Christopher Columbus set a pattern of conquest over the native populations that the Spanish conquistadors and English colonists would emulate. Columbus used the superior weapons and technology of Europe to dominate the native people. The natives did not even utilize iron, which put them at a major disadvantage. Columbus and his successors also utilized an unexpected advantage in the diseases that they brought to the New World. Diseases like small pox, measles, and influenza devastated the Native American population that was not immune because they were never exposed to these diseases. The Europeans, starting with Columbus, did not view the indigenous population as equals. For this reason, they did not feel that the Indians had a right to the lands that they had inhabited for centuries before the arrival of the Spaniards. Superior technology, disregard for the humanity of the Indian, and disease warfare are all aspects of Columbus's conquest that Cortes and the American colonists also used in their conquest of their respective native people.