Why Native Americans Didn’t Wipe Out Europeans With Diseases

Greg H. asks: Diseases from Europe wiped out most of the Indians, so why didn’t the Europeans also get wiped out by diseases from America?

native-american-diseaseWhile estimates vary, approximately 20-50 million people are believed to have lived in the Americas shortly before Europeans arrived. Around 95% of them were killed by European diseases. So why didn’t 19 out of 20 Europeans die from Native American diseases?

The short answer is that Europeans simply had more robust immune systems. Several factors contributed to this: first, Europeans had been the caretakers of domestic animals for thousands of years, and had over time grown (somewhat) immune to the common diseases that accompanied the domestication of such food sources. Native Americans, on the other hand, were largely hunters and gatherers, and even in some domestication cases, it’s thought exposure was limited.  For instance, as Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel states,

The Incas had llamas, but llamas aren’t like European cows and sheep. They’re not milked, they’re not kept in large herds, and they don’t live in barns and huts alongside humans. There was no significant exchange of germs between llamas and people.

Second, Europeans lived in more densely populated areas than Native Americans. When so many humans live together in relatively close quarters (particularly with lack of good, or any, sewage systems and the like), disease spreads quickly with the general population continually getting exposed to numerous pathogens. The Europeans’ bodies had to adapt to dealing with many of those diseases, and for those who survived, their immune systems thrived as a result.

The third factor is travel and exchange. Groups of people and animals moved around a lot in Europe and had interactions particularly through war and trade, resulting in the spread of disease across continents—and, eventually, some level of immunity for the survivors.

All of these things resulted in Europeans being regularly exposed to many more pathogens than Native Americans were. The Europeans’ immune systems simply developed to ward off the worst of some of the nastier diseases that incapacitated entire Native American populations. That same immunity protected them from diseases that Native Americans might have given them, or at least made it so the new diseases that they encountered were not as deadly.

That said, it should be noted that Europeans were also commonly killed off by the diseases they brought to the New World. It’s just that over time those who were more susceptible to these diseases died off and the survivors’ immune systems had developed to the point where the general populace wasn’t typically being wiped out at rates anywhere close to 95%, though the numbers were often still extreme by today’s standards.

But contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t all one sided.  It’s believed that one Native American disease did slip on to the European ships and sailed onward to Europe doing some major damage in the process.  That disease was syphilis.

Columbus “sailed the ocean blue” in 1492. Just three years later, in 1495, the first syphilis epidemic broke out among armies in Italy at the Siege of Naples, seemingly brought by French soldiers who in turn probably got the disease from Spanish mercenaries. Because of the French popularly spreading it, syphilis was initially known as the “French disease.”

There was up until very recently some debate about whether or not syphilis was in fact a “New World” disease because there are over 50 skeletons that have been found with all the markings of syphilis being the cause of death and that were once thought to date to pre-Columbian times. However, advancements in dating technology and a recent (2011) comprehensive study published in the Yearbook of Physical Anthropology looking at all of the skeletons placed those people’s deaths after Columbus returned from the Americas.

The initial syphilis epidemic is thought to have killed upwards of a few million Euopeans as it made its rounds. Artist Albrecht Dürer remarked,

God save me from the French disease. I know of nothing of which I am so afraid … Nearly every man has it and it eats up so many that they die.

The disease continued to be a problem into the 20th century. It’s caused by bacteria Treponema pallidum, which can attack the nervous system, heart, brain, and internal organs, causing a variety of health problems and, sometimes, death. A cure wasn’t developed until the 1940s with the development of penicillin.

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Bonus Facts:

