Reasons the Europeans Were Victorious The European explorers were able were able to defeat the Native Americans and overpower the West Africans was due to many proximate and ultimate factors that granted the Europeans the advantage. The proximate factors that helped the Europeans were their guns, germs, and steel. The Europeans had built immunity to many of the diseases and germs that they had been exposed to over the years while in Europe. But the Native Americans had never seen such diseases, so when the Europeans came over, they carried with them these germs that were completely new to the Natives.
The new animals that the Europeans brought over to the Americas also carried diseases and germs that the natives had never been exposed to before. Their germs killed off a large portion of the native population. The affects of these new diseases caused devastation in many tribes. The Native Americans had not built up such natural defenses as the Europeans had over the years, so the native population shrunk from 300,000 to 500 by 1548. The Europeans carried guns and steel weapons that had been made using the metals and resources from their home countries.
The Natives used weapons made of copper or wood, which will not be of any use when put to the test against a weapon made of steel. Steel is a much stronger metal- it can endure more. The guns that the Europeans carried were something that the Native people had never seen before- they had no idea how they worked. As a result, they feared them. The concept can also be compared to the horses that the Europeans introduced to the Natives. They had never seen such an animal before and when they saw these shiny, metal-covered men riding these large, wild animals, they were frightened.
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The ultimate factors that added to the natives’ demise were the geography, animals, and agriculture. Europe is geographically situated in a region better suited for farming because of the land and weather of the climate. Eurasia’s more East to West land stretched further horizontally and allowed for more productive farming to occur. It reigned superior to North America’s more North to South (vertical) land. The land’s layout made it more difficult to farm, which is why the Native Americans were not as technologically as far ahead as the Europeans- they were still trying to figure out the most productive farming strategies.
The Europeans had their agriculture and food supply developed and sought out, so they were able to more easily develop and meet all their agriculture needs and move on to domesticating different animals and developing more advanced technology to help them. They had the time to advance their technology as well as their fighting techniques and strategies. The Europeans were also able to broaden their horizons and explore outside of their countries and become conquistadors. The natives did not feel such a desire to and stayed concerned with what they knew- surviving off the land and hunting.
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