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Today Native Americans make up 1.37% of the population of the United States. There is no conclusive evidence to determine how many native people lived in North America before Columbus. David Stannard notes that more conservative demographers cite a figure of about 7 or 8 million inhabitants. The Library of Congress uses 900,000 as the total number in its educational article “Destroying the Native American Cultures” By 1900, the Native American population in the United States had dwindled to approximately 250,000. As the direct result of written and broken treaties, warfare, and of forced assimilation the Indians were virtually destroyed by the European immigration that created the United States. Scholars believe that among causes of the overwhelming population decline of the American natives were new infectious diseases carried by Europeans. They had no acquired immunity to such diseases, which had been chronic in Eurasian populations for centuries. For instance, some estimates indicate case fatality rates of 80–90% in Native American populations during smallpox epidemics.
According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census (1894), "The Indian wars under the government of the United States have been more than 40 in number. They have cost the lives of about 19,000 white men, women and children, including those killed in individual combats, and the lives of about 30,000 Indians.
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