What was Columbus' Factor on Native American Depopulation – Assignment Example
The paper "What was Columbus' Factor on Native American Depopulation" is a wonderful example of a history assignment.
For generations, historians have upheld the belief rendered by Christopher Columbus' chronicles of the 15th century. Columbus' factor for Native American depopulation was hinged on the view that the Americas in 1492 were untouched by civilization. The continents were "untrammeled" but inhabited by a few uncivilized groups of Indians. This population was further decreased by the onset of epidemics like cholera, malaria and scarlet fever. They were ill-equipped with curing the plague whereas the Europeans had the knowledge of quarantine. But more importantly, they were thought not accustomed to political orientation or warfare. This made it easy for Columbus and subsequent expeditions to explore the outlying areas and opened ways for Europeans settlers.
Look at the status of Native Americans in 1491, before the arrival of Columbus. How were things?
Unlike the general academic views, the Native Americans before the arrival of Columbus were thriving civilizations. They had a knowledge and harnessed technologies which were more advanced than the Europeans. They existed in walled cities and towns; created organized living systems; and were well versed in the science of farming by harnessing the landscapes around them. They grew maize, fruits, nuts, and hunted wild bison, elks. They became keystone species in the ecosystem. They built empires using the age-old knowledge descended from the Sumerians. They were pure and free from diseases.
In fact, modern scientists believe that the Native Americans were prosperous and more populous than Columbus led us to believe. The population, however, started to dwindle because of several factors including epidemics, the disease brought in by the European expeditions, natural death, war, and ignorance of the new lifestyle brought about by the Europeans.