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How did smallpox affect the Aztecs?

How did smallpox affect the Aztecs?

First, it killed many of its victims outright, particularly infants and young children. Many other adults were incapacitated by the disease – because they were either sick themselves, caring for sick relatives and neighbors, or simply lost the will to resist the Spaniards as they saw disease ravage those around them.

How many Aztecs were affected by smallpox?

When Cortés and his army began their campaign against the Aztecs in 1519, over 30 million people were living in Mexico. One hundred years later, after a series of smallpox epidemics had decimated the local population, it is estimated only around 1.5-3 million natives had survived.

How many Aztecs died of smallpox?

The 1545 cocoliztli pestilence in what is today Mexico and part of Guatemala came just two decades after a smallpox epidemic killed an estimated 5-8 million people in the immediate wake of the Spanish arrival. A second outbreak from 1576 to 1578 killed half the remaining population.

How did the smallpox epidemic affect Hernan Cortes assault on the Aztecs?

Cortés retreated east to Tlaxcala, where his army slowly regained its strength over the course of more than five months. Smallpox had been introduced to the Aztecs through the Spanish, and during those months the disease killed half of Tenochtitlán’s inhabitants, among them the emperor Cuitláhuac.

Did the Aztecs get smallpox?

Smallpox was an unknown disease not only in Mexico, but in all the Americas, before the arrival of Europeans. It was introduced to Mexican lands by the Spanish and played a significant role in the downfall of the Aztec Empire. However, Cuitláhuac and other native rulers also died of smallpox.

What caused the death of Native Americans?

In addition to deliberate killings and wars, Native Americans died in massive numbers from infections endemic among Europeans. Much of this was associated with respiratory tract infections, including smallpox, tuberculosis, measles, and influenza (1, 2).

When were Aztec wiped out?

The Aztecs were conquered by Spain in 1521 after a long siege of the capital, Tenochtitlan, where much of the population died from hunger and smallpox. Cortés, with 508 Spaniards, did not fight alone but with as many as 150,000 or 200,000 allies from Tlaxcala, and eventually other Aztec tributary states.

What disease killed the Aztec?

Previous studies have suggested typhus, smallpox and measles as possible causes of the massive Aztec demise. In 2002, researchers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City proposed that a viral hemorrhagic fever, combined with drought, killed millions of Aztecs .

How did smallpox reach America?

Smallpox is believed to have arrived in the Americas in 1520 on a Spanish ship sailing from Cuba, carried by an infected African slave . As soon as the party landed in Mexico, the infection began its deadly voyage through the continent.

What is the conquest of Tenochtitlan?

The Conquest of Tenochtitlan. The Conquest of Tenochtitlan, 1519-1521. The conquest of the Aztecs by a small band of conquistadores, led by Hernan Cortes , is another example of a very small army that defeated a much larger one.