Skip to comments.The mixed legacy of 1492 (European viruses wipe out population)
Posted on 10/11/2010 3:55:41 PM PDT by Libloather
The mixed legacy of 1492
By James Carroll
October 11, 2010
IT IS commonly observed that 1492, in addition to being the year of Christopher Columbus, was also the year of the Jews their expulsion from Spain by the same Ferdinand and Isabella who sponsored the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. But the overlap of events (actually, Columbus set sail in the very week of the banishment) has historic significance, for it was in Iberia that ancient Christian anti-Judaism had recently morphed into genetic anti-Semitism the idea that Jews are contemptible not because of their religion, but because of their blood impurity. This notion of a groups innate biological inferiority tragically gripped the European imagination just as the encounter with the New World occurred. It was a decisive factor in the creation of modern racism that determined so much of what came in the wake of Christopher Columbus. Contempt for Jews was practice for contempt for aboriginal peoples.
The racist myth of European superiority still shapes the story of the colonial conquest starting with how the Caribs, Mayans, and Aztecs are remembered as never having had a chance against Spanish steel and gun powder. But it wasnt technological genius that led to the dominance of the newcomers, nor was it their courageous soldiering, intellectual heritage, or moral superiority much less the favor of God.
By far, the most decisive factor in the quick establishment of European control was the accident of disease. The immune systems of Western Hemisphere indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by pathogens that accompanied the Europeans, with the result that populations of so-called Amerindians were almost instantly decimated. The population of Mexico, to take one example, fell from 25 million in 1517, when Europeans first came there, to 1.5 million a century later.
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
Happy Columbus Day!
Too bad those viruses don’t work on Muslims
Up to 50% of the white population was wiped out by disease from the Asians, diseases are something that is tough to whip, they still kill millions of people every year.
Well, speaking of diseases, the Indians pretty certainly gave Columbus’s crew syphilis in return. Because it appeared in Europe for the first time just about then.
Well, just to play devil’s advocate, how can they say that microbes were not part of God’s plan? But seriously, why didn’t the people already here have some microbe they gave to Europeans? Has anyone ever wondered about that? Why is it always the invaders who seem to have the stronger immune systems?
I watched a show the other day that seems to indicate pretty strongly that the Japanese visited south America. Pottery that is identical to ancient pottery found in southern Japan and one small area of south America.
The strongest evidence are the very Asian features existing among natives today and a genetic disease found only among Japanese and a small isolated population in south America.
Polynesian skulls are found all around the pacific rim and they obviously made it to Hawaii and Easter Island.
I tend to think there was a lot more “traffic” in the ancient past but civilization didn’t come (and stay) till Columbus
Many Indians did die from disease, but still the Europeans fought and defeated armies of many time their number due to the superiority of their weapons and their horses, and both the men and horses were usually armored.
Dem evil white dudes.
It went both ways. Contrary to what left wing “experts” say, there was little or no syphilis in Europe before it was brought back from the New World.
Same as it ever was. Get over it, already.
How did they arrive at an estimate of 25 million and how accurate is the methodology.
Oh right, it’s just a wild ass guess.
while I support using antibiotics and the like to augment our immune systems we’ve grown far too dependent on them. Kids and people used to get dirty and sick on occasion and build up immunity. Now people santize the immune system right out of themselves. By not being exposed to anything if your bodies hit with the right virus or disease it has no defense.
Unless we can develop better medicines thats where the new plagues are going to come from.
It was much cooler I think in those days and the seas were much calmer than now. That would explain crossng an ocean in a catamaran
The mutation is thought to have occurred because of the European life style versus the South American life style.
That is, heavy, rarely washed clothes versus rarely clothed natives prancing around the "rain forests".
The original bacterial infection sores, covered by clothes, and not exposed to UV, O2, etc, eventually mutated in to "syphilis".
It wasn't until earlier this decade that the last known infections of the original bacteria were wiped out in the Western Hemisphere.
“it was in Iberia that ancient Christian anti-Judaism had recently morphed into genetic anti-Semitism the idea that Jews are contemptible not because of their religion, but because of their blood impurity. This notion of a groups innate biological inferiority tragically gripped the European imagination just as the encounter with the New World occurred. It was a decisive factor in the creation of modern racism that determined so much of what came in the wake of Christopher Columbus. Contempt for Jews was practice for contempt for aboriginal peoples.”
This is why historians suck at thinking. There always have to be connections. A drop of rain water hitting a Chinese emperor in 908 AD has striking reverberations in the Sudan in 2007, or whatever. Which has the advantage of both seeming to uncover something unrecognized before and appealing to the wild paranoia that runs through everyone’s head on a moment to moment basis. (Hey, what do I mean by THAT?)
There’s also got to be a “first,” right? Have to have our turning points. Some distinct moment when regular racism became really, really bad racism. And why not just when Europeans happened to commence permanent contact with the New World. ‘Cause imperialism is bad, colonialism is bad, and really, really wrong racism was behind all the badness (though diseases actually don’t care what sort of “blood” they’re infecting). Nevermind that everyone and their mother hurt the Jews. Europeans must have had a special hatred for them, ‘cause they’re Europeans. And Europeans are bad, ‘cause of the colonialism and imperialism. Which was caused by the racism. Which wasn’t like other people’s racism. ‘Cause of Colombus or the Jews or something. Can’t remember which.
