who tolerate supposedly false religions.

Here are just a few examples of the support for genocide in the bible:

"You must destroy all the peoples the LORD your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pity and do not serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you." Deuteronomy 7:16.

"The LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally.  Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy." Deuteronomy 7:2

The Puritans and other American Christians openly proclaimed America as the new Zion and celebrated the slaughter of the native Americans.


Americans don't like to discuss the fact that Hitler saw America's campaign of racial war against the native Americans as a very specific model for the racial war he planned to unleash in his conquest of Russia.   Our report contains very specific quotes and documentary information on this.   Click here to read.




It is very important to understand the  ferociously brutal nature of the Spanish regime that sent Columbus on his journey and then proceeded to conquer all of what we call, Latin America, Mexico and everything to the south except for Brazil, which was taken by Portugal.

The regime of Ferdinand and Isabella was a murderous anti-Semitic religious totalitarian state. They launched the most massive campaign of racial anti-Semitism prior to the Holocaust, leading to expulsion of 100,000 Jews from Spain under the most horrific circumstances. Ferdinand and Isabella also presided over the totalitarian nightmare of the Spanish Inquisition. So this is the system that was unleashed in the so-called "New World."

Now to get more into the specifics of what happened when Spanish first came to America, we'll look at Columbus's description of his own experience.

“As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found, I took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts," Columbus penned in his journal (Journal of the First Voyage (Diario del Primer Viaje)

"They ought to make good slaves for they are of quick intelligence, since I notice that they are quick to repeat what is said to them, and I believe that they could very easily become Christians, for it seemed to me that they had no religion of their own. God willing, when I come to leave I will bring six of them to Your Highnesses so that they may learn to speak…"

Columbus additionally raided nearby villages and used their residents for the gold mines, sexual slavery or the montería infernal. The montería infernal was a horrific practice of allowing war-dogs to chase and maul Native people. Traffickers from Europe actively searched the islands for young girls too, some no older than nine (8 Myths and Atrocities about Christopher Columbus (Indian Country Media Network)).

Dominican friar and historian Las Casas noted that Jamaica, Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and 30 neighboring islands had been depopulated by 1542. The former slave owner could not believe the sheer barbarism he witnessed: slave labor, infanticide and forced relocation (Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies (Gutenberg Press)).

Las Casas grimly mentioned "my eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature that now I tremble as I write. As for the vast mainland [Mexico]… We can estimate very surely and truthfully that in the forty years that have passed, with the infernal actions of the Christians, there have been unjustly slain more than 12 million men, women, and children. In truth, I believe without trying to deceive myself that the number of the slain is more like 15 million.…"




(Spaniards used huge dogs to maul to death native American gay people)

When the European Christians came to the New World, they were appalled by the sexual practices of the indigenous people, seeing the natives as sexual heathens, deviants in their tolerance of different sexual practices. Homophobic and misogynistic violence happened often as colonization expanded throughout the Americas. Punishment for same-sex relations could entail anything from flogging, fines, spiritual penance to execution (Colonial Mexico (GLBTQ Archives)) . This followed in the spirit of the Spanish Inquisition. From 1656 to 1663 in San Lazaro, hundreds of gay Mexicans were put to death (Colonial Mexico (GLBTQ Archives)). Balboa also participated in montería infernal against non-heterosexual Native Americans (A Timeline of Gay World History).

Many of the European explorers were also disturbed by the power that women held in some of these societies. As Barbara Alice Mann said in Unlearning the Language of Conquest, 'Worse, from the European perspective, was the level of political clout wielded by woodlands women" (Continuing "The Genocide of Matriarchal Societies (Native Roots)). The European explorers were also not too pleased about the different hierarchy (or genders) they encountered.


Biblical verses and passages, royal decree and papal approval all made American conquest possible. The Treaty of Tordesillas also divided up newly discovered land between Portugal and Spain. Both countries ratified in 1494. Any territory 370 miles west to Cape Verde belonged to Spain.

