Catastrophe In The Columbian Exchange

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Massive demographic catastrophe occurred wherever Europeans made contact with indigenous Americans. Within his The Columbian Exchange, Alfred Crosby writes: “When the isolation of the New World was broken, when Columbus brought the two halves of the planet together, the American Indian met for the first time his most hideous enemy: not the white man nor his black servant, but the invisible killers which those men brought in their blood and breath” (Crosby, 31). It was common to see a drop of 90 percent or more in native populations after the arrival of the Europeans (Than). European pandemics such as smallpox would severely depopulate or wipe out many natives of the Americas. This idea of the Columbian Exchange, the enormous widespread
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