Disease and Native American Demise During the European Conquest of the New World

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Disease and Native American Demise During the European Conquest of the New World

The European conquest of the new world was most commonly attributed to the superiority of the Europeans in all the facets of their confrontation. They had the superior weaponry, and were thought to have a superior intellect. After all, they were just bringing "civilization" to the new world, right? It sounds nice when you are learning about Columbus in grade school, but the traditional story is pretty far from the truth. The truth is that the Europeans, when they discovered this was a brand new world and not the spice islands, sought to rape the land for its gold and natural resources and enslave the Amerindians (native Americans), who were regarded to
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It is the type of disease you contract as a child, fight off, and develop an immunity for in adulthood. An example of this is chicken pox. Most Americans have suffered, or will suffer, from chicken pox as a child. One becomes sick for a little while, recovers, and never suffers from the disease again. Now with the differences between epidemic and endemic clarified, I will move on to the origins of disease.

The origin of disease is a relatively easy idea to understand. Human beings on the planet went through a transition from nomadic, hunter-gatherers to the sedentary lifestyle by utilizing agriculture. This brought relatively small bands of people together into villages, which eventually became towns and cities. In Europe, the people not only used agriculture to feed their growing population, they also domesticated animals for a food source. As the population grew, the size of the herds of animals needed to feed the people grew as well. All animals carry disease and parasites, both in the wild and when they are domesticated. However, domesticated animals proved to be a breeding ground for disease. These domesticated animals were in close contact with the growing population of Europeans and it was not long before the disease was transferred to humans. The microbe, virus, or parasite only had to adapt to living in a human host. The process was relatively quick, and thus the epidemic disease was born in Europe. This was not true for
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