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Columbian Exchange

Topics: United States, Native Americans in the United States, Americas, American Revolution / Pages: 4 (789 words) / Published: Oct 28th, 2012
Josh Noble
History 1301 Mon,Wed 3:30
Columbian Exchange
The Columbian exchange was important to our society today, because without it there would not be America like we know it today. The native Americans, Spaniards, English, and the Africans play a great role in starting the Americas. The Native Americans have no nation state, each tribe has their own language, no organized trade routes. Spanish do not bring their families to settle with them, and why is this important? England created the original 13 colonies. The Native Americans had no nation-states, were loosely defined and spoke several hundred different languages. This would have negative consequences for the Native Americans, and they would be easily conquered by the Spanish and English. Furthermore, geography dictated their lives and there was no dense concentration of population and few institutional structures, depending whether the tribe was settled or nomatic. This would accelerate their demise. The Iroquois Confederacy-a nation state-would withstand the European onslaught longer than most and would contribute to the United States Constitution. On a positive note, the Native American livelihood would expedite the Columbian exchange through farming methods such as crop rotation and genetically engineered crops. Over 3/5 of crops grown today across the globe originated in the Americas. However, this would not be enough to save the Native Americans from the diseases and death that would reduce their numbers dramatically. The Spanish do not bring their families to settle with them. This results in few permanent settlements in what becomes the United States. Therefore Spain will not be able to populate the New World like the English will. The Spanish will intermarry with the American Indians, but not in great numbers. A new culture--the Mestizos-- is formed and this helped to begin a cultural globalization. The modern world exists in a state of cultural, political, and economic globalization. During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries two nations, Portugal and Spain, pioneered the European discovery of sea routes that were the first channels of interaction between all of the world's continents, thus beginning the process of contemporary globalization. The politics under the Spanish were the REQUERIMIENTO, Acceptance of Spanish sovereignty which was read to the Native Americans in Spanish. and also the ENCOMIENDA Chose certain colonists to receive Native Americans, Promised to Christianize them, Was “a moral pestilence invented by Satan” according to de Las Casas, Marked by military strength. The politics were harsh, cut off the heads of people and skinned them alive. The church brought laws, customs and religion. They intermarried surviving Native Americans, resulting in Mestizos (Columbus Day). They also created universities, cathedrals, painting companies and begun "modern" society. They set up the mission system, population growth, new economic opportunities that demand new political and social thinking. The rise of nation states/centralized states. Which resulted in traditional patterns of authority breakdown, Reformation (1517). Virginia Charter guaranteed the English colonies the same rights as if they had stayed at home and done nothing. Which was a nightmare for all concerned except the buzzards. Then John Smith entered the scene."He who shall not work shall not eat". The politics of the colonies are important because they will lay the foundation of the American Revolution and ultimately the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The colonies' economic diversity and productivity allowed the colonies to expand. Furthermore, the colonies would prosper and England would want its share. This is what capitalism would be built from, and it would send the colonies into revolt due to England's pressure for profit. The English almost used us as slaves to make money from and make items to trade to make deals with other countries to have better goods. As the Native Americans fell prey to disease and starvation, the Africans came. They were the "middle passage" between iron, cloth, firearms, and sugar, tobacco, and other products. On their travel over to the colonies there was a twenty to thirty percent death rate. The first Africans started off around Cuba working in the sugar fields and slowly working their way into cotton. The slaves were valued second to gold. Gullah was the language created by the slaves so that they could communicate, because they were all from different tribes and areas and couldn't speak the same languages. So they made a mixture of English, Spanish, and their former tribe language. The language was spread rapidly due to slave trading, and some of the words are still used today in the South. Alien worlds were brought together and characterized by mutual incomprehension, the results are Native Americans perished, Europeans migrated, and Africans became slaves in America. Every aspect of life changed. All three cultures interacted continuously without understanding one another.

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