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Volume II documents and analyses genocide and extermination throughout the early modern and modern eras. It tracks their global expansion as European and Asian imperialisms, and Euroamerican settler colonialism, spread across the globe before the Great War, forging new frontiers and impacting Indigenous communities in Europe, Asia, North America, Africa, and Australia. Twenty-five historians with expertise on specific regions explore examples on five continents, providing comparisons of nine cases of conventional imperialism with nineteen of settler colonialism, and offering a substantial basis for assessing the various factors leading to genocide. This volume also considers cases where genocide did not occur, permitting a global consideration of the role of imperialism and settler-Indigenous relations from the sixteenth to the early twentieth centuries. It ends with six pre-1918 cases from Australia, China, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe that can be seen as 'premonitions' of the major twentieth-century genocides in Europe and Asia.
The Genocide Convention provides an internationally recognised, though restricted, rubric for evaluating possible instances of genocide. First, perpetrators must evince ‘intent to destroy’ a ‘national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such’. Second, they must commit at least one of the five specified ‘acts’ of genocide against one of those four ‘protected’ groups. In addition, the Genocide Convention criminalises the following acts:
The 1636-1637 Pequot War and its aftermath were formative events in the making of New England and North America. The region’s first major colonial war eliminated the Pequots as a geopolitical power, opened southern New England to English domination, nearly annihilated the Pequots, and helped to establish patterns of extreme violence against Native Americans that shaped much of the continent north of Mexico. Unsurprisingly, few events in colonial North America have produced such prolonged and unresolved historical debate. This chapter will summarize the ongoing modern Pequot genocide debate, narrate the cataclysm in detail, provide quantitative estimates of its death toll, discuss dispersal and enslavement as a genocidal strategy, reevaluate colonists’ culpability, reconsider pre-genocide Pequot population estimates, and explain how this catastrophe constituted genocide under the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention.
On 18 June 2019, California’s Gavin Newsom became the first governor in United States history to apologise publicly for a genocide committed in their state. Shaded by a grove of trees at the site of West Sacramento’s future California Indian Heritage Center, Newsom stood in a circle with tribal leaders. After recounting evidence of state-sponsored mass murder, Governor Newsom insisted: ‘It’s called a genocide. That’s what it was: a genocide, no other way to describe it. And, that’s the way it needs to be described in the history books.’ Finally, the governor of the most populous and prosperous state in the wealthiest nation in the world publicly apologised: ‘I’m sorry on behalf of the state of California.’1 Genocide was a formative event in the making of the state. Yet relatively few people, even in California, know this history.