Take the 2-minute tour ×
History Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for historians and history buffs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Thinking about the problems which the natives of the Americas suffered when they met the Europeans, I wondered how a man of the past could survive in the modern age. Problems could be caused by pollution, different viruses/bacteria, different food (I wouldn't consider social/mental problems, only physical ones).

Of course we can't know it for sure, due to obvious lack of specimens, what I'm asking if there has been any well-thought theory about that, educated guesses, anything based of facts we know and what we can safely assume.

The "past" is left vague on purpose: as long as it's at least 100-200 years old it would be fine — though I can safely guess people from before the Industrial age would suffer much more than those who came after.

share|improve this question
    
Note that native Americans died of those diseases because they had been cut off from the rest of the world and had had no contact to the germ. Europe, Asia, and Africa were always quick to share their diseases. (I think the plague is supposed to have jumped from rats to humans somewhere in Asia, and then went to kill half of Europe. When the measles hit Faeroe island after 65 years in 1846, 99.5% of those younger than 65 became infected. Measles also killed more than a 4th of the Hawaiian population in 1848 and a 4th of the inhabitants of the Fiji islands in 1874.) –  sbi Apr 8 '12 at 19:28
    
Americans of European descent have marked increase in death rate to small pox as well. It's not as high as the Native Americans, but its higher, so changes like this do happen over a couple hundred years. The Americans innoculated their troops in the Revolutionary War to prevent the British from using germ warfare against us as they had used on the Indians. Theoretically, a person who time traveled from the past from only a few hundred years would be more likely to catch a deadly disease. I can't offer a scholarly reference for you on this subject though. –  Razie Mah Feb 17 at 12:34

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.