America Before Columbus Essay

662 Words May 7th, 2010 3 Pages
America Before Columbus

In the age just before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, there was abundant life, lifestyles, and necessities that sustained that. In the 1500s, Europe was as tense as ever. Kings and popes raise armies to fight against one another. The population capacity of Europe at this time was around one hundred million people. At this point, Isabella, the Queen of Spain, is the most powerful woman in Europe as well. Livestock and agriculture grown in Europe became important as the Columbian Exchange slowly overtook the Americas. Water and wind were harnessed for power on farms, and domesticated animals were a crucial element of farm life also. Pigs and sheep were the main source of meat and leather. Mules pulled
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In Europe, people cut down forests for fuel and space; wars and huge buildings, like cathedrals also took large amounts of trees, even whole forests sometimes. Venice was the richest city, and it was entirely built on wood—literally. Kings and queens sent explorers out across the globe because they were desperate for resources, and Isabella sent Columbus to India. He set out in 1492 with a ragtag band of desperados and murderers and arrived in Cuba, what they thought was Asia. They left 8 pigs, and in 8 years, the population grew to 30,000 on the island of Cuba alone. That was only the beginning of the Columbian Exchange. Over the next decade or so, many diseases, fruits, vegetables, animals, plants, and cultures will be mixed together. Monks went to find new converts, Spaniards left death and destruction wherever they went, the mustang was introduced to the Americas, England became the new superpower of the world, and the slave trade began to climb toward an economic peak. I learned many new details of life in the Americas and Europe before Columbus reached Cuba. For instance, I had no idea someone could mistake a large mound of dirt for a glacier, or the crazy explosion of pig and horse population in the Americas. But I’m struck by a thought: it’s not really the Columbian Exchange, because it doesn’t spread both ways equally. I think it should more
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