The Columbian Exchange was the exchange of agriculture, livestock, food, religious ideas, diseases, and evidently slaves between the New World and Old World after 1492. This exchange between the two worlds was brought on by the “discovery” of America by Christopher Columbus in 1492. This ecological change resulted in the introduction of new vegetation and animals to the New and Old Worlds as positive effects of this grand exchange, but the negative effects include the new, deadly diseases spread throughout the New World, killing millions of people.
The world is arguably a better world because of the effects of the Columbian Exchange after 1492. Examples of the positive outcome is the introduction of new fruits and vegetation such as banana, wheat, orange, peach, and rice to the New World, and Beans, Cocoa, corn, tomato, and potato to the Old World. This spread of agriculture led to a greater surplus of varieties of food used to boost the world’s population. Another example of the positive outcome is the introduction of animals between the Eastern and Western hemispheres. Europe transported animals such as horses, cattle, dogs, cats, sheep, chicken, and swine to the Americas. The Native Americans living in America were able to take advantage of their newly acquired horses by using the horses to hunt bison. Horses also made traveling easier for the nomads and hunters. Animals such as the gray squirrel, muskrat, turkey were brought from America over to Europe in this exchange of animals. This grand exchange led to the renowned birth of the Florida oranges, Texas cattle, and Hawaiian pineapples that shape the modern world.
The negative effects of this grand exchange, however, include the distribution of deadly diseases such as malaria, the bubonic plague, the flu, and smallpox from the Old World to the New World. The smallpox accounted for most of the deaths of the Native Americans. This disease had killed probably millions of Native... [continues]
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