Paul R. Bartrop


The genocide of indigenous peoples throughout the Americas represents one of the greatest and most extensive human catastrophes in history. The pace and magnitude of the destruction varied from region to region over the years, but it can safely be concluded that, in the two-and-a-half centuries following Christopher Columbus’ ‘‘discovery’’ of the Americas in 1492, probably 95% of the pre-Columbian population was wiped out—by disease as well as by deliberate policy on the part of the Spanish, the French, the English, and, ultimately, the American-born heirs of those colonizing nations.