Topics: Smallpox, World population, Demography Pages: 2 (444 words) Published: December 26, 2012
Smallpox, like any other disease was very deadly. It mainly affected young adults and children. During the 1300s – 1650s, smallpox unfortunately came with social, political and economic consequences. Socially, the illness led to immense population declines. Politically, the ailment led to decreases in armed forces. Economically, smallpox led to a shortage of labors. Smallpox killed more people than any other sickness in world history. After 1518, smallpox caused demographic decline in the western hemisphere. In the western hemisphere, population declined and several native societies were even wiped out. In 1519, smallpox ravaged the Aztec empire. Within a century the native population of Mexico deteriorated by 90 %. Near that time, Spanish captors took control of Mexico. In Mexico, the social, cultural, and political traditions of the native peoples had moreover so fallen or vanished under Spanish control. In the 1530s smallpox extended as far from Mexico as the Great Lakes in the north and the pampas of Argentina in the south. Over a long period of time, the Columbian Exchange brought some economic prosperity along with increased human population growth. Despite the growth of population, smallpox gradually continued to take the lives of about 10 % of Europe’s infants. Smallpox was obviously dreadful for the victims, but ‘twas also politically helpful to conquerors. Smallpox aided Spanish efforts in taking over peoples. Since smallpox nearly killed most of a region’s population, there were not a lot of people which meant less defensive forces. As stated before, most social cultural and political traditions of the native peoples had moreover so fallen or vanished beneath Spanish control....
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