Negative Effects Of The Columbian Exchange

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As a large sum of Americans joyfully anticipate the Columbus Day celebrations, some do not realize the fact that they have fallen prey to celebrating a mass destruction of an innocent and diverse multitude of humanity. This significant harm to people was largely due to the Columbian Exchange. The event describes the mutual exchange of plants, animals, goods and diseases between Europe and Asia. The Columbian Exchange occurred following Christopher Columbus’s discovery in 1492 of the New World, which was the newly discovered areas of North and South America in late 1400s to early 1500s. He coined the term “Indians” to name the native population. To achieve his initial goals, Columbus implemented any means, destructive or beneficial, disregarding…show more content…
As per Howard Zinn’s assertion, “ They[Columbus and his men] had to fill up the ships with something, so in 1495 they went on a great slave raid (Zinn, 5).” In other words, because Columbus couldn’t find gold to fill his ships, he used the natives as slaves to load his ship with “goods.” His initial intent for wealth changed to his intent to exploit the Natives. Zinn furthermore states “Two hundred slaves [out of 500] died on the voyage to Spain. Too many died in captivity (Zinn, 5)”. His statement further confirms that slavery was practiced to an extent such that hundreds died. Such statements suggest that the introduction of slavery was a negative effect of the Columbian Exchange because it caused the Americans to be torn apart from their families resulting in a loss of their unique tradition and…show more content…
As per an account from Bartolome de las Casas, a Spanish priest, the Spanish used of 2000 soldiers, 20 cavalry, “terrible” weaponry, and 20 hunting dogs to execute the Indians (de las Casas, 9). The foreign explorers resorted to killing the natives when they would not comply with the explorers demands, often for goods or riches, or give up their land. Casas further emphasizes his claim writing,”In this way, husbands died in the mines, wives died at work, and children died from lack of milk (de las Casas, 8).” Because the Spanish had an insatiable desire for gold to fill their ships, they often times put the natives to harsh work resulting in death of husbands, wives, and their children. Additionally, the Spanish hunted down the Arawaks and hanged or burned them to death if they could not provide gold to the explorers. Because of the lack of gold they could find, many Arawaks began to commit suicide in multitudes with poison (Zinn, 12). That is to say, in order to keep the Columbian exchange running, the Spanish were desperate to find gold. Consequently, when the Arawaks were unable to find gold, the Spaniards killed the natives resulting in numerous fatalities. Stemming from foreigner’s desires to gather goods to fuel the Columbian Exchange, this event negatively influenced the Americas as many natives who had valuable
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