  • To test penicillin’s effectiveness in treating syphilis and other STDs, researchers led by Dr. John Charles Cutler from the United States (funded by the Public Health Services, the Pan American Health Sanitary Bureau, and the National Institutes of Health) headed to Guatemala in 1946 and found prostitutes who had syphilis, getting them to then give it to unsuspecting Guatemalan soldiers, mental health patients, and prisoners.  They also directly infected certain individuals by “…direct inoculations made from syphilis bacteria poured into the men’s penises and on forearms and faces that were slightly abraded … or in a few cases through spinal punctures.” It isn’t known how many people died as a result of this as the results from the study were never published.  If you think that is bad, just wait a few days and we’ll tell you all about the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment. Dr. John Cutler was involved in that one to.  He faced no consequences for the numerous people that died in his experiments, and he even lead an illustrious and celebrated career including at one point becoming an assistant to the U.S. Surgeon General.
  • It’s believed that small pox was the first European disease that Native Americans encountered, and it was also the most deadly. Initially just one person is thought to have developed feverish symptoms on board the ship, which caused an outbreak amongst the Europeans. When they hit land, the disease spread like wildfire across the new continent. Smallpox was highly infections because of the blisters that broke out on an infections person. As Dr. Tim Brooks explains, “Because each of those blisters is packed full of smallpox particles, then if you burst a blister, fluid will come out and large numbers of viruses will be spilt onto whatever it touches. Ten to twelve days later, his friends would be taken ill, and then ten to twelve days after that, their friends. That kind of rate means the disease spreads exponentially.”
  • Syphilis got its name from a poem written by a Renaissance scholar in the 1500s. The main character is named Syphilus. When he angers a god, he gets infected by the disease.
  • Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease, and one of the symptoms is marks on the hands and face of the infected person. These marks could often be found during this time on Catholic priests, cardinals, and a pope. It showed that celibacy couldn’t be policed and was not always followed.  For reference, Catholic priests were first required to be celibate in 304 AD thanks to the Council of Elvira, which resulted in Canon 33 stating: “bishops, presbyters, and deacons and all other clerics… [must] abstain completely from their wives…”  However, this wasn’t widely adopted at this time and it wasn’t until the Second Lateran Council of 1139 when priests were forbidden to marry.  In 1563, the Council of Trent once again affirmed this stance on celibacy and against marriage. The priests are still human, however.  Martin Luther said it best when he stated, “Nature never lets up… We are all driven to the secret sin. To say it crudely but honestly, if it doesn’t go into a woman, it goes into your shirt.”
  • Some famous people who are thought to have had syphilis include Napoleon Bonaparte, Al Capone, Adolf Hitler, Oscar Wilde, Leo Tolstoy, and Friedrich Nietzsche, among others.
  • While the Native American population was decimated by the arrival of Europeans,  the American Bison population (note: they are not Buffalo as is commonly said) saw the opposite happen. Before the arrival of the Europeans there is little evidence that there were massive herds on the scale that immigrants eventually encountered them at. In fact, evidence suggests that the Native Americans kept the bison populations regulated by various means. After the European diseases wiped out most of the Native Americans, the American Bison population exploded, becoming the most numerous large wild mammal on Earth until eventually hunted to near extinction within a few centuries after this population explosion. At their peak, it was estimated that there were nearly 100 million American Bison in existence, only a few centuries ago.
  • It has also been speculated that lack of genetic diversity may also have contributed to certain diseases wiping out such a huge percentage of Native American populations.  All Native Americans are thought to have descended from just a few very small groups of people. Thus, with this theory, a disease that one Native American is extremely susceptible to would have equally deadly effects on most all Native Americans unlike the more genetically diverse Europeans.
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  • Andrew

    Should be “…had over time grown…” as opposed to …had overtime grown…

    Cheers,

    Andrew.

    • Daven Hiskey

      @Andrew: Good catch. Fixed. Thanks!

  • Never realized 95% of Native Americans were killed off. Great topic.

    P.S. Thanks a lot France

    • Epobirs

      Hardly anyone knew until relatively recently. The diseases traveled across the continent and did their damage long before the Europeans who’d settled on the East Coast got very far into the interior. The Indians they met were a greatly diminished remnant of the devastated population. The societal structures of those Indians were also devastated, which lead to further misconceptions about how these people lived. The Europeans simply had no way of knowing what things had been like a few decades earlier and it wasn’t until a few decades ago that archaeology found evidence of what had happened. 1493 by Charles Mann covers this pretty well.

  • Jake Lakota

    “Native Americans” is an idiotic PC term. If you were born in the US then you are a native american OTHERWISE where would you be a native? and I am SURE 99% of so-called African-Americans never set foot in Africa and yet, if a white South African came to the US and got his citizenship you would never even consider calling him AFRICAN-AMERICAN. Russians are Asian – now do they look anything like Japanese, Chinese etc? But PC doesn’t include them cause they is WHITE. Political correctness is a waste of time and utlimately offends everybody. Grow a pair and then ask yourself why does America come second?.

