The Early Modern Period- the Columbian Exchange

Topics: Domestication, Columbian Exchange, Population history of American indigenous peoples Pages: 1 (315 words) Published: April 8, 2013
The Columbian Exchange was a time when global diffusion of plants/crops, animals, human populations, and disease took place after voyages of exploration by European mariners. The Columbian Exchange effected both Europe and America from 1492-1750 in a similar way because they gained new resources and gave resources to each other; however, they differ in that Europe was affected in a greater quality, and America was affected in a more unfavorable way.

The plants/crops that Europe received from America were manioc, squash beans, beans, tomatoes, peppers, peanuts, papayas, guavas, avocados, pineapples, corn/maize, potatoes, cacao, and tobacco. The plants/crops and animals that America received from Europe were goats, horses, wheat, vines, cattle, sheep, chickens, pigs, chili, peppers, and sugar cane. Diseases also had a major impact in America along with weapons which were superior to those in the native populations. Europe transferred these diseases to America small pox (was the most severe, caused most death), measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, and influenza.

The Columbian Exchange helped Europe increase in population while it decreased the population in America because of the diseases. Because the population increased in Europe, it helped with colonization and the building of empires. Europeans interacted more with domesticated animals and other people, on the other hand, people in America did not have close contact with domesticated animals which led them to not be able to handle the diseases. Having new animals and crops in America lead to a higher food supply and more animal power. Also, wheat grew in places where maize could not grow. Cattle added variety to American diets. Europe’s trading increased and the population class divided. The amount of rural areas went up as well as land and private property.

The Columbian exchange was a big biological exchange during 1492-1750. It affected America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. From all these, Europe had the...
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