by Chas W. Freeman, Jr, Consortium News:
Five hundred years ago, Hernán Cortés began the European annihilation of the Mayan, Aztec, and other indigenous civilizations in the Western Hemisphere. Six months later, in August 1519, Magellan [Fernão de Magalhães] launched his circumnavigation of the globe. For five centuries thereafter, a series of Western powers — Portugal, Spain, Holland, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and, finally, the United States — overturned preexisting regional orders as they imposed their own on the world. That era has now come to an end.