When the countries of Europe decided to develop the New World, they were primarily interested in the exploitation of its natural resources. Labor was necessary, and the cheaper the better. The Europeans looked to the Indians, who were readily available, but they were excessively inhuman in the employment of Indian slaves in the mines of Haiti, and working in the fields of the Caribbean almost wiped the Indians out. The Indians were very susceptible to the European diseases, and their background did not prepare them for the regime of the plantation system and eliminated them as workers in the economic system developed by the Europeans. The search for acceptable workers in large numbers became a major preoccupation of the English and Spanish colonists in the seventeenth century.