    • ApacheNestell

      and 3rd Native Americans lived in more densley populated areas Tenochtitlan with 250,000, and Cuzco with 250,000 larger then any of the European cities of that time we just bathed more, and had better sewage systems then Europeans at that time

    • Dave M

      So the way i see it is being dirty is a white attribute to be proud of. trailer trash may be the last to succumb to the next plague or perhaps the millions we’ve crammed into our densely over populated urban slums.
      The natives who are left, are still over coming the forgotten atrocities that have been committed upon our thanks giving comrades.
      Interesting idea “Jake Lakota” perhaps we should be calling the Caucasian population “Caucasian Americans” and give the natives there moniker back.

    • James

      @Jake Lakota

      I do believe that you ought to understand the distinctions we as human beings use in order to help give the world some order. Somebody from South Africa, white or black, who came to America and subsequently gained citizenship would still be referred to as being South African. This also stands true of anybody who came from Africa and did the same.

      African-American is a term for those Americans who have descended from their African ancestors many years prior. I feel that in spouting your “PC” rhetoric you are trying desperately to undermine their history and their struggle. Minimizing somebodies heritage just because it doesn’t sit well with you is not ok.

      As for your chop at the Native Americans, this is simply a matter of your astonishing ignorance throughout what seems to have been a lifetime of spectacular levels of self-absorption. The term originally used to describe the aboriginal peoples of America was Indians due to an error made by Columbus.
      (Columbus carried a passport in Latin from the Spanish monarchs that dispatched him ad partes Indie[3] (“toward the regions of India”) on their behalf. When he landed in the Antilles, Columbus referred to the resident peoples he encountered there as “Indians” in the mistaken belief that he had reached the Indian Ocean.)

      Even with his mistake recognized quite quickly, the name stuck. We now refer to them by term more fitting with their history and heritage as they truly were native to the land.

      TL;DR – If you are going to be a bigoted douchebag, at least research and understand what the hell you are talking about.

      • Nice

        I am glad that you brought up India. Speaking of India, India is a place of broad color. Meaning you have Indians who are of all known hues associated with humans. I will point out that if Columbus thought America was India just through seeing the people, then there is a great chance that all melanated people did not come from Africa. It is also known that when Europeans used certain physical identifiers to determine who was “colored” and who was not. History has been chopped and screwed and I feel for every group of people, every person who has lost their histories at their own detriment.

  • ApacheNestell

    also Syphilies came from the French when they were marching to Italy through the Mountains

  • Epobirs

    A lack of genetic diversity did come to kill a massive number of Europeans. Not a lack of diversity in the people but in the potato that had been brought from the New World and became a major staple crop nearly everywhere it was introduced. Pretty much all of the potatoes were clones of the small sample brought back by early expeditions. When disease struck it caused crop failure on scale rarely matched in history and vast numbers starved, especially in Ireland.

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  • Joaniew

    Speaking of the potato famine in Ireland, can someone please explain why the Irish, a ship building nation of people, surrounded by an ocean and the Irish Sea, didn’t just go fishing? I’m serious, I really don’t understand. Thank you.

    • SMA

      Valid point. maybe they did fish in coastal areas, but rivers and streams also contain fish so was surely available ? I also find it strange potatoes were the only food the Irish grew and ate ? Was there absolutely nothing else to eat ?
      This would mean people ate and fared better in the middle ages when there weren’t any potatoes.
      Must be more to it.

      • Jonny

        Well, it was really only the poor catholics who starved. they were too poor to afford boats, and even if they weren’t most of them wouldn’t have had access to the sea. Ireland is small in comparison to other landmasses, but thats not actually saying much. The reason they had no other food crop was because centuries of British programmes designed to remove any major catholic landholders meant that most of them only had enough land to grow potatoes in large enough numbers to feed themselves as well as providing the frankly dickish rent levels. Please do not read this as me attacking the British, but it needs to be realised that in this period of history they were kinda dicks.

      • The British government deliberately starved the Irish … google it

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  • Ra

    What about guns… do Caucasians always talk about diseases and escape telling stories about missionary rape and murder?

    • Russ

      Hmm read about human history at all? All races ever did was fight and rape each other? Look at African history, they enslaved each other even. And yea Europeans created guns first because they were the most adaptive in science and engineering. Look at the list of Nobel Prize winners and inventors throughout history. Im not saying its about color, simply development, probably being in the right place at the right time.

