Re:New World PopulationsLee Sultzman (email@example.com)
Wed, 21 Dec 1994 07:49:39 GMT
>The big killers were the European diseases that they inadvertently brought
>Lee, what evidence is there that these diseases were "INADVERTENTLY brought
Isn't it stretching things a bit to suggest that monkeys throwing feces at each other marked the beginning of biochemical warfare...at least so far as we understand the meaning of this term in 1994. As for AIDS, I have heard several different versions of this, but the CIA, KGB, Defense Department, or other accused culprits are not saying much. Pathogens have always demonstrated an ability to mutate on their own volition without human assistance, and until some real evidence emerges, that is were the matter
Getting back to the first fifty years of the Spanish invasion of the New World, you are obviously taking issue with the use of "INADVERTENTLY brought with them." If the epidemics were not inadvertently brought them, then we would have to conclude that the Spanish deliberately introduced European diseases into the Western Hemisphere...supposedly to facilitate conquest. This is not a completely illogical conclusion considering the devastating effect upon native populations, but one with which there are serio
Despite the recent proliferation of books suggesting that the use of "germ warfare" dates from the earliest times, I would suggest that it has never been used extensively, simply because once a disease is released, how can its effects be limited to only the enemy. Examples of infected corpses being hurled over medieval battlements during sieges are isolated exceptions. Where did they get the bodies in the first place. Obviously because the army involved already had some form of plague in its midst and was
The Spanish may have been brutal, but they were not crazy. Those epidemics were perfectly capable of killing Europeans as well as Native Americans. If the European diseases were deliberately transferred across the Atlantic, how was this done? Can you imagine a Spanish captain who would knowingly allow infected persons or material to be brought aboard his ship? Can you think of a crew that would sail with him? Was there a colonial governor who would permit such a cargo to land at his port, and what person w
Hernando Cortez was probably the ultimate conquistador. On his first visit to the Aztec in 1519, smallpox was "inadvertently" introduced into the population through infected Spanish soldiers. Driven out during the revolt against Moctezuma, he returned the next year and conquered Tenochtitlan. Without doubt, the smallpox epidemic made this possible, but did Cortez deliberately use "germ warfare?" Only if he was nuts! With only two hundred Spanish soldiers, he could not afford to lose any of his own men, and
In any event, there were enough men of conscience among the Spanish to have blown the whistle, if "germ warfare" had been used. The protests of Spanish clergy to Charles V in 1530 ended the enforced slavery of the encomienda by the conquistadors. The royal proclamation was ignored until a secret letter by Bishop Zumarraga was smuggled to Spain in 1535. Afterwards, Don Antonio de Mendoza was sent to the Americas as viceroy with specific instructions to end the practice.
There have been many rumors of deliberate infection, but only one event can be proven since 1492. This occurred at Fort Pitt during the Pontiac rebellion in 1763 when the British commander, Colonel Henry Gladwin, attempted to break a siege by distributing blankets from smallpox victims to the Seneca, Delaware, and Shawnee. He was apparently acting in accordance with a policy suggested by Lord Jeffrey Amherst, the British commander in North America. Now I am just paranoid enough to suspect that somewhere or
I'm not entirely comfortable with the history of medicine, but the knowledge of what could be used to infect people was fairly well-known by 1700. As to what organisms were responsible, vaccination, prevention, and proper treatment...that took another hundred years. Incidentally, Napoleon was so pleased with the success of William Jenner's vaccination in preventing smallpox within his army, that he would grant him almost any personal request, even while England and France were at war. In 1810 disease was s
Not that they were all saints. In the Orient they got a little too worldly and involved in some questionable financial dealings. In the United States, the "Black Robes" have a rather sinister reputation among non-Catholics. Part of this stems from their role as secret agents from the Vatican to the Stuarts during the 1600s. Actually their missionary activities in the Pacific Northwest (DeSmet and Blanchet) are noteworthy, although whether this was good or bad depends on your opinion of the value of Christi
Hope this helps. Sorry to rattle on for so long, but you really asked a lot of questions. Enjoy the Holidays!