Over thousands of years people develop immunity because of coexistence in.
Smallpox, measels, common cold, indigenous Americans had no immunity. They
were isolated from the African and asians pool of contagions for centuries.
“American” disease were not among the most deadly. This is why the Europeans did
not die en masse.
Smallpox was the worst. Disease was probably the prime reason for Indian death in
the early contact years.
Waves of disease and plague hit the Spanish colonies.
80-90% of the first generations died.
Oviedo believes that the Taino population went from 1,000,000 to 500 people
Las casas thinks it was closer to 5 million
Others think closer to 8 million
However, between 1,3,and 8 million people were killed in the first generation.
People in the jungal frontiers escaped the high death rates because of seclusion, but
also means they develop no immunity and could be killed off later.
Poor nutrition made people more succeptible to disease
Missionaries tried to stop people from fishing. This also hurt their nutrition.
Practices of death: Mourning, burial rituals, being around dead bodies also facilitates
Notion of fatalism entered into peoples minds. People thought life had gotten so bad
that they decided not to reproduce.
Between 1519-1630 New Spain lost about 97% of its population. 25,000,000 to
Peru 1532-1620 9,000,000 to 672,000 (less than 7.5% of contact pipulation)
Remember, Europeans did not intend to kill so many people.
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