posted on Jul, 18 2010 @ 03:22 PM
reply to post by speculativeoptimist
You pose the question on why the "native fever" theory is not well known.
I thinks it's quite new and not entirely proven? I suppose many scholars of that period will not retract their research on smallpox and Western
viruses without a fight.
But there may be ideological reasons for this too.
Firstly, horrific disease like Ebola are easier imagined elsewhere (in Africa) by the large US population, while "wild" smallpox was contained by
1977. Diseases can also carry stigmas (as we know from AIDS, during which gays and the Haitian immigrants were heavily stigmatized), and I believe
there's already xenophobia and a tense situation around the US/Mexican border.
Viruses brought by the invaders also satisfy politically correct views of history, since at least superficially they explain the conquest of perhaps
15 million Amerindians by relatively small groups of invaders. A more recent view (also supported by Apocalypto) claims that the Aztecs and Inca were
already weakened by imported dieases, which preceded the conquests along native trade routes.
However, the Aztecs and Inca were not very popular amongst the people they ruled, and both Pizarro and Cortez were supported by massive Indian armies.
Pizarro was saved by his Indian concubine, Donna Angelina, whose mother sent armies to defend him at the Battle of Lima, and Cortez was supported by
the Tlaxcalans and other rebellious city states ruled by the Aztecs. To see the conquests as indigenous civil wars merely inspired by foreigners
complicates simplistic views, which extend from politics to viruses. In fact the term "Aztec" is used generically in the documentary for all the
Mexicans, which to my knowledge is anthropologically incorrect.
So, from a number of positions the post-conquest "native virus" theory is not very convenient. It complicates things that people thought they had
[edit on 18-7-2010 by halfoldman]