    • GC

      Well Ra, the diseases did most of the work for the Europeans. Look at Africa and Asia and you will see colonization did not wipe out whole populations because the locals had already had contact with these diseases. The results may have been the same but I wager it would not have been so complete had the people of the Americas had outside contact before the conquistador appeared on their shores.

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  • Les

    Native Americans are descended from small groups of people? surely we all are unless millions
    of Hominids just appeared globally overnight.

    • Jean-Paul

      From what I understand, Humans evolved in Africa. As the population grew, Something caused a small group to venture out. According to DNA studies, all Humans show a common Female Ancestor (shown on Mitochondiral DNA), known as Mitochondrial Eve and believed to have lived over 200,000 years ago. So, if it was her family that ventured out and all others died off, we’ll never know, but the theory is something caused her family to live and grow. As the population grew more, More ventured out and started new settlements, tribes, family groups or what ever you want to call them. But now that group has a smaller gene pool.
      As that group grew and some ventured out, they created an even smaller gene pool to pull from as their population grew. And so on and so on. The farther from Africa, the smaller the Gene pool and the more recessive genes appear in the population, like red or blonde hair, Blue eyes, etc.. So, Yes, Caucasians have the least diverse genetic make-up…. or are more inbred. Sorry if you take offense to that, but I’m Caucasian too (with a small amount of Mohawk).
      As for Disease, From what I had also read, Inhabitants of the Americas (mostly descended from migrants from Asia.. just compare Traditional Tibetans to Traditional Peruvians… Go ahead, do a quick image search), Did not evolve to resist as many viral and bacterial attacks as those in Europe who came in continual contact with inhabitants of Africa, Asia, Middle East, etc. They were basically cut off and evolved separately for many thousands of years.

      • Al Hoove

        Mitochondrial Eve must have been one smokin’ babe, is all I can say.

  • Shiro

    @Russ Europeans did not create the first guns. Gunpowder was invented in China during the 9th century orignally as a medicine to treat skin infections. It was quickly discovered it could be used to create bombs and other explosive weapons. The Chinese fire lance is considered the first gun, invented during the 10th century, but gunpowder did not arrive in Europe until the 13th century.

  • S Ocone

    “Buffalo” is an acceptable name for the American Bison.

  • Christine

    Who posted this article or wrote it made a typo? It wasn’t 20 million living in the Americas, it was 200 million.

    • Daven Hiskey

      @Christine: Source? Most modern estimates tend to be in the 20-50 million range.

      • GC

        Davan, I don’t know your source or Christine’s source but the college level critical thinking history class I took last year share most modern estimates range from 160 million to 180 million in North America based on the journals of De Soto. Archaeological digs being conducted seem to support this.

        • Cratrok

          That´s not true at all.

  • rogerpenna

    I think the estimates of 95% of americas natives being wiped out are grossly overestimated.

    One just has to check Latin America, where so many CLEARLY have native ancestry.

    If so many had been wiped out, Latin America would be as european looking as USA or Canada.

    • Martha Hanley

      This is total BALONEY! Just counting the 48 contiguous states, the (lowest estimate) of the systemic extermination is close to 9 MILLION. Figure it out yourselves. How many tribes were there? (I know the answer as an Ojibwe Native citizen journalist and researcher [specifically in about 30 different areas], but do encourage others to rearcher facts. [Stay away from PropaPedia].

      There are now 400,000 *total* Native Americans alive in the “lower 48”.
      I could go on a bit about the further destruction of our kidnapped children being driven in prison wagons with barred window to “Indian Training Schools” like the epitome of cruelty and abuse of the “Carlisle School” in Pennsylvania. This is called “forced assimilation”. First, their sacred hair was chopped off. If they spoke or wrote in their Native language, they were often starved for three days and beaten. Many of them were horribly sexually abused in the “name of Christianity”. [These accounts were given to the nearest tribe of elders as, when they were lucky enough to have escaped, this is where they ran to]. The motto of these Christian Training Schools was “KILL THE INDIAN; SAVE THE MAN!” even though many were only 5 to 8 years of age.

      Now white (learned?) people want to say syphilis was spread from my Native ancestors to the White men who descended on them and bit by bit, stole their home and lands?

      Enough is enough with the lies!

      What do you think caused so many Romans to go crazy? They had syphilitic brains; most likely carried by the indigenous peoples in the area. Of course!