In 1509, Spanish juror Encisco even cited papal support for colonization in West Indies. "The king has every right to send his men to the Indies to demand their territory...because he had received it from the pope. If the Indians refuse, he may quite legally fight them, kill them, and enslave them, just as Joshua enslaved the inhabitants of the country of Canaan (The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church (G. Boyd))."

From Connecticut to California, Native scalping earned $12 or more ($174 in 2016) (Inflation Calculator (Bureau of Labor Statistics)). Christian states allowed and goaded this.

The Colonial Charters also made reference to the "God Given" right to conquer.


Issued by King James I.

"To make Habitation ... and to deduce a colony of sundry of our People into that part of America commonly called Virginia ... in propagating of Christian religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness ... [to] bring ... a settled and quiet Government."

Source: Ebenezer Hazard (ed.), Historical Collections: Consisting of State Papers and other Authentic Documents: Intended as Materials for an History of the United States of America, vol. I, (Philadelphia: Dobson, 1792), pp. 50-51.


Issued by King Charles I.

"Our said People ... may be so religiously, peaceably, and civilly governed, as their good Life and orderly Conversation may win and incite the Natives of [that] Country, to the Knowledge and Obedience of the only true god and Savior of Mankind, and the Christian faith, which in our Royal Intention ... is the principal End of this Plantation."

Source: Norman L. Geisler, Is Man the Measure: An Evaluation of Contemporary Humanism (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1983) p. 119.


Issued by King Charles I to Lord Baltimore.

"Our well beloved and right trusty subject Coecilius Calvert, Baron of Baltimore ... being animated with a laudable, and pious Zeal for extending the Christian Religion ... hath humbly besought Leave of Us that he may transport ... a numerous Colony of the English Nation, to a certain Region ... having no Knowledge of the Divine Being."

Source: Henry S. Commager (ed.), Documents of American History, (NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1948), p. 21.



In Northern America you had a form of genocide where the local populations were not ruled over, like they were in South America. They were driven out, and this obviously did not have a very good affect on their ability to survive.


Hitler even used America as the model for the racial war that he wanted to launch in European Russia, and the idea of settling European Russia with Aryan blonde haired blue-eyed colonists. This was very much so modeled after what Hitler saw as a racial war in the United States to seize land and then displace these people from their land. .

A popular way to justify genocide in the United States was the concept of "Manifest Destiny." It was during the 19th century that this concept became popular. This was the idea of setting up a U.S. nation that stretched from "sea to shining sea." It was a concept that people saw as justifiable and inevitable. It was believed that there was a special virtue of the citizens of the U.S, and because of this special virtue, these citizens had the God given right to do whatever was necessary to take native lands for themselves. These ideals eventually became enshrined in law.

Constitutional law placed Native power under federal control. Clause 3, section 8, article I of the U.S. Constitution states “The Congress shall have Power to regulate Commerce with Indian tribes and, through this and other constitutional authority; Congress has plenary power over Indian affairs" ( Congress’ Plenary Power, Tribal Sovereignty and Constitutional Rights (Citizens Equal Rights Alliance)). Plenary power's an alternative phrase for absolute dominance. Federal government played a pivotal role in American conquest-development.

In 1838, Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act into law to trade lands east of the Mississippi for the western territories (Trail of Tears and the Forced Relocation of the Cherokee Nation (National Park Service)). Five Indian Nations traveled a nightmarish 400 miles west to Indian Country (now Oklahoma), with their ancestral homes overtaken.

General Peter Carlton had murderous plans as commander of New Mexico. The Navajo's Long Walk of 1864 was meant to ethnically cleanse and relocate Native Americans from "white man's land". 10,000 Mescalaro and Navajo Indians were interned at concentration camps (Navajo's Own Trail of Tears (NPR)). A third could not survive the terrible conditions in Bosque Redondo, and the U.S. Army refused to let the tribes leave. Memorials have been built to commemorate both tragedies. But they only address part of the genocidal aftermath.


