Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Two big controversies continue to be debated about what happened to Native Americans when Europeans arrived in the Western Hemisphere to conquer and colonize. The first controversy is over how many people were present and thus what was the scale of the depopulation. The second controversy is over what caused the depopulation. Most researchers agree that there are two main culprits: the introduction of new diseases from the Old World and the stresses caused by conquest and colonization. This article first looks at the evidence for the pre-contact population of Mesoamerica. Then, it discusses the casualties of conquest. The important controversy over the causes of depopulation after conquest is then investigated in depth. Research on this subject is still ongoing.

Keywords: Native Americans, colonization, depopulation, Mesoamerica

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.