IV. The Early Modern Period, 1500–1800 > A. Global and Comparative Dimensions > 3. Global Interaction Networks > c. The Spread of Diseases
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
 
c. The Spread of Diseases
 
A tragic dimension of early modern global interactions was the exchange of diseases. Populations in the Western Hemisphere lacked established immunities to diseases that were common in the Eastern Hemisphere. As a result, epidemics of SMALLPOX, measles, and other diseases killed whole populations in some regions and more than half of the total population of the hemisphere. In global terms, the increasing levels of contact and population movements created a more uniform level of contact with diseases and immunity. Great plagues like the Black Death of postclassical times became less common, and by the end of the 18th century, pandemic diseases had less ability to destroy entire populations. (See Global and Comparative Dimensions)  1
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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