Europeans And Native Americans In The New World

1081 words - 4 pages

Europeans and Native Americans in the New World

Disease and Medicine along with war and religion were three ways American history has changed. When the colonists came over from Europe they unknowingly changed the world forever in ways they couldn't have imagined. These effects were present to both Native Americans and Europeans. Some of these changes made life easier for both Native Americans and Europeans but some made relations worse too. And some effects wouldn't show up until it was too late.
One of these significant changes was the introduction to new disease to the new world. When the Europeans came over and started to interact with the Native Americans they brought with them new diseases that Native Americans weren't accustomed to. Since Native Americans weren't immune to these diseases like the Europeans diseases spread rapidly and lethally. New Diseases such as smallpox, diphtheria, measles, bubonic and pneumonic plague, cholera, influenza, typhus, dysentery, yellow fever spread through Native American tribes like wild fire. Add these new deadly diseases and with other problems of their own like malnutrition, anemia, and the high rate of fetal and neonatal deaths and infant mortality, parasitic intestinal infections, dental problems, respiratory infections, spina bifida, osteomyelitis, nonpulmonary tuberculosis, syphilis along with bruises arthritis and snakebites and you can see why the Native American populations had a dramatic decrease just by disease. Some tribes experienced up to a 90% loss in population, of course this was not from only disease there were other reasons like war between other tribes and Europeans.
Although medicine has come along way especially in recent years, there were medicine men and woman in all Native American tribes and there were "educated" doctors that came from Europe during the colonial age. At first Europeans were skeptical of the medicine that the Native Americans used. Medicine men and women used new medical techniques that the Europeans never have seen before, they prayed to spirits and had ceremonies to heal some patients. Native American healers highly believed in spiritual healing that Europeans were not accustom to and did not believe in. However Europeans went crazy over the way Native Americans could use plants and herbs in healing. Native Americans doctors would go into the forest often not far from their homes and find plants, berries, barks, and roots that would be used in healing, although they have been known to go on trips for several days to collect materials too. Many herbs that Native Americans used in early colonial America are still used today like ginseng and bayberry. With the Native Americans knowledge of herbs and natural remedies many colonists were beginning to think that Native American medicine men and women were better doctors than their own educated European doctors. Natives Americans came along way from being savages.
War was common during the colonial period....

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