Epidemics and Smallpox in Colonial Term Paper

Pages: 8 (2383 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Native Americans  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] The clearing of forests for new farmlands caused environmental hazards.

The effects of these epidemics transcended North American borders. As early as the 16th century, Europeans began transporting slaves from African colonies. The Europeans, particularly the Portuguese and Spanish colonists, needed slaves who would not succumb to smallpox and other Old World illnesses. Unlike the Native Americans, the Africans already had immunity to the European sicknesses. In addition, the African slaves were also immune to tropical illnesses like malaria and yellow fever. Thus, because of the North American epidemics, an estimated 12 to 20 million Africans were forced into slavery in America.

By the 1900s, the dwindling Native American populations gave rise to the "myth of the vanishing Indian." Some Native American populations fared slightly better than their counterparts. In the 19th century, Navajo tribal members opted to receive smallpox vaccinations. By the 20th century, a significant number of Navajo women worked as government nurses. Historians like Robert Trenert believe that the large Navajo population is partly due to their cooperation with government health efforts.

Unfortunately, the Navajo are atypical of other Native American populations. Though smallpox has been successfully eradicated, Indians are still three times more likely to suffer from infectious diseases like tuberculosis than their Caucasian counterparts. They are also more affected by adult-onset diabetes than the rest of the American population.

Conclusion

In summary, contagions like smallpox played a significant role in the shaping of the American continent. In the beginning, the epidemics were the natural and unintended result of the Columbian exchange, as people from the Old and New Worlds came into contact. Evidence further suggests that smallpox outbreaks were orchestrated during warfare, with the blessing of the European military leadership.

The effects of these epidemics are far-reaching. The Native American population was declined.

Many tribes were decimated or were absorbed by other tribes. In their attempt to escape the illness, Indian tribes cleared forests, causing massive environmental changes. The susceptibility to European diseases also provided the catalyst for the massive importation of African slaves.

In the end, the European settlers successfully established their military dominance in the new continent. Much of this dominance, however, was only achieved with the unintentional help of contagions like smallpox.

Works Cited

Blackbird, Andrew J., Complete Both Early and Late History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan, a Grammar of Their Language, Personal and Family History of the Author (Harbor Springs, Mich., 1897

Bouquet, Henry. The Papers of Col. Henry Bouquet. Sylvester Stevens and Donald Kent, eds. (Harrisburg, Pa, 1940-1943).

De las Casas, Bartolome, "The Devastation of the Indians: A Brief Account." Excerpted in The Conquest of the New World. Helen Cothran, ed. (San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2002),

Green, Rayna, The Encyclopedia of Native North America, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999

Heagerty, John, Four Centuries of Medical History in Canada (Toronto, 1928)

Lepore, Jill. Encounters in the New World. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000),

MacLeod, Peter, "Microbes and Muskets: Smallpox and the Participation of the Amerindian Allies of New France in the Seven Years' War," Ethnohistory, 39 (Winter 1992),

M'Cullough, John, in A Selection, of Some of the Most Interesting Narratives, of Outrages, Committed by the Indians, in Their Wars, with the White People. Archibald Loudon, ed. originally published 1808. (New York: 1977)

Robertson, R.G., Rotting Face: Smallpox and the American Indian (Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton, 2001), p

Taylor, Alan. American Colonies: The Settling of North America. (New York: Penguin Books, 2001)

Trafzer, Clifford, Death Stalks the Yakama: Epidemiological Transitions and Mortality on the Yakama Indian Reservation,1888-1964. (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1997).

Trennert, Robert. White Man's Medicine: Government Doctors and the Navajo,1863-1955. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998)

Rayna Green, The Encyclopedia of Native North America, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999), p. 122.

Bartolome de las Casas, "The Devastation of the Indians: A Brief Account." Excerpted in The Conquest of the New World. Helen Cothran, ed. (San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2002), pp. 49-55.

Green, 79-80.

Green, 44.

De Las Casas, p. 51.

Green, p. 44.

Jill Lepore. Encounters in the New World. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 13.

R.G. Robertson, Rotting Face: Smallpox and the American Indian (Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton, 2001), p. 311

Robertson, pp see the account in Clifford Trafzer, Death Stalks the Yakama: Epidemiological Transitions and Mortality on the Yakama Indian Reservation,1888-1964. (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1997).

Alan Taylor. American Colonies: The Settling of North America. (New York: Penguin Books, 2001), p. 434

Henry Bouquet, The Papers of Col. Henry Bouquet. Sylvester Stevens and Donald Kent, eds.

Jeffrey Amherst, in The Papers of Col. Henry Bouquet, p

John M'Cullough, in A Selection, of Some of the Most Interesting Narratives, of Outrages, Committed by the Indians, in Their Wars, with the White People. Archibald Loudon, ed. originally published 1808. (New York: 1977), volume 1, p. 331.

Peter MacLeod, "Microbes and Muskets: Smallpox and the Participation of the Amerindian Allies of New France in the Seven Years' War," Ethnohistory, 39 (Winter 1992), pp. 42-64.

Andrew J. Blackbird, Complete Both Early and Late History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan, a Grammar of Their Language, Personal and Family History of the Author (Harbor Springs, Mich., 1897), 2-3

John J. Heagerty, Four… [END OF PREVIEW]

Four Different Ordering Options:

?
Which Option Should I Choose?

1.  Buy the full, 8-page paper:  $26.88

or

2.  Buy & remove for 30 days:  $38.47

or

3.  Access all 175,000+ papers:  $41.97/mo

(Already a member?  Click to download the paper!)

or

4.  Let us write a NEW paper for you!

Ask Us to Write a New Paper
Most popular!

Colonial America -- Issues and Answers Essay


Pox Americana the Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775 82 Book Review


Influence of Disease on the Revolution Essay


Medicine in Colonial America Term Paper


Motivations for and Effects of European Colonialism Term Paper


View 17 other related papers  >>

Cite This Term Paper:

APA Format

Epidemics and Smallpox in Colonial.  (2003, July 21).  Retrieved February 24, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/epidemics-smallpox-colonial/6094941

MLA Format

"Epidemics and Smallpox in Colonial."  21 July 2003.  Web.  24 February 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/epidemics-smallpox-colonial/6094941>.

Chicago Format

"Epidemics and Smallpox in Colonial."  Essaytown.com.  July 21, 2003.  Accessed February 24, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/epidemics-smallpox-colonial/6094941.