  • Jeffrey Amherst, Gen

    The robust immunity you speak of is a result of the Plague 1300 – 1400’s and other diseases that had killed thousands in Europe. the childhood song “Ring Around the Rosy” originates from Europe during the time of the Plague? Ring around the Rosy, Pocket Full of Posy, Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down!
    Please notes European living conditions, they lived with cows, sheep, and goats. Also rats, mice, and flees were part of the European cargo to America. In fact Europeans raised Black and Brown rats as pets for the “blood sport” they invented. In the Middle Ages bathing was forbidden, .. it was seldom practiced, and the like.”
    — Thomas J. Shanan, The Middle Ages: Sketches and Fragments. Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June.

    Native Americans often bathed twice a day. Yet, no people can survive a physical, psychological, and physiological (Germ Warfare, Jeffrey Amherst ) attack.

    • J Detwiler

      Bathing was not forbidden. That’s a more modern myth promulgated by Renaissance and Enlightenment historians to make their ages look better. In fact, there would have been bath houses in several European town and cities which people would have used. Documents and literature from the medieval period show that it was considered uncouth to be dirty. Even if they didn’t bathe with the frequency at which we do, they would have at least washed their faces, ears, necks, and hands every day. The people who didn’t clean were, in fact, the Tudors. During the Tudor period, people thought that in order to be clean, one had to change their clothes frequently, but not bathe. Therefore, Tudors would have clean clothes but would have been absolutely filthy underneath.

      To keep it short: please don’t perpetuate myths.

  • David Barkin

    This is a poor analysis. While Native Americans were often Hunters and Gatherers, both in Mexico and Peru there were complex Crowed civilizations. They were simply younger, and there was less time for hostile organisms to develop. There were also probably more Native Americans then the mere 25 to 50 million….

    Nor did 95 percent of them die from disease. In worst case scenario’s the number would be 50 percent. They died from Murder, and the malnutrition brought on by slavery.

    • Cratrok

      more than 50 million? What?

      Only 50% from diseases? ok now you just want your functional lie to be true

    • Payne

      “The transfer of human populations in the form of settlers, soldiers, merchants, sailors, indentured servants, and slaes accelerated the process of change. Some groups were wiped out through violence, forced resettlement, and unaccustomed illnesses. As much as 90 percent of the pre-Columbian population of the Americas died from communicable diseases such as smallpox, chloera, influenza, typhoid, measles, malaria, and plague–all brought from Europe” (Joshua Cole and Carol Symes. P 370).
      Textbook: “Western Civilizations V. 2”

      There are also primary sources that support this numbers.
      Bartolome De Las Casas on Spanish Treatment of the Indians, from “History of the Indies (1528).”
      “About eight years passed since under the comendador’s rule and this disorder had time to grow; no one gave it a thought and the multitude of people who originally lived on this island… was consumed at such a rate that in those eight years 90 percent had perished. From here [Hisponalia], this sweeping plague went to San Juan, Jamaica, Cuba, and the continent, spreading destruction over the whole hemisphere [New World].”

