Every time I hear about the awfulness of biological warfare
and nasty diseases like anthrax
, I think of the native americans
, the people who found the colonists' secret weapon.
Americans sometimes talk about the great frontier, and a vast unexplored country waiting to be settled, looking back into a rosy past. The truth is, America was inhabited. The number of native Americans was at least equivalent to India or China... they had a culture which was the basis of democracy in American (the Boston Tea Party dressed up as Indians to symbolize democracy and freedom, not to play dress up), and the mid-west was populated by farmers, not the hunters on the East Coast.
But when the colonists came to the midwest, there was no one there. All the indians had been wiped out by smallpox. The indians had no natural defenses against plague diseases, and as a result it hit them harder than any black plague. 95 out of 100 people died in the plagues; a mortality rate of 95%. Even the black plague only killed off a third of the population.
So that's why America is great today -- all the natives were dead before they could fight off the invaders. If they had been alive, there is no question that they could have survived against the English and the French, the same way that China and India managed to survive. America could have been conquered, but never settled -- the indians would have fought for their freedom if they could. But they were all dead.
Source: Lies my Teacher told me.