Before the middle of the 17th century, the native population in Mexico bottomed out at perhaps less than ten percent of the pre-conquest population. After that, it began a slow recovery. After studying what the Spanish did to the Caribbean and periphery, what they did to the Aztecs and Mesoamerica, what they did to the Incas and South America, their “explorations” into North America, what the Portuguese did to Brazil, and after looking at the death rates in the mines, plantations and periphery, I estimate that more than 10 million natives died as a direct result of the violence and greed of the Spanish and Portuguese during the 1500s, and perhaps even 20 million (in Alexander Del Mar's , he estimated 20 million deaths in the mining operations alone). Some can argue for as few as ten million (while others argue that there were not ten million natives in the whole hemisphere), and others can argue for as many as 30 million. European diseases killed off another 50 million natives or so in the 1500s, and the Spanish and Portuguese labor practices probably contributed substantially to those 50 million deaths. It is within the range of modern estimates to say that the New World’s human population declined by 90% during the first century of the European invasion, or by about 70 million people, and even the low end of the modern estimates have around 30 million natives dying, for "only" a 75% depopulation. It is an immense tally, with nothing in world history to compare it to.


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