European Exploration of America

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Did the coming of Europeans do more harm than good?

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This question depends on your vantage point. European arrival to the New World was catastrophic for the Native Americans. Native Americans had no disease resistance to smallpox, typhus, and cholera, and many of them died. Entire tribes were wiped out by disease. Europeans also took the land and destroyed native...

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This question depends on your vantage point. European arrival to the New World was catastrophic for the Native Americans. Native Americans had no disease resistance to smallpox, typhus, and cholera, and many of them died. Entire tribes were wiped out by disease. Europeans also took the land and destroyed native culture as they considered native religions as pagan.

Of course, on the other side, one can also argue that European exploration of the New World was a positive thing. Food from the New World, such as tomatoes, potatoes, and squash, brought much-needed vitamins to European diets. This led to an increase in birth rates and longevity. While one can argue that this led to a population increase that fueled scarcity and, ultimately, major wars, the addition of new foods made the human population of the world more healthy. Also, the addition of the horse made the Plains Indians more successful in their buffalo hunts. While the arrival of Europeans can be considered a tragedy, there were some benefits for both sides.

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