Change over Time: the Americas

Topics: Christopher Columbus, Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Europe Pages: 1 (324 words) Published: March 28, 2009
Change Over Time: The Americas

The social and economic transformations in the Americas occured as a result of new contacts with Europe and Africa from 1450-1750. Large scale European immigration occured shortly after the voyages of Christopher Columbus starting in 1492. Immagrants came over to flee from religious persecution, seek economic opprotunities, part of government sponsored attempts to found colonies, or forcibly transported there as slaves or prisoners. As more and more people came to America they brought with them crops, livestock, and diseases.

The Columbian exchange greatly affected the American society. It brought with it diseases, crops, and livestock. There were devastating effects of Old World diseases on Native American populations. Infectious diseases, such as smallpox, resulted in the largest death toll in the New World. New foods became staples of human diets and new growing regions opened up for crops. Two of Americas major cash crops, sugar and coffee, come from Africa and Asia. Livestock from the Europe also flourished in the New World. One of Europeans first imports, the horse, changed th lives of many Native American tribes.

Trade began to become a big part of life in America. The transatlantic triangular trade operated in the 17th and 18th centuries between West Africa, the Americas, and European colonial powers. The trade represented a profitable enterprise of enslaved Africans. The use of slaves was fundamental to growing the colonial cash crops in the New World.

A constant problem in the Americas was the dissagreements between the Natives and the European settlers. The settlers imposed their economic and religious beliefs on the Natives. They often tried to convert them to the European way of living. Europeans took over their land by using their advanced technology and enslaved them as workers or maids on plantations. This led to the constant wars and revolts between these two groups and ended up in many deaths of not...
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