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The impact of European colonization on Native Americans? Essay sample

The European invasion of North America started with several developments that took place in the late 15th century. About this time, Portugal prince Henry the Navigator invented a caravel – the new kind of ship that could go into the wind. In the result, Portugal conquered the neighboring Azores and Madeira islands, having caused envy in the rest of the European continent. After the kingdoms of Aragon and Castile united into Spain, there was much political desire for conquering new territories and bringing new goods to Europe. That was why the European colonization began. After Christopher Columbus succeeded with his journey, Spain and Portugal had to divide the New World between them. They did it with the help of pope having completed the Treaty of Tordesillas. Spain gained control over the Americas except for the present-day territory of Brazil, which went to Portugal according to the treaty. Having entered the Caribbeans, Columbus tried to enslave local people and bring them to Europe for sale. However, they quickly died of European diseases, and Columbus forced Native Americans to mine gold for him. Tainos, the native people of the Caribbean, quickly became extinct even though there had been about 3 millions of Tainos before Columbus arrived. The expeditions of Christopher Columbus did change not only the lives of Native Americans but also the routine of Europeans. The Columbian Exchange is the transfer of crops, animals, spices, exotic products, rare metals from the Americas to Europe and back. The food from the New World (potato and manioc) was rich in calories, which helped Europeans and Africans to increase their populations. Europeans brought horses and livestock to Americas. Horses revolutionized all activities of native peoples helping them to feed, trade, and prosper. But it is crucial to know that Europeans also brought plenty of new diseases to the New World. Smallpox, measles, and whooping cough were not dangerous to Europeans at that time, but Native Americans had no immunity to them. Epidemics sometimes destroyed the whole villages.