Colonial Habits of Mind

Alvin Josephy acknowledged the havoc wreaked on indigenous Americans by diseases, wars, and alcohol, but he said many times that the most pernicious impact on the Americans was Eurocentrism, the idea that the newcomers’ cultures and notions of religion and politics were superior to those of the people they met when they got off the boats in the Caribbean and on the North and South Atlantic new world coasts.
When you read that the populations of the Americas, which might have been over 70 million when Columbus arrived,  were reduced by 70-90 percent with the initial introduction of measles, smallpox, malaria, and other European and African diseases, that the Northeast coastline was devastated by disease before the Pilgrims landed, that 75 percent of the remaining population of Indians (smallpox had made it around the Horn in the 1700s and done its damage) in the Willamette Valley was killed off and Sauvie
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