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Amerindians And Their Relationship With The French And English

3340 words - 14 pages

The Amerindians:
Relationships with the French and English Colonists

The exploration of the Atlantic World and all of the newly discovered land, led to a tremendous amount of interaction between different types of people and races and religions, all of whom had never before been in contact with each other. The Columbian Exchange was a biological and ecological exchange that took place following the Spanish establishment of colonies in the New World. The Europeans were introduced to the Africans, the color of their skin, their tribal ways and their religion was of great intrigue to the white conquistadores. But by far the biggest interaction between cultures came with the Europeans ...view middle of the document...

605). The settlers thought that the Christian Gospel was infinitely superior to any Indian religion, which included Devil worship, and thus convinced the European colonists that they were justified in imposing the Gospel upon American natives.
The Columbian Exchange is referred to as the mixing of animal, plant, and bacterial life along with the most important, that of different human populations and beliefs, after Columbus’ arrival in the Americas. (McNeill, 2008) “By reuniting formerly biologically distinct land masses, the Columbian Exchange had dramatic and lasting effects on the world.” (McNeill, 2008) New diseases were introduced to American population that had no prior experience of them. The results were devastating. These populations also were introduced to new weeds and pests, livestock, and pets. In addition, new foods and fiber crops were introduced to Eurasia and Africa, improving the diets and increasing trade there. (Greene, Oct., 1928) Additionally the Columbian Exchange vastly expanded the scope of production of some popular agriculture, bringing the pleasures and consequences of coffee, sugar and tobacco use to many millions of people. (McNeill, 2008) The results of this exchange completely changed the biology of both regions and altered the history of the world.
By far the most dramatic and devastating impact of the Columbian Exchange followed the introduction of new diseases into the Americas. Soon after 1492, sailors inadvertently introduced theses new deadly diseases, including smallpox, measles, mumps, whooping cough, influenza, chicken pox, and typhus to name a few, to the Americas. The Native Americans did not have any immunity to these diseases like the Europeans and even the Africans did. Therefore, the Amerindians were hit hard by these diseases. Adults and children were stricken by wave after wave of epidemic, which in turn produced catastrophic mortality throughout the Americas. “It is believed that in all, between 1492 and 1650, perhaps 90 percent of the first Americans had died.” (McNeill, 2008)
This loss is considered among the largest demographic disasters in human history. (McNeill, 2008) By stripping the Americas of much of the human population, the Columbian Exchange rocked the region’s ecological and economic balance. Ecosystems were in disarray as forests regrew and previously hunted animals increased in number. Economically, the population decrease brought by the Columbian Exchange indirectly caused a drastic labor shortage throughout the Americas, which eventually contributed to the establishment of African slavery on a vast scale in the Americas. (Greene, Oct., 1928)The colonists could not rely on the natives for coerced labor as the population had dropped dramatically to be an effective tool; in addition the remaining natives were able to resist for the most part any European force to enslave them. “By 1650, the slave trade had brought new diseases, such as malaria and yellow fever, which...

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