“Is one of the fairest portions of the globe to remain in a state of nature, the haunt of a few wretched savages, when it seems destined by the Creator to give support to a large population and to be the seat of civilization?"
Governor Henry Harrison of Indiana (1800-1812)
(Shocking Quotes on Indians by U.S. Leaders (Indian Country Media Network))

"This unfortunate race, whom we had been taking so much pains to save and to civilize, have by their unexpected desertion and ferocious
barbarities justified extermination and now await our decision on their fate."
Thomas Jefferson, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (1813)
(Shocking Quotes on Indians by U.S. Leaders (Indian Country Media Network))

"They [Native Americans] have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of improvement which are essential to any favorable change in their condition. Established in the midst of another and a superior race, and without appreciating the causes of their inferiority or seeking to control them, they must necessarily yield to the force of circumstances and ere long disappear."
Andrew Jackson, U.S. President, 5th Annual Message to Congress (1833)
(Shocking Quotes on Indians by U.S. Leaders (Indian Country Media Network)) 

"A war of extermination will continue to be waged between the two races until the Indian race becomes extinct, must be expected. While we cannot anticipate the result with but painful regret, the inevitable destiny of the race is beyond the power and wisdom of man to avert. Situated as California is, we must expect a long continued and harassing irregular warfare with the Indians upon our borders and along the immigrant routes leading to the States."
California Gov. Peter Burnett, "State of the State Address" (1851)
(Peter Burnett. Executive Orders (California State Library)


"I have come to kill Indians, and believe it is right and honorable to use any means under God's heaven to kill Indians." (A People's History of the Civil War: Struggles for the Meaning of Freedom (D. Williams))
— Colonel John Chivington who led the Sand Creek Massacre during the Colorado War.

Chief Black Kettle had been promised a peaceful conference at Fort Lyon. In 1864, 700 men killed 200 Cheyenne and Arapaho. Two-thirds were women and young children. Eyewitnesses saw human trophies taken by the soldiers. Roosevelt said about that horrible day, " righteous and beneficial a deed as ever took place on the frontier." ( Theodore Roosevelt and the Idea of Race (T. Dyer))

A Joint Committee on the Conduct of War investigated the atrocity, but let Chivington and the participating militias free of all charges. Both tribes signed a 1865 treaty for reparations. Nothing manifested from the agreement 31.

“If it be the design of Providence to extirpate these Savages in order to make room for cultivators of the Earth, it seems not improbable that rum may be the appointed means." (Shocking Quotes on Indians by U.S. Leaders (Indian Country Media Network))
Benjamin Franklin

 "Ordered that of the Indians and Half-breeds sentenced to be hanged by the military commission, composed of Colonel Crooks, Lt. Colonel Marshall, Captain Grant, Captain Bailey, and Lieutenant Olin, and lately sitting in Minnesota, you cause to be executed on Friday the nineteenth day of December, instant, the following names, to wit [39 names listed by case number of record...]"
- Abraham Lincoln's Order of December 6, 1862, Authorizing the Execution of Thirty-Eight Dakota (Lincoln's Order Authorizing Execution of Sioux (University of Missouri))

"Such conquests are sure to come when a masterful people, still in its raw barbarian prime which finds itself face to face with the weaker and wholly alien race which holds a coveted prize in its feeble grasp".
— Theodore Roosevelt ( Theodore Roosevelt and the Idea of Race (T. Dyer))

Some hero. Theodore Roosevelt also went on to say white expropriation of Native land was a good and natural thing, "ultimate beneficial as much as inevitable." ( Theodore Roosevelt and the Idea of Race (T. Dyer))

And this nugget of wisdom during an 1886 speech: "I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth." (Theodore Roosevelt: ‘The Only Good Indians Are the Dead Indians’ (Indian Country Media Network))

"The only good Indian[s] I ever saw were dead."
General Philip Sheridan (1869)
(Philip Sheridan (The Latin Library))

"The expedition you are appointed to command is to be directed against the hostile tribes of the six nations of Indians with their associates and adherents. The immediate objects are the total destruction and devastation of their settlements, and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible. It will be essential to ruin their crops now in the ground and prevent their planting more."
— George Washington, Orders to Major General John Sullivan (May 1779) (From George Washington to Major General John Sullivan, 31 May 1779” (Founders Online, National Archives))

These racist remarks are all connected to a pervasive campaign on Native sovereignty and lives. The Gold Rush years highlighted expansionist dangers even further.


