Thanks much, Manda Jo, for saying what I was going to. It’s sort of like asking, “How did the British manage to hang on to Roarke’s Drift in South Africa when there was only a hundred of them, whilst Cetshwayo’s army numbered over 10,000 Zulu warriors?” Well…I realize it’s not “P.C.” to say this, but the British had advanced rifles, artillery, Gatling guns, cavalry, and an uncomparable navy, not to mention a fantastic amount of modern industrial output. The Zulus were pastoral people who tended cattle for a living and made whatever metal implements they had by hand. Plus, they were fighting with a somewhat more advanced version of sticks and stones; i.e., assegais and spears, which was fine if you were fighting the Swazis or the Pygmies, but it just wasn’t going to do much for you if you were up against the 99th Regiment of Foot, the 91st Highlanders, the 17th Lancers, the 21st Royal Scots Fusiliers, the 60th Rifle Regiment, and the 1st King’s Dragoon Guards.
Same thing in North America: the native people here simply did not have anything in the way of weaponry, tactics, or advanced technology that was anywhere near what the Europeans had. I have no idea where you heard that they did, or that the two cultures were roughly equal, but take it from a college history major who graduated with honors: THAT idea is total politically correct bullshit that has absolutely no basis whatsoever in reality. Anybody who tells you differently is not only full of crap, you can go back and tell them that I said they’re full of crap. Look at the difference in architecture, for example: Europeans had built massive castles and huge cathedrals for centuries, while Native American peoples lived in buffalo skin tents and birchbark huts. As for the question of why the Europeans developed these things when the American, Asian, and African cultures did not, I have no idea. Ask a sociologist, if you can find one who’ll be honest with you.
The only other things that I would add are that the Europeans had something else that the Native Americans did not: the horse. There were no horses in North America prior to their being introduced by the Spanish in the 16th century; and if you have an armed body on horseback with firearms fighting an armed body on foot with bows and arrows, the outcome is already decided. Secondly, I too would strongly recommend anything written by Jared Diamond, who is an excellent author on any subject he chooses to write on.