The dominant hypothesis is that Amerindian extirpation of 35 of 44 Pleistocene megafauna species rendered their immune systems unaccustomed to zoonotic diseases.
To which I would add that hunting the domesticable animals into oblivion seriously retarded agro-urban development and condemned many tribes to permanent seasonal nomadism.
Sadly it was completely unavoidable.
You’re right, I had forgotten about that. It has been the gift that keeps on giving.
And it was about 500 years before docs developed antibiotics to get rid of the stuff......pretty good pay back.
“To which I would add that hunting the domesticable animals into oblivion seriously retarded agro-urban development and condemned many tribes to permanent seasonal nomadism.”
Yes. But bear in mind that New World beasts and “native” Americans were not coeval. Humans came over here fully prepared to hunt everything to death. The animals had not enough time to evolve defenses. Back in the Old World, there was time to breed (though not deliberately, of course) animals to our liking over the course of millenia.
By the time the Spanish came west, they had already been under muslim rule for hundreds of years. I hypothesize that muslim germs and dna invaded the the natives, and thus, they became ill, stupid, and ruthless.
So perhaps the mexicans invading our country have this muslim dna.
Maybe the conquistadors were actually muslims, and just pretended to be catholic, so they could point the finger and say look how ruthless Christians are.
Go on Amazon and buy all of Barry Fell’s books.
Chris was just a johnny-come-lately.
Let’s get this straight and clear: the “native Americans” were cultural losers who got thrown out of Asia because they were some combination of losers, , antisocial, inadequate, socially caustic or retarded. Indians were (are) freaks.
So we should feel guilty? We who were not even alive then?
Should we just therefore open our Southern Border to the descendents of those very peoples, as historic justice?
If you think so you are the same as Obama. A fascist with historic justice as his calling card, the calling card of every fascist in modern history, including Hitler and Mussolini.
Many folks don’t know that many mesoamerican groups fought WITH the Spaniards because groups like the Aztecs were not this peace-loving people, but were conquers themselves, and treated those people like 4th class citizens.
This James Carroll character really is the epitome of the guilt-ridden, self-loathing white liberal. And he doesn’t mind throwing around a lot of historical inaccuracies while wallowing in his white guilt.
Maybe they picked it up from Mermaids on their trip home.
Polynesians may not have had a lot of technology but they knew the sea. I’ve seen photos of maps they made out of reeds and grass that show detailed wave and wind patterns as well as islands.
As I understand it, people with expert knowledge of the sea can tell if they’re approaching an unseen island by the behavior of swells.
Thanks for the history. Very interesting.
I would hesitate to call slaves that were involuntarily relocated from their old masters in Africa to their new masters in the new world as “migrants”. Perhaps others can tell me if it is true, but weren't most of those “migrants” used to replace slave labor that died in the plantations of Brazil and the Caribbean?
He’s a bitter liberal with an axe to grind, that’s for sure.
Amazing how much work she puts into avoiding the conclusion that Europeans were cultually and genetically superior.
Heck, a darwinian should be eager to embrace the superior genetics of the Europeans. It was gained at the cost of millions of lives lost to diseases.
Let’s not judge his crews too harshly for demeaning themselves with the female savages. They had been at sea a long time. Who knows? Maybe they fell in love.
“Many Indians did die from disease, but still the Europeans fought and defeated armies of many time their number due to the superiority of their weapons and their horses, and both the men and horses were usually armored.”
Not to mention the fact that the Europeans even got over there in the first place. A fact that seems these days to be overlooked, given the controversy over what it means to say the Americas were “discovered” in 1492. A controversy which obscures the fact that, no matter what killed the natives and no matter whether or not the Europeans fared well in battle, the only reason any of it happened is that the Europeans did what New Worlders never did: they navigated the Atlantic.
That's true, and Cortez found many allies against Montezuma and the Aztecs among the surrounding tribes who were tired of supplying thousands of their members for the Aztecs' periodic human sacrifices. I've read that 10,000 were sacrificed to celebrate Montezuma's ascension to power.
Not doubting you, but could you save me a lot of google time and point to a source?
Yes, and you'd think that with their custom of "wiping" with the left hand and eating with the right, they'd have very little immunity. Or might it be that they get confused about right and left from time to time.
The voyage of Saint Brendan sometime around 525 BC is looked at as a legend with a possible basis in fact. Some believe the “isle of the blessed” may be the Americas.
“the vast majority of transatlantic migrants (more than 80 percent up to 1820) came from Africa labor to replace the disease-defeated Amerindians”
It’s moreso the fact that a lot of the native americans were less like the settled Aztecs and more like hunter-gatherers. Governments conquer and regularize kleptocracy over agrarian and later city-dwelling peoples, not mobile peoples. You can’t make slaves out of people that can run for the hills.
Sure, we gave them smallpox, but they gave us syphillis, so I’d say we’re about even.
Now the gay African monkeyphile that gave us AIDS still has some explaining to do...
Same process and same methodology by which they predicted "global warming"...
Probably the same method they used to find that 100,000 (or whatever it was) Iraqis were killed in the war.
If there's anything you can count on in leftist agitprop, it's good, credible numbers.