  • What a crock of crap! 95% of Native Americans were not killed off by White people diseases in America. They were reclassified as free people of color and/or Negro in order to inslave them. Google early American era paintings like The Emblem of America or the California indians by Louis Choris or The Massacre of the Christian Indians by Henry Howe or painter Jonathan Carver 1781 paintings or Philip Georg Freidrech Von Reck 1730s or Karl Bodmer’s Blackfoot indian 1840 or John T. Sprague’s book “The origins, the progress and the conclusion of the Florida War”. The list goes on and on people. Most Native Americans didn’t die of White man’s diseases but are very much alive ; known today as African-America. This didn’t just happen VA and the Carolinas. It happens all over America. Only the Mongols were given the title of “Indians” because they helped the White man catch their enemy tribes who they had been fighting against since the Mongols came and found this beautiful land already occupied with Black people. Then in true European nature Whites turned on the Mongols too. My maternal great grandmother is listed as toddler on the Indian rolls with her family having survived the Trail. My paternal First Nation ggrandfather was listed as a “free man of color” and got a indian land allotment. Census takers classified people by skin tone not necessarily by ancestry. Halley Berry would not have been classified as mulato though she is. She would have been listed as Negro. Just look at the original documentations of the “New World”. It is described as the land of Black people. If you all will simply look, you will see that the vast majority of the the people were Black people not Mongols and they look exactly like Black Americans today. If White history doesn’t perpetuate the 95% of the indians were killed lie, it has to admit enslaving millions of Indigenious Americans in their own land. It has to admit the trans-Atlantic slave lie as millions of people weren’t stolen off the African continent. There is no such history of it in Africa. No African had ever claimed such tails. Then the White man started teaching Africans that they secretly stole millions of their people and put them in the Caribbean, the Americas and else where in the1600-1800s . Africans will tell you this also as Africa has a rich oral history. Any mother knows that steeling someones child or man and having them not be missed is a preposterous lie. Who wouldn’t look for their child? Who wouldn’t pass down the story of an abducted loved one? How can the Jews go through the same thing yet have oral history. All other people have oral too history but somehow White America wants the world to believe that Blacks don’t. They say it’s because they took people from different African tribes and they couldn’t speak each others language. So they want us to believe that no 2 people ever spoke the same language and even when they all learned English, they still never spoke of this. That’s just nonsense. My grandmothers on both sides always gave us our history an it didn’t include Africa; not because they didn’t know bit because it wasn’t so. To justify this stollen people lie, Whites said the millions of Africans were bad people already slaves or prisioners. Really, the women and children too? All over the world people visit their family members who are imprisoned. In some countries, the family has to feed and clothe them. Furthermore, it was impossible even for the largest ships to bring millions of people over the Atlantic in those ancient vessels . Even with todays technology the Navy struggles in the Atlantic. Cargo ships are ripped apart. This recently happened to a ship that left Florida. And, speaking of slave ships, where are they; destroyed, repurposed like we were taught? BS they never existed. There were regular passanger ships and some rich people did bring Black servant over here who they then under-paid and outrightly enslaved when they realized they could get away with it. We hear stories like that even today with the undocumented but it was much worse then as Whites didn’t have to pretend to have a conscience and there were no laws protecting such people.However there were thousands not millions of these cases. Also there is documentation that thousands of Native Americans were sent to the Caribbean and Europe from America, not the other way around. Roots is a FICTION book people. Infact, Alex Haley pleaded guilty of plagiarizing it from a Jewish man. The slave cargo paintings are FICTION based out of the imagination of someone who drank the Koolaid just like you all are doing. Seriously people, enough time has passed. You can stop telling the Santa Claus, Easter bunny lies now. We know the truth and we are free to speak it. We don’t have to walkvaround with feathers and braids to be Native American. Most l of our languages are lost and we have changed in many waysbut we are not extinct. The US government didn’t make us Indigenous American ; nor did the Elders or the Chief. GOD made us Indigenous American. It’s sad that people are writing articles and doing “research” papers based on pinpointed lies in history when if they really researched it, they would know the truth. It isn’t even hidden really. It’s just not advertised.

    • michaelsanchez

      That is some crazy, crazy shit you’re on.

      • plainsrabbit

        Fggot

  • Notacos Iasplode

    To the people saying 95% is a crock. a lie, or whatever, I will choose one of the numbers for population, not to high not to low, and say there were 50 million natives. Those natives had repulsed attempts at colonization and conquest by the vikings. The VIKINGS. The baddest and most dominant fighting force to sweep the coasts of Europe. There were few that could stand up to them, and yet the natives threw them back repeatedly. When the colonists arrived there were a few hundred, and it took them several years to reach a thousand. If the diseases had not wiped out so much of the native population those colonists would never have gotten anywhere on this continent. They would have gone native or been slaughtered. There is no chance that the colonists would have flourished and spread if there had been even 50% of that (25 million) or even 75% (12.5 million) the numbers would have been enough to overpower them no matter what the “technological” advantages were. Guns would not have been enough to do the job.

    • Cratrok

      bullshit, 200 million from reputable scholars? Not even biased one talk about those numbers.

    • Payne

      Guns had issues in the Americas, too. Hernan Cortez had issues using his guns with his men in the climate because the humidity literally made the technology fail to fire. He took over the Aztec empire due to disease and alliances with other indigenous tribes that sought to overthrow the Aztec empire, as well.

  • Jonas Venture

    There were only about 450 million people in the whole world when Europeans started showing up in NA, the vast majority of which lived in large cities. There is no way North Americans, most of which were hunter gatherers, could possibly have rivaled Europe, India, or China’s numbers, which focused largely on massive farming communities (90-100 million in each Europe, India, and China) these kinds of numbers took thousands of years of developing farming technology and city states.

