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Published on January 21, 2008

Author: Stefanie

Source: authorstream.com

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Demographic Catastrophe:  Demographic Catastrophe Health Consequences of the Columbian Exchange Kathleen Jones Teaching American History Seminar June 1, 2006 Horse and cannon figure prominently in this Aztec drawing from the Florentine Codex:  Horse and cannon figure prominently in this Aztec drawing from the Florentine Codex How did the Spaniards do it?:  How did the Spaniards do it? God and Guns: the march of civilization God and Guns: exploitation and enslavement God, Guns, and …. GERMS (like this smallpox virus, seen under an electron microscope):  GERMS (like this smallpox virus, seen under an electron microscope) Value of the Germ-Theory for Discussing the Age of Exploration :  Value of the Germ-Theory for Discussing the Age of Exploration Less Eurocentric: Shifts focus from “conquest” to “migration” and “exchange” Timely and relevant: Parallels contemporary medical issues Slide6:  “The history of our time will be marked by recurrent eruptions of newly discovered diseases.” Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague Contemporary Issues Raised by the Germ-Theory of Conquest:  Contemporary Issues Raised by the Germ-Theory of Conquest What role does migration play in our encounters with disease? What elements of a society are challenged by the appearance of a new disease? How do cultures respond when faced with new diseases? Debating the Numbers:  Debating the Numbers “High Counters” -- Mesoamerica a densely populated land in 1492 European settlement = “genocide” and “holocaust;” symbolized by “pyramid of skulls” Estimates based on early colonial documents, eyewitness descriptions Debating the Numbers:  Debating the Numbers “Low Counters” -- reject population density Colonial documents are flawed; Spanish “had trouble counting themselves” - could they count others? Significance of the Numbers: It’s a Political Question:  Significance of the Numbers: It’s a Political Question High counters: population density is evidence of political and economic sophistication High counters: magnifies the demographic tragedy Low counters: supports notion of a barren wilderness ripe for the taking What’s Really Important about the Numbers::  What’s Really Important about the Numbers: Population Dynamics NOT Population Figures Slide12:  And, everyone agrees: After contact, the population of the New World d e c l i n e d As much as 70 - 90 % Pre-contact Health Profile:  Pre-contact Health Profile “There was then no sickness; they had no aching bones; they had then no high fever; they had then no smallpox; they had then no burning chest; they had then no abdominal pain; they had then no consumption; they had then no headache. At that time the course of humanity was orderly. The foreigners made it otherwise when they arrived here.” -Mayan Memory of a Health Paradise Any Truth to this Memory? No: Evidence from Art :  No: Evidence from Art Aztec drawing provides evidence of pre-contact intestinal disease Slide15:  Evidence of Leishmaniasis In Moche Ceramic Art Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease spread by the bite of an infected sand fly No: Evidence from Bones:  No: Evidence from Bones Paleopathology Nutritional deficiencies Dental Caries (diet based on corn) Violence Aztecs developed effective wound treatment High infant mortality rate No: Signs of Illness:  No: Signs of Illness The case for typhus epidemics Transmitted by lice Common in crowded living conditions Primary causes of death: Respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses Evidence of TB in sedentary agricultural communities Both found in European health profile And, Yes: There is Some Truth in the Mayan Memory of a Health Paradise:  And, Yes: There is Some Truth in the Mayan Memory of a Health Paradise The New World -- a very different disease environment, despite some similarities with Europe Inhabitants had no experience with several highly contagious European diseases Vocabulary Lesson:  Vocabulary Lesson Epidemic diseases Endemic diseases Disease environment Virgin soil epidemics No natural immunity The Columbian Exchange:  The Columbian Exchange “The most important changes brought on by the Columbian voyages were biological in nature.” -Alfred Crosby (1972) Plants, Animals, Germs Key word: exchange Plants:  Plants One Consequence: Irish Potato Famine:  One Consequence: Irish Potato Famine An evicted Irish family finds shelter in a ditch during the Irish potato famine. Illustrated London