Major Effects Of The Columbian Exchange

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There are a few life-changing events that change the course of history. One of these such events was the Columbian Exchange which was the transfer of plants, animals, and people between the Americas and the Old World. This began when Columbus landed in America. This one event had many lasting effects, including the spread of diseases to the new world, enslavement of Africans for labor, and economic opportunity with the massive increase in silver.

Columbus accidently started the Columbian exchange by discovering America while looking for economic opportunity. He was looking for a way to sail and trade directly with Asia. After he realized that the place he landed wasn 't Asia he realized the natives had gold, so he took it back to Spain. One major effect of the Columbian Exchange was the spread of diseases. When Columbus and other explorers ventured to the Americas they spread European diseases to the natives. These diseases destroyed America 's population because the natives had no natural immunities. Robert W. Strayer explains in his book Ways of the World how disease devastated the native population. "When they came in contact with European or African diseases, Native American peoples died in appalling numbers, in many cases up to 90 percent of the population. The densely settled peoples of Caribbean islands virtually vanished within fifty years of Columbus 's arrival."1 (ways of the world p 622-623) And because there were few natives, vast amounts of Europeans sailed

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