How did life change for Native Americans from before European settlement to the late 1800s?

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As other answers have said, life changed dramatically and became much for the worse for Native Americans after the arrival of the Europeans. First, the Native American population was rapidly reduced by the introduction of European diseases for which the people had no immunity, such as smallpox, cholera, bubonic plague, and whooping cough. Some estimates run as high as a ninety percent mortality rate among some tribes—a devastating figure.

These very high death rates had a disruptive effect on Native American societies, and this was followed by having to contend with increasing numbers of foreigners who possessed a superior weapons technology and yet little to no understanding of native cultures. Native Americans had to adapt to survive, and they did so in a number of ways, which included merging tribes, attacking settlers, allying with one group of settlers against another, entering into treaties with Europeans, and adopting Western technologies when feasible. Other survival attempts,...

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