Human mobility, in terms of European transcontinental exploration and colonization, began to truly flourish after the 1400s. This travel, inspired by financial motives and justified by religious goals, resulted in the European dominance and decimation of countless cultures in both the Americas and Eurasia. While at first glance it seems as though this dominance was achieved through mainly military means - European militias, like Spanish conquistadors, rolling over native tribes with their technologically advanced weapons - the reality is significantly more complex. The Europeans, most likely unknowingly, employed another, equally deadly weapon during their exploits. With their travel, they brought with them the infectious diseases of their homelands, exposing the defenseless natives to foreign malady that their bodies had no hope of developing immunities against. Because of the nature of disease and their limited knowledge about its modes of infection, the Europeans were able to dispense highly contagious and mortal illnesses while limiting their contraction of any native ones to the new territories. In short, they were able to kill without being killed. In this way, the travel of disease in conjunction with the travel of humans in a search for exotic commodities was able to limit or even halt the development of some cultures while allowing others to flourish at exponential rates.
Before discussing how disease has shaped history and altered cultures, it is important to understand how they themselves have developed and changed throughout history. Disease, in the broadest definition of the word, has been present since the beginning of humanity. Even ...
... middle of paper ...
...hat have prevented many outbreaks. Beginning in the 1300s with the Black Death, decrees prevented travel in hopes of containing the disease. Later, after the age of exploration, quarantine again was implemented to limit the spread of new diseases. And as Cippola notes, it is probably the limited travel restricted to the coastlines that prevented the contraction of many of these New World diseases in the first place. Nonetheless, travel, be it limiting it within countries or encouraging it in new lands, has influenced the spread of cultures and simultaneously the spread of disease
Cipolla, Carlo M. Guns, sails and empires; technological innovation and the early phases of European expansion, 1400-1700. Manhattan, Kan. : Sunflower University Press, 1985.
Ponting, Clive. Ch.11 from "A Green History of the World," St. Martins Press, NYC, 1991
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Tempest, by Shakespeare, offers the reader a variety of themes. The one theme that stands out the most is that of colonialism. During the time of Shakespeare, many European countries such as Spain, France, and England, were expanding their borders by taking over less developed countries, referred to as colonies. During this time of exploitation, there was skepticism concerning the possible success of the colonies. While some scholars believe that the play is about the Americas, I argue that the play reflects on colonialism in general and how it is destined for failure which is shown through the character’s relationships throughout the play.... [tags: colonization, shakespeare, americas, play]
2638 words (7.5 pages)
- The colonization of the moon is the first step for humankind to become and interplanetary species. It is the only logical choice, becauseof its close proximity to Earth. There will be many advantages if the colonization of the moon is success. The colonization will consist of three mission, each bringingmore humans to work in and support the base. The first mission will carry twenty-five people and will install the basic necessities. The first components to be installed would be the power plants and communication stools, as well as the habitats.... [tags: Space Exploration]
714 words (2 pages)
- While the origins of our planet stretch back some 4.6 billion years, the existence of modern man can be correlated to a single minute in the entire span of our geological calendar. Mankind has progressed from the primitive innovations of building fire and wielding stone-age tools to the achievements of industrialization and globalization. In our increasing world of interconnectivity, population explosion, and technological and scientific discoveries, how do we manage the accompanying challenges that threaten our existence.... [tags: Space Exploration Essays]
2028 words (5.8 pages)
- Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common known degenerative disorder, also the leading cause of dementia. (AD) is the admission of plaques, mostly containing 40-42 amino acid amyloid β-peptide (Aβ). (Aβ) is created by successive cleavage of β-amyloid precursor protein also identified as APP by two proteases γ-secretase and β-secretase. A third protease α- secretase, cleaves APP inside the Aβ domain and consequently prevents Aβ development. Secretase suggests that the proteolytic purpose of these enzymes is related with the excretion of their cleavage products.... [tags: Alzheimer's Disease Essays]
1029 words (2.9 pages)
- Christopher Columbus was a Spanish master navigator and admiral whose four transatlantic voyages opened the way for European exploration, exploitation, and colonization of the Americans. He has long been called the “discoverer” of the New World. Although, Vikings such as Leif Eriksson had visited North America five centuries earlier. Christopher Columbus made his voyage under the sponsorship of Ferdinand II and Isabella I. Who were the Catholic Monarchs of Aragon. And how he made is voyage and why he did it.... [tags: spanish master, bahamas, navigator]
889 words (2.5 pages)
- Huntington’s disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative dominant disorder caused by the expansions of polyglutamine in the gene encoding for Huntington’s protein. It is a developmental autosomal brain disorder that affects muscle coordination, emotional and personality problems. As well as subcortical dementia, further leading to cognitive decline this is all related with selective neuronal cell death mainly associated in the striatum and cortex (Scherzinger et al., 1997). HD causes emotional problems, uncontrolled movements and the loss of thinking ability.... [tags: Disease, Disorders]
1260 words (3.6 pages)
- The Role of Genetics in Alzheimer's Disease The call came at 9:05 p.m. on January 20, 2004. Mom had just finished telling the news about the girl's grandfather. He had Alzheimer's Disease and was not doing well at all. The ruling was that he probably would not make it through the night. She knew exactly what the news was the moment her mom said, "No." After the news came, the decision was made they would leave the next day to attend the funeral. This girl began wondering, "If grandpa had Alzheimer's do I have a chance of getting it too.... [tags: Alzheimer's Disease Essays]
3023 words (8.6 pages)
- The Effects of Colonization on the Native Americans Native Americans had inherited the land now called America and eventually their lives were destroyed due to European Colonization. When the Europeans arrived and settled, they changed the Native American way of life for the worst. These changes were caused by a number of factors including disease, loss of land, attempts to export religion, and laws, which violated Native American culture. Native Americans never came in contact with diseases that developed in the Old World because they were separated from Asia, Africa, and Europe when ocean levels rose following the end of the last Ice Age.... [tags: Native Americans Colonization History Essays]
537 words (1.5 pages)
- Colonization During the early years of colonization and exploration in North America and Africa, many New World "collided" and brought to each other many new things, both good and bad. There were exchanges of ideas, products and crops that greatly advanced the cultures of all involved, but on the other hand, new diseases, and harsh treatment of one another were also present. Before the arrival of the Europeans to present day United States, the Native Americans treated their homeland with respect and with spiritual properties.... [tags: American America History]
508 words (1.5 pages)
- colonization From the beginning of American colonization we were a mainly farming people. The basis of our society was built upon agriculture, and little else. The rise to corporate capitalism has had such a profound impact on American society, it is impossible to study any aspect of United States history post Civil War without a direct relation, on any level, to the industrial revolution. America would not be the superpower it is today had we not made the change from an agricultural society to an industrial one long ago.... [tags: essays papers]
1229 words (3.5 pages)