European Disease In The New World

673 words - 3 pages

European Disease in the New World

Humans possess an innate curiosity that drives us to explore the unknown. Documentation of exploration by sea goes as far back as 3200 B.C., when Pharaoh Snefru brought 40 ships from Byblus to Phoenicia, followed by the first recorded expedition of exploration from Egypt in 2750 B.C, (http://www.mariner.org/age/histexp.html). Events such as these would eventually give way to a period of vigorous exploration known as the Age of Exploration. At the height of the Age of Exploration in the early fifteenth century, European nations became poised to expand their influence to the rest of the world. Due to their remarkable programs of sustained and systematic ...view middle of the document...

Due to unsanitary conditions and rotten food, the spread of disease among passengers accelerated, (http://ndhrcanada.visions.ab.ca/disease.htm). Upon their arrival to the new land, the Europeans were infested with cholera, typhus, smallpox, measles, typhoid, diphtheria, plague, influenza, tuberculosis, venereal disease, and scarlet fever, all diseases to which the people of the New World possessed no immunity. The forced contact between the two peoples made the transmission of these contagious diseases unavoidable. The results were quick and disastrous. Historians have estimated that in Canada, "within a 200- year period, First Nations populations were reduced by as much as 95 percent," (http://ndhrcanada.visions.ab.ca/disease.htm) as a result of European-originated disease.

Such devastation continued throughout time and across the entire "newfound" continent and beyond. It turns out that some of the most glorified conquests in world history, at a second look, were in actuality bitterly tragic. The most shameful of them all would have to be the conquest of the Aztec and...

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