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The Impact Of The Columbian Exchange On Indigenous People

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In the late 13th century there was a large movement toward finding new routes by sea to trade with Asian countries. This movement was motivated by the greed of monarchies to accumulate wealth; gain power against rivals; and to spread Christianity. However, the primary motive of exploration was commerce. The Europeans were “starved for gold and silver,” which they needed to purchase goods in Asia, such as spices gems, silks, spices, and other luxuries. As countries, like Spain, set sail in attempts to locate new western trade routes to China, they’ll find what becomes known as the New World, and will have a major impact on the lives the indigenous peoples—Native Americans—through, personal interactions, the transplantation of animals, plants,…show more content…
The Columbian Exchange was the massive, intercontinental transplantation of animal, plants, and diseases that followed Europeans to the New World. While not all of these transplants were done intentionally, the all had serious consequences. The European cattle, pigs, horse, and the other large domestic animals that were brought to the New World were grazers and rapidly changed landscapes. In one of the worst examples, the highlands of Central Mexico were completely stripped and left deserts after the introduction of sheep to the area. Additionally, the farming practices and the food of the indigenous people changed as Europeans took over native’s farms and started harvesting for their own benefit. An example of one crop grown in the New World was the Andean Potato, which thrives when grown in cool, wet climates—such as that of the tropical New World. The potatoes were shipped back to Europe in exchange for supplies and the influx of potatoes in Northern Europe caused a rapid growth in…show more content…
However, due to colonialism hundreds of previously isolated cultures were assimilated for the first time. European farmers, ranchers, and other agents of the Columbian Exchange played a major role in the transformation of the New World, bringing new livestock, plants, and disease to the New World. While this caused many consequences, it stimulated much growth back home in Eurasia. In addition to the enslavement of the native peoples, we quickly see the emergence of a transatlantic slave trade system composed of Sub-Saharan Africans. However, for the first time we see a truly globally integrated
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