Plagues and Peoples by William H. McNeill is an extraordinary historical read consisting of humankind’s records and assumptions of disease throughout our known past. From the construction of early human migrations up until briefly mentioned cases of disease within the 20th century, the original book was published in 1975. The version I acquired, however, was a version printed with a revised preface discussing Ebola and Aids which was re-published in 1998.
In the last post, we discussed Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, the fall of the Aztec and Inca Empires, and the terrible diseases that plagued the New World. However, now that this New World, the Americas, have been “discovered”, it’s about time that European societies get interested. Up until this point in time, Europeans saw these two continents as nothing but a burden, obstacles in the way to easy trading markets in China and India. To understand the colonization of America, we have to understand the colonial movements of some of the important European powers.