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The Columbian Exchange: The Age Of Discovery

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The Columbian Exchange: The Age Of Discovery
Matthew Forbus
Mrs. Fails
Advanced U.S. VA History
8/22/14
Columbian Exchange
In the late 15th and early 16th centuries explorers wanted to discover new lands due to overpopulation and curiosity of what the world was. This was called the Age of Discovery; a time when sailors set sail and went to discover more about the world. During this period, when sailors landed on the Americas, the Spanish, French, and English colonies looted the lands and also traded with the locals, causing the Columbian Exchange. The Columbian Exchange was hard on the new world with Diseases wiping out a lot of the indigenous population. On the other hand, the columbian exchange was good with increasing trade of commodities and people and making the lives of both worlds
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When the European colonies arrived they brought with them several diseases that made the lives of the Native Americans horrible. The introduction of diseases such as smallpox, measles, and mumps ultimately wiped out 50 to 90 percent of the population at that time. A side effect of these diseases was when these people died there were not many people left to grow crops or kill animals, resulting in starvation. The Europeans also took back a disease that would change the course of many battles and cause several wars. Syphilis was brought back by the sailors who went and slept with women in the Americas, which soon spread to the kings and other rulers. This drove some of them into insanity, starting wars and making decisions that they probably would not make under different conditions.
Diseases weren’t the only thing the explorers brought with them; they brought Commodities like food and animals with them as well. Some of the foods the Europeans brought over were grapes and wheat, which we now grow here in America. The food the Europeans sailors took back helped change Europe’s population as well, more than doubling their populations between 1650 and 1850 with the help of the potato, sweet potato, corn, and maniaqua cassava. The Europeans also brought animals with them such as pigs, cows, and horses, lessening the stress of travel and food on the Native American

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