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The Columbian Exchange
The arrival of the Spanish ([pic]) in the Americas ([pic]) brought more than a clash ([pic]) of peoples and cultures. It also brought a movement of plants ([pic]), animals ([pic]), and diseases ([pic]) between the Eastern and Western hemispheres ([pic]). This movement of living things between hemispheres is called the Columbian Exchange. One result of the Columbian Exchange was the transfer of germs from Europe to the Americas. When Europeans came to America, they brought with them germs ([pic]) that caused diseases such as smallpox ([pic]) measles ([pic]), and influenza ([pic]). Native Americans had no immunity to them. Although exact numbers ([pic]) are unknown, historians estimate that diseases brought by Europeans killed ([pic]) more than 20 million ([pic]) Native Americans in Mexico ([pic]) in the first century after conquest. Many scholars agree that the population of Native Americans in Central America ([pic]) decreased by 90 to 95 percent between the years 1519 and 1619. The result was similar in Peru ([pic]) and other parts of the Americas. A Spanish missionary ([pic]) in Mexico described the effects of smallpox on the Aztecs. A VOICE FROM THE PAST
There was a great havoc. Very many died of it. They could
not walk. . . . They could not move; they could not stir; they could not change position, nor lie on one side; nor face
down, nor on their backs. And if they stirred, much did they cry out. Great was its destruction.
Bernardino de Sahagún, quoted in Seeds of Change
Other effects of the Columbian Exchange were more positive([pic]) . The Spanish brought many plants([pic]) and animals([pic]) to the Americas. European livestock—cattle([pic]), pigs([pic]), and horses([pic])—all thrived in the Americas. Crops from the Eastern Hemisphere, such as...
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