Effects of Columbian Exchange Essay

820 Words Oct 30th, 2010 4 Pages
The Effects of the Columbian Exchange It was the year 1492, and a man by the name of Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain where he then landed in the present day Americas, sparking one of the most important events in the world, the Columbian exchange. The Columbian exchange has shaped the world to what it is today with the exchange of goods from the Old World to the New World, and vice versa. The Columbian exchange caused numerous short and long-term effects in the Americas and many other parts of the world. The short-term effects of the Columbian exchange included the outbreak of disease, which led to a sudden drop in the population of the indigenous peoples. In the beginning of the sixteenth century Spanish and Portuguese …show more content…
The foods that were brought back to the Old World such as, potatoes and corn proved a vital and necessary resource to the Europeans. Another short-term effect of the Columbian exchange was the migration of African slaves to the Americas. The majority of the Africans that were enslaved were caught in village raids or were war captives. They were caught by other Africans and sold to the European slave traders for money and other prized possessions. For slaves, the voyage known as the Middle Passage was a terrifying and perilous journey, with a death rate potentially as high as 50%. The long-term effects of the Columbian exchange included the swap of food, crops, and animals between the New World and Old World, and the start of the transoceanic trade. In order to produce a profit, Portuguese explorers were the first to established sugar cane plantations in Brazil. They then sold this crop to the Old World where it was a popular commodity because it provided Europeans with a sweetener for foods. In addition, European produce was brought to the New World, including “…wheat, vines, horses, cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, and chickens… Where they sharply increased supplies of food and animal energy.” This fusion of crops between the Old and New World became fundamental in enhancing the diets and food of both populations.
The trading routes, created by the desire from both the New and Old World for exotic foods and animals,
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