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Disease and DiscriminationPoverty and Pestilence in Colonial Atlantic America$
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Dale L. Hutchinson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062693

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062693.001.0001

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Of Plagues and Peoples

Of Plagues and Peoples

(p.14) 2 Of Plagues and Peoples
Disease and Discrimination

Dale L. Hutchinson

University Press of Florida

Two major historical trends in the Old World initiated the development of infectious disease pools and the global spread of pathogens across previously intractable geographic boundaries: new agricultural complexes and increasing migration and trade. In 1491, Europeans were about to inaugurate those same changes in the New World. Agriculture, the production of and increased reliance on domesticated plants and animals, was associated with many changes in behavior and alterations of environment. Agriculture stimulated a trend toward the built environment through landscape alterations such as cleared fields, terraces, raised fields, ridged fields, and irrigation complexes. Fields and irrigation complexes, especially raised fields and wet rice fields, created aquatic habitats for the reproduction of mosquitoes and other insects (arthropod vectors) that transmit germs.

Keywords:   Agriculture, Old World, Migration

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