California's Native population experienced colossal devastation as white working men and their families immigrated to the Pacific Northwest. 300,000 Indigenous Americans lived in California mid-16th century (The Great California Genocide (Daily Kos)). But this would change.

Spanish cleric Junipero Serra established a harsh system of Christian missions along the Californian coast in 1769, using them as a front for exploitation (An Introduction to California's Native People (Cabrillo College)). Carey McWilliams wrote in Southern California: An Island on the Land, "the Franciscan padres eliminated Indians with the effectiveness of Nazis operating concentration camps".

At the Gold Rush's height in 1850, the number of California natives dropped precipitously. California's Native peoples counted 85,000 total in 1852. Within thirty years, only 18,000 were left (An Introduction to California's Native People (Cabrillo College)).

Rich land developers stole vast amounts of Native land for mining operations. John Sutter was a vicious venture capitalist in the late 1870's, and notoriously forced hundreds of local Miwok Indians to work for him. Most had been kidnapped.

The North California newspaper Yreka Herald wrote in 1853: "We hope that the Government will render such aid, as will enable the citizens of the north to carry on a war of extermination until the last redskin of these tribes has been killed. Extermination is no longer a question of timethe time has arrived, the work has commenced, and let the first man that says treaty or peace be regarded as a traitor." (Where the Buffalo Roam? The Story of the American Bison (Wheaton College))



Another form of genocide in America was to destroy the resources the natives needed to live. One particularly gruesome event was the total and complete annihilation of the American bison.

The population of a thriving 60 million pre-European bison population had been depleted to 1,000 when that photograph above was taken (Hitler's Inspiration and Guide: The Native American Holocaust (Jewish Journal)).

"Hide-hunters" chased bison along five rivers in the Great Plains (Navajo's Own Trail of Tears (NPR)). 50,000 buffalo could be killed in four days . This cleaned out an enormous region for further economic and land gain. When the North Pacific Railroad laid tracks toward the West, hunting and ecocide accelerated.


In today's partisan world of American politics there is a bipartisan consensus on one issue, sweeping the troublesome issue of native American genocide under the rug.   There is a reason for this.   Any effort to discuss the genocidal origins of America would create two very severe problems.  In the first place it would raise questions about the moral authority of the American system at home and the moral authority of American imperialism abroad.  A second major problem would be that a frank look at US origins would mandate trillions of dollars in reparations to native Americans.

Meanwhile, the living conditions of native Americans are among the worst in the nations

A particularly amusing aspect of modern America is the hysteria about "illegal immigrants" from Mexico.   Who are the real "illegal immigrants".  Frank discussion about this is to be avoided at all costs.

However, the past does haunt the future.  Karma is powerful force.  History is a long term game.   There are reasons to fear for America's future if the sins of the past are not recognized.  This article to stimulate debate here.

The truth matters.  You cannot live a lie.

America has many positive aspects.  However, a frank look at the darker aspects of the past really is necessary if we are to build a viable future.





Christianity and Slavery

The Bible and Genocide

Christian Persecution of Pagans in Ancient Rome

Medieval Christian Totalitarianism and Anti-Semitism

Destruction of Africa's Culture

Racist Roots of Religious Right

Racist Aspects of US Christianity



American Buffalo (Journal of American Hunting)
- The Arkansas, Canadian, Cimarron, Platte and Red Riversheds all experienced devastation from ranchers and hunters.

Death Tolls for Wars, Massacres and Atrocities Before the 20th Century (Necrometrics)

Native American Cultures (

The Native American Genocide and the Teaching of U.S. History (Truth-Out)