War, financial systems, and political intrigue have long fascinated historians of all fields. Alfred W. Crosby Jr, in the Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 attempted to rectify this flaw in the historiography on the convergence of the Eastern and Western Hemispheres by arguing that “the most important changes brought on by the Columbian voyages were biological in nature.” (xiv) The legacy of this book is the emphasis Crosby places on the “Columbian Exchange” as a major factor in world development. He demonstrates how the reciprocal exchange of plants, animals, people, and diseases between the “Old World” and the “New” drastically altered the ecology and demography throughout the world. The Columbian Exchange is
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.
The trading of foreign products between the eastern world and the Americas was the Columbian exchange that formed modern America. The exchange of culture, crops, livestock, diseases and ideas paved a foundation for how assimilated the world would become. For so long it has been a disregarded topic people rarely contemplate, but its significance is grand in understanding how each part of the world is composed. The Columbian exchange took place following the voyage of Christopher Columbus to the Americas (Nunn, Qian). Consequently, a multitude of civilizations began to migrate to the New World, and with them their own cultural effects.
The Columbian Exchange was the exchange of goods animals and plants from one country to another. The Columbian Exchange had many impacts. Some of them can still be seen today. One example is introduction of new species. Another is the slave trade that happened.
Historians differ on what they think about the net result of the European arrival in the New World. Considering that the Columbian Exchange, which refers to “exchange of plants, animals, people, disease, and culture between Afro-Eurasia and the Americas after Columbus sailed to the Americas in 1492,” led to possibly tens of millions of deaths on the side of the American Indians, but also enabled agricultural and technological trade (Henretta et al. 42), I cannot help but reflect on whether the effects should be addressed as a historical or a moral question. The impact that European contact had on the indigenous populations of North America should be understood as a moral question because first, treating it as a historical question is difficult due to lack of reliable historical evidence; second, the meaning of compelling historical claims is contestable as the academic historian perspective tends to view the American Indian oral history as invalid; and finally, what happened to the native Indians is morally repulsive and must be discussed as such. The consequences of European contact should be answered as a moral question because historically, it is hard to be historically objective in the absence of valid and dependable historical evidence.
The Columbian Exchange had major effects on both European societies and also the native societies, eventually changing both of their lives drastically forever. As The Europeans came and settled in America throughout the late 1400s and early 1500s they concorded America as their own, this would drastically change the European societies forever. As a result of the new settlements Native Americans would be pushed and moved out of their homeland as well. The new European settlements grew larger and larger over the mid 1500s. The first two countries to bring settlements to America were Spain and Portugal and soon to follow were France and England.
Many years ago, a continental drift split North and South America from Eurasia and Africa. As they remained separated, new species of plants and animals developed and evolved on each continent. The Columbian Exchange was a period of physical exchanges between the Old and New worlds. The Old and the New worlds exchanged diseases, populations, crops, and animals. All of these exchanges were brought to the Americas after Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the Americas.
The “Columbian Exchange” also known as The Great Exchange occurred during the 15th and 16th centuries. It consisted of the transfer and/or trade of animals, culture, plants as well as humans such as the slave trade. From potatoes to chocolate and everything in between many foods and spices were transferred during the “Columbian Exchange” and ultimately became prominent food items. Additionally, livestock as well as other domesticated animals were also transferred changing the ways of many cultures for the better. However, during this trade several diseases were unintentionally transferred as well.
William Cronon’s Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England Interprets and analyzes the changing conditions in New England’s wildlife communities such as plant and animal that happened to shift from Native American dominance to European dominance. Cronon explains that the transition from Indian to European dominance in New England entailed important changes, commonly known to historians, on how these people organized their lives, but it also involves basic reorganizations, less well known to historians, in the region’s plant and animal communities (Cronon, xv). As the distant world and occupants of Europe were bit by bit introduced to North America’s ecosystem, the limits between the two were obscured. Cronon utilizes an assortment of proof to clarify the circumstances that prompted the dramatic ecological consequences following European contact with New England such as deforestation and different understandings that result in confusion. For the newly arriving European settlers, the landscape held symbolic meaning and value to both environmental and economic.
Impact of the Columbian Exchange DBQ With the discovery of the New World in 1492, a new chapter of world history began, one that was shaped and forever changed by the Columbian Exchange, a mass bacterial, economic, and plant interchange between the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia that greatly impacted the New World. The Columbian exchange proved instrumental in the devastating bacterial transfer that decimated the native New World peoples in the 15th and 16th centuries. Although some deaths were admittedly caused by the deliberate torture and destruction inflicted upon the Natives by the Europeans, Dinesh D'Souza stressed the significant impact that disease had on the Old World’s death toll. The Europeans unknowingly infected millions with the deadly measles and smallpox pathogens. The consequential catastrophic genocide was a result of the natives’ complete lack of immunity to foreign bacteria.