    It is difficult to determine the exact size of the Native American population prior to European contact with Columbus (Snow, 1995), but the existing consensus in the scientific community range from a low of 2.1 million (Ubelaker, 1976) to 7 million people (Thornton, 1987) to a high of 18 million (Dobyns, 1983).”

    50 million is just ridiculous, yet there are leftist sources now trying to say mere tens of thousands of whites managed to intentionally kill over 100 million American natives. This is madness, as colonists’ superior numbers are often attributed as a contributor to their success. Moreover, these false histories claim whites managed genocide this across both continents in the 1500-1600’s. This is especially interesting when you realize that from 1492 to late 1700’s, the vast majority of Native territory was claimed and occupied by Spain. Interesting how South American Natives were wiped out too, as well as FL and the entire Midwest and this is hundreds of years before whites were there. The Louisiana Purchase did not happen until 1803, Texas Annexed in 1845, Florida Ceded in 1845, Mexico Ceding the South West in 1848. The Lewis and Clark Expedition didn’t happen until 1804-1806, during which they were virtually the first and only whites in the entire northern region of the US west of the Mississippi river. Mass migration out there did not occur for another generation.

    How then can whites be to blame for deaths happening there hundreds of years earlier? Sure people say “European” and the Spanish were, but European has become generally synonymous with “Whites” these days and that’s clearly how it’s talked about. I’ve had Spanish/Latino/Hispanic people try to shame me over the “Genocide of natives” That’s total bullshit and misleading articles like this reinforce these hate inspiring false histories. They specifically shame the British and French and white descendants and say we are guilty of a 100 million person genocide and that’s simply impossible on numerous levels. There weren’t that many Natives, whites were not in those regions during the genocides, and most of the depopulation happened hundreds of years before we were, and such attacks were instigated by the Spanish.

    Example, Cortés Raided the Aztecs in 1521, that time period is when most of the Natives there died of disease and war. The bulk of Native deaths happened within the next 50 years, after that the area was under Spanish occupation where natives were seriously mistreated or killed, then Mexico fought their war for independence (1808) which was another 40 years before most of these areas were even given/fought over with the US, and that was another 40 years before white Europeans got there.

    Blaming whites for most of the deaths in the Americas is like blaming the Nazis for Bubonic Plague and then saying there were over a billion victims. It’s ridiculous and stupid to anyone that bothers to look up any history.

    Sources about NA population size, (2 -18 million).
    Snow, D. R. (1995). Microchronology and demographic evidence relating to the size of pre-Columbian North American Indian populations. Science, 268(5217), 1601.

    Thornton, R. (1987). American Indian holocaust and survival: A population history since 1492 (Vol. 186). University of Oklahoma Press.

    Ubelaker, D. H. (1976). Prehistoric New World population size: Historical review and current appraisal of North American estimates. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 45(3), 661-665.

    Dobyns, H. F. (1983). Their number become thinned: Native American population dynamics in eastern North America.

  • Peter Deepinsky

    “…seemingly brought by French soldiers who in turn probably got the disease from Spanish mercenaries.” A lot of gay sex going on back then. So much for the supposed prudishness of that age.

  • John von Shepard

    Damn savage give us syphilis!

  • Skippy

    Syphilis already existed in Europe and its an often repeated myth to say it came from South America. Skeletons found at Pompeii have syphilis.
    It also needs to be added Columbus got royal patronage to pay for his voyage of discovery. The aim was trade with the Asia avoiding Islam occupied trade routes to India and China overland. Columbus thought he had travelled to India. He even deliberately reduced the size of the globe to show it was possible to sail to India/ China. He was challenged because scientists of the time new by the curvature of the horizon the size of the globe. The Spanish did not intend initially to conquer. later with Cortes 500 hundred Spanish and an alliance of Indian tribes numbering thousands overthrew the Aztecs. By any standards this was moral and correct. The Aztecs killed massive numbers of Indians captured or offered in tribute ripping their hearts out as part of their religion. The Spanish gave South America so much in terms of art music, culture and intermarried with natives. This fusion was amazing.

  • annajrc

    Aha! And then there was CDC fraud and denial of the Lyme and Morgellons disease(late stage Lyme). That continues to this day.