The Colombian Exchange

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The Colombian exchange was an age of European exploration that began in the late 1400’s, and included the widespread sharing of animals, plants, cultures, ideas, technologies, and diseases between Afro-Eurasian cultures and the native peoples of the Americas. The discovery of the Americans by European explorers brought detrimental effects to the new world through social, cultural, and economical changes. Large social changes became apparent as the Colombian Exchange advanced, and many of these changes can still be identified throughout recent history. For example, when the importation of African slave labor began, the combination of Europeans, Africans, and indigenous peoples led to the the developing of a social hierarchy based on race …show more content…

Wild cattle, sheep, and goats menaced the food crops of Native Americans, thus making their harvests and profits less successful. As the Spanish began to require laborers for mining, they required the young men of Peru to devote a certain amount of labor to public work projects, in a coerced labor system. Villages were compelled to send a percentage of their male population to do the dangerous work in the mines for a paltry wage. Furthermore, the population decrease brought by the Colombian Exchange indirectly caused a drastic labor shortage throughout the Americas. As a result, the Portuguese began to import slaves from Africa, thus beginning the transatlantic slave trade, which also had detrimental effects on the African populations. African laborers became so numerous in the new world, especially in Brazil, and their descendants became the majority population of the Brazilian region. These events caused great economical upset throughout the Americas, as slaves were no longer profiting from their work. Similar to the devastating disease that Europeans brought to the Americas, the migration of Bantu-speakers into Africa during the 14th century brought infectious and parasitic diseases with them, such as malaria, to the people of West Africa. Overall, the Colombian Exchange had devastating effects on the New World, and will continue to be remembered as a period of great social, cultural, and economical upset throughout the

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