America Before Columbus And The Columbian Exchange

1597 Words Sep 14th, 2016 7 Pages
In modern America, we often take for granted the natural world that surrounds us and the American culture which is built upon it. For many of us, we give little thought to the food sources that sustain and natural habitats that surround us because when viewed for what they are, most people assume that they have “simply existed” since the country was founded. However, the documentary ‘America Before Columbus’ provided this writer an extremely interesting record of how the America we know came to exist. In the documentary, one of the most interesting discussions centered on the fact that it was not merely the arrival of conquistadors and colonists that irrevocably changed the landscape of the Americas, but that it was also the coined term known as the “Columbian Exchange” that afforded these travelers the ability to proliferate so successfully. The basic definition of the Columbian exchange is one that defines the importation of European flora and fauna. It could also loosely represent other imports, both intended and unintended, such as tools, implements, and even disease. Armed with this definition, it takes little imagination to envision how differently the Americas might have developed had any significant amount of the native European flora, fauna, or other unintended import not been conveyed to the Americas through the Columbian Exchange. Beyond the arrival of explorers, settlers, and colonists to the New World, the breadth of what the Columbian Exchange represented to…
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