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Historians estimate that because of epidemics caused by European diseases, the native population declined between 50 and 90 percent within a century of contact.
Death from disease was a major reason Europeans dominated Native Americans as quickly as they did. The deadly effects of European diseases first happened in the West Indies, where Columbus landed. They continued in Mexico and South America when Spanish conquistadors conquered the Aztecs and the Inca. By the time the English began colonizing North America in the 17th century, diseases had already spread to the region and killed many Native Americans.
REFLECT ON THE ESSENTIAL QUESTION
Essential Question: What were the economic, social, and cultural impacts of European colonial expansion and the development of trade networks?
    Economic Impacts
  Social and Cultural Impacts
       KEY TERMS
Prince Henry the Navigator Gold Coast
Bartolomeu Dias
Vasco da Gama
Pedro Álvares Cabral
plantation Lisbon Antwerp Amsterdam Bristol
London
Columbian Exchange smallpox
measles
immunity
                                       HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES: WHAT WAS THE IMPACT OF EUROPEAN EXPLORATION?
European exploration caused dramatic changes in the Americas and Africa. The native population of the Americas plummeted, and millions of Africans were enslaved and forcibly relocated.
Advantages for Western Europe To dispel the belief that western Europeans dominated the world due to their superior culture, Jared Diamond explained in his book Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997) that Europeans benefited from geography. They had better access to the animals, innovations, and ideas of the more advanced societies in eastern Asia. European access to horses and cows improved the efficiency with which they could use the land and travel and trade across it. Guns and steel in European hands became more advanced, and this, combined with years of plague, led to the development of a well-armed and resistant group of people that was ready to dominate a part of the world that lacked these advantages.
56 EUROPEAN HISTORY: AP® EDITION
 














































































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