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De Soto’s expedition of the North America had a lot of effects on the natives. The major one being, the deaths caused by diseases carried by those in the expedition group. They were carrying infectious diseases like measles, chicken pox and smallpox. The natives contacted these diseases and many died. This caused depopulation in the areas passed by the expedition group. The natives who survived from the diseases fled from their villages to other parts. This caused a change in social structure in the region.

Many families were broken as women were captured and men lost their lives in battle with De Soto’s men. War was another main cause of death in the areas where the expedition passed. They initiated war in every region they passed destructing the normal activities that were being carried out in the regions.

De Soto had with him three hundred hogs, as mobile meat which could spread diseases like anthrax among the native wildlife.  Many wild animals died from these diseases. Many free roaming wild animals like wolves were killed and became extinct by the year 1730, but squirrels crows survived. Long after De Soto’s departure in the region, Spain had a strong presence in the region and they exchanged animal skins for making leather and gloves for metal knives, guns and jewellery.

This trade changed their traditional hunting of wild animals for food as they started hunting for trade. Deer’s were their favourite kill and the deer’s were in the verge of being extinct but the natives fought amongst themselves and they quickly multiplied.

De Soto had also brought along some swine’s which ran away and became the ancestors of the razorback pigs which are now found in the south-eastern parts of America. The natives did not like the expedition and this led to hostility between the natives and the Europeans.

 

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