Unformatted text preview: populations. The numbers of these Native Americans plummeted, in part because of war against the colonial forces, but also because of the introduction of diseases to which the natives had no natural immunity. The natives contracted malaria, smallpox and measles from the Europeans, but passed on syphilis to the invaders in a morbid exchange. In 1494, shortly after Columbus’ first voyage, the pope divided the newly discovered lands between Spain and Portugal — both Catholic nations, but fierce rivals. The line of demarcation crossed through the hump of South America. Spain was to have the lands to the west and Portugal those to the east (accounting for the use of the Portuguese language in Brazil today). The most profitable Spanish activities in the New World occurred in the southern portions, while less rewarding ventures took place in northern areas....
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- Summer '11
- Americas, Indigenous peoples of the Americas