News, December 1848 http://collections.ic.gc.ca/potato/photo/ireland2.asp Weeds:  Weeds Plantain Dandelion Englishman’s Foot Slide24:  Domesticated Animals Llama, from The Historie of Foure-Footed Beastes and Serpents (1658) Columbian Exchange: Disease:  Columbian Exchange: Disease Smallpox Measles Plague Syphilis Smallpox:  Smallpox Smallpox:  Smallpox Smallpox Factsheet:  Smallpox Factsheet Symptoms: high fever, fatigue, severe headache and backache Rash -- begins in mouth, spreads to limbs, palms and soles of feet Sores become pus-filled, crust over by 8th-9th day Delirium, vomiting, excessive bleeding Mortality: 30% Confluent smallpox: Mortality: 60% Smallpox “odor” Contagious - spread by saliva droplets Smallpox and the Aztecs:  Smallpox and the Aztecs Arrived in Central Mexico with Cortés What was he doing there? Not a deliberate bioterrorist Who Were the Aztecs/Mexica?:  Who Were the Aztecs/Mexica? The City of Tenochtitlan Route of the Cortés Expedition:  Route of the Cortés Expedition Timeline of Events Leading to the Fall of Tenochtitlan:  Timeline of Events Leading to the Fall of Tenochtitlan What would happen if?:  What would happen if? Create a scenario for a virgin soil epidemic in Roanoke Teaching the New World Experience with Smallpox Aztec Representation of Smallpox:  Aztec Representation of Smallpox Use with Document from the Florentine Codex Epidemics in Mexico, 1520-1595:  Epidemics in Mexico, 1520-1595 Epidemics in Central America 1520-1578:  Epidemics in Central America 1520-1578 Slide37:  Spanish painting of the Battle for Tenochtitlan Don’t forget the germs! In exchange for smallpox, measles, plague and other assorted deadly diseases, the Europeans got. . . SYPHILIS:  In exchange for smallpox, measles, plague and other assorted deadly diseases, the Europeans got. . . SYPHILIS Sixteenth-Century Syphilis:  Sixteenth-Century Syphilis Different from today’s syphilis (mild infection with years of domancy before reappears to cause insanity and death) - 16th century disease progrssed rapidly Spread by sexual contact (and by armies that engaged in sexual contact) Began as small genital ulcers. followed by a wide-spread rash As the disease spread through the body, the victim suffered from ulcers all over the body, agonizing muscle pains, and general physical deterioration.  Ended in death.   Evidence for New World Origins--Bones:  Evidence for New World Origins--Bones Pre-Columbian bones with syphilis lesions found in New World http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/case_syphilis/ Pre-Columbian Syphilitic Bones:  Pre-Columbian Syphilitic Bones Earliest signs of syphilis in humans: 2,000-year-old remains found on the Colorado Plateau of North America. 10,000-year-old bear bone! Pre-Columbian skeletal evidence in remains from the Dominican Republic, in an area known to have been visited by Columbus and his crew.. But, Bones Muddy the Theory of New World Origin. .:  But, Bones Muddy the Theory of New World Origin. . Evidence of Old World Origins: Pre-Columbian skeletons -with signs of syphilis -unearthed at the Hull friary in England and other places in Europe Other Evidence of New World Origin of Syphilis:  Other Evidence of New World Origin of Syphilis No European description of disease before 16th century Many physicians wrote about syphilis after 1493 Europeans imported a new world “cure” -guaiacum Linguistic evidence Literary and artistic depictions in 16th century Slide44:  Albrecht Dürer, “The Syphilitic” (1546) Dürer’s woodcut suggests the loathesome qualities of what seemed to many to be a new and horrible disease.  Ulrich von Hutten, describing syphilis in the first years after its appearance in Europe:  Ulrich von Hutten, describing syphilis in the first years after its appearance in Europe “There were byles, sharpe, and standing out, hauying the similitude and quantite of acornes, from which came so fould humours, and so great stenche, that who so ever ones smelled it, thoughte hym selfe to be enfect. The colour of these pusshes [pustules] were derke grene, and the sight thereof was more grevous unto the pacient then the payne it selfe: and yet their peynes were as thought they hadde lyen in fire.” How Syphilis Affected European Society:  How Syphilis Affected European Society Disrupted political dynasties, leading to centuries of warfare Sexual Prudery - kissing went out of fashion The age of the “canny lover” 1564 book on syphilis advised men to wash and dry genitals carefully after intercourse Contribute to interest in medicinal qualities of New World plants

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