Explain how and why European diseases did more to destroy the people of South America (Inca, Maya, Aztecs) than the wars and take over by the Spanish and the Portuguese.

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Explain how and why European diseases did more to destroy the people of South America (Inca, Maya, Aztecs) than the wars and take over by the Spanish and the Portuguese.

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The short answer is that the New World hadn't been exposed to the kind of diseases that the Europeans were already used to. From when Columbus arrived opening the door to European colonization and Spanish conquest, their guns and soldiers killed thousands of native warriors. Over the course of several decades, however, diseases such as smallpox, typhus, measles, and even the flu would kill millions more wiping out entire population areas. Some estimates say that in the century following Columbus' arrival (which includes the Spanish conquests and the arrival of many more Europeans), the native population went from millions to a few hundred thousand - most dying of diseases that also came over. Disease did more to annihilate the native population than any technological advances the Europeans had over them.
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