Chapter Three : Consequences Of Colonialism

1747 WordsApr 29, 20177 Pages
CHAPTER THREE: CONSEQUENCES OF COLONIALISM. While the motives of colonists in the Americas were various- to build a new society, to promote Christianity, to acquire riches, or, as early colonists in New England expressed it, to secure a ‘competencie’ ; they all faced the same challenges of establishing themselves in an alien environment that would require them readjust and respond to new circumstances. It would be justifiable to submit that the main consequences of colonialism were largely detrimental for the native population. The colonisation of the Americas throughout the early modern period resulted in the decimation of the native population as they increasingly lost their traditional lands to white settlers. This can be attributed to…show more content…
As a consequence, European colonisation resulted in the major depopulation of Native American tribes; for example a smallpox epidemic in 1639 struck the Huron natives in St. Lawrence and killed off half of the population, reducing it to around 9000 people . This therefore demonstrates a direct consequence of colonialism on the Native Americans as with no built-up immunity against European diseases, the natives died in huge numbers. It can also be submitted that disease also had an indirect impact on the experience of colonialism; as losses from disease weakened the native communities as there were less people to contribute to daily tasks such as hunting and planting crops, thus making it easier for Europeans to overwhelm them during confrontations and take advantage of their vulnerability. Though the introduction of foreign diseases to the Americas had initially been an accidental and unexpected consequence of European exploration and colonisation; as Europeans had developed a degree of immunity to certain diseases, it became not uncommon for colonists to engage in biological warfare in their attempts to subjugate and eradicate the native population. The Siege of Fort Pitt in 1763 is best known for having documented instances where the British engaged in covert, biological warfare by deliberately seeking to infect the natives with smallpox . Captain William Trent kept a journal throughout the Siege and described how in response to the perceived threat of an
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