Name and describe the major advantages that the European colonists had over the Native Americans.

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There are a number of advantages that the European colonists had over the Native Americans when the Europeans came to settle in the New World.  Let us look at some of the most important.

First, the Europeans carried infectious diseases that were new to the Native Americans.  These germs caused “virgin field” epidemics that killed huge numbers of Native Americans.  The Native Americans did not carry any diseases that could wreak equal havoc on the Europeans.  The deaths of large numbers of Native Americans weakened their societies badly.

Second, the Europeans could draw on a much larger population base than the Native Americans.  The Native Americans were relatively few, particularly after the diseases decimated them.  By contrast, Europeans could simply keep coming and coming.  This meant that the European population of North America soon outstripped the native population, particularly in areas where the two groups came into contact.

Third, the Europeans had a tremendous technological advantage.  The Native Americans did not have things like metal and woven cloth.  The Europeans had steel tools and weapons.  They had guns and ships.  Their technological advantages helped them dominate the Native Americans both militarily and economically.

In these ways, among others, the Europeans had great advantages over the Native Americans.

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amysor | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

The European colonists when settling in the 'New World' had the advantage. They had more weapons. They had advanced supplies and tools. Also, they knew how to build up civilizations, so they had experience in surviving. Also, they had slaves to do their work for the most part in agriculure which helped their wealth.

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