By Graeme Morton, David A. Wilson
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Extra resources for Irish and Scottish Encounters with Indigenous Peoples: Canada, the United States, New Zealand, and Australia
Indb 23 13-04-08 9:05 AM 24 Donald Harman Akenson – not a story one really wants to tell the Mohawk or the Maori or anybody on the losing side of a series of transactions that made economic life so much better (in the present case) for Scottish and Irish persons, whether or not they emigrated. So that you understand that I am not burlesquing the work of other scholars, here is a statement by Kevin O’Rourke, one of the world’s leading cliometric historians, and this is his view of the entire expansion of Europe: “The voyages of discovery were motivated by a desire for commodities that were scarce and therefore valuable.
Introduction 19 genocide against the “savages” who threatened them. At first sight, it seemed like a continuation on American soil of the same fight that their forebears had waged against Catholic natives in Ulster. But, as Kenny shows, it had nothing to do with any putative Scotch-Irish predisposition to wipe out the enemies of civilization and everything to do with the immediate conditions on the frontier. Settlers from Germany and New England who came into the region were equally concerned with land and security – and equally adept at hating Indians.
Unfortunately, these four modes of assay do not knit together very well and do not produce large-scale (national or even provincial) population series over time. So most of the counting – high and low – relies most heavily on the fifth basis, projections backward in time from official and quasi-official (church and mercantile) censuses. The basic process works this way: find the nadir in the level of the Native population one is studying and then find some earlier data, and thus work out a set of compounding coefficients that allow one to project backward in time to what the “real” population must have been in 1800, or 1700, or at Contact.