Invisible Population Loss

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Prior to the discovery of the New World by Europeans, Native Americans populated what is presently North and South America in massive numbers; however, due to massive population loss, mainly caused by diseases introduced by Europeans and Africans, the Native Americans were unfortunately forced to live as inferiors to the Europeans. A major issue that faced native populations of the New World was the fact that the Europeans introduced foreign animals that carried diseases the natives had never seen before. Specifically in Mexico and Peru, the natives had alpacas and llamas in small and isolated groups, so diseases were not able to originate in them [McNeil 178]. On the other hand, the animals that the Europeans brought over, such as cattle,…show more content…
Stannard addresses this as the “‘invisible’ population loss,” because the settlers would have had no idea that these people had even died, since they hadn’t even reached that specific land yet [Stannard 268]. Furthermore, before the Spanish reached the pueblos in the southwest, the pueblo population could have been depleted due to epidemics [Upham 227-228]. The invisible population loss is what is still widely debated today as there is no way for researchers to know for sure exactly how many natives died. Nonetheless, Upham and Stannard both supply compelling evidence suggesting that this did happen, which severely depleted the populations prior to contact with Europeans in the New…show more content…
The imperial medical model was different than what the Native Americans were used to because it was based on science considering that they utilized medications and vaccinations and it caused the Native Americans to suffer immensely [Lecture 1/23]. Native Americans grew extremely desperate for these vaccinations, specifically for smallpox since the destruction the disease caused was so immense. For example, the desperation is illustrated in an entry of James Pattie’s journal as he recalls himself and fellow prisoner being asked if they had a vaccine [Pattie 1]. This desperation caused Native Americans to be taken advantage of by white settlers. For example many of the medical benefits treaties required the Native Americans to surrender their land in order for vaccinations [Lecture 1/23]. The desire for vaccinations led the Native Americans in present day America to lose much of their remaining
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