Essay The Colonization Of The Native Amerindian Peoples

1326 Words Apr 28th, 2016 6 Pages
From 1492 when Columbus first “discovered” the Americas, Iberian colonisation of the native Amerindian peoples had begun. Already inhabited by the native peoples, the Spanish and Portuguese begun the task of conquering through killing, enslaving and bringing the natives under their rule and power. This large and expansive conquest of Central and South America killed conceivably as much as 90% of the natives in little under 200 years, due to the introduction of old world disease and the power of the Iberian military weapons and literacy over the new world.

Old World Diseases such as Smallpox, Yellow Fever, Influenza and Measles, as well as potentially Tuberculosis, Syphilis, Malaria and Gonorrhea, spread throughout the Americas with a deadly force killing and infecting millions with the arrival of the Europeans. The New World was originally colonised in approximately 11,000BC by Alaska via the Bering Strait and Siberia, with all Amerindians descended from these relatively few ancestors. This resulted in very little genetic diversity in the native population and no experience with “crowd diseases” or illness resulting from domestication of herd animals. As a result all of the Amerindians were considered to be at risk of initial contact to these diseases to which they had no genetic immunity. One of the most striking examples of how disease managed to wipe the native populations was the Carribean islands. The original native population in the Caribbean is thought to be 2-4…

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