How the Columbian Exchange Changed Our World Forever

Decent Essays

Products like potatoes, tomatoes, chocolate and tobacco have become part of our everyday life. However, only since the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus these products had been brought to our regions. After this discovery, the Columbian exchange started: products were transported from the New World to the Old World and vice versa. This exchange had an enormous influence on the world: without the Columbian exchange, the world would not be the same as the one we know today. In his essay, Charles C. Mann (2007) called the exchange the most important event after the death of the dinosaurs. Firstly, the Columbian exchange dramatically transformed the American ecological environment. Charles C. Man (2007) explained that, due to the success of Rolfe’s tobacco plantation in Jamestown, English earthworms had been transported from the Old World to the New World. As the worms were extinct on the American mainland, these invertebrates caused a lot of damage to the ecosystem when they ate the foliage beneath the trees. When it rained, all the nutrients, which had been stored in the litter, were leached away. As a consequence, many trees died because they needed these nutrients. As a result, the landscape became more open than it had been before. However, the worms were not the only ones responsible for the drastic change in the American landscape. Besides the worms, the colonists themselves transformed the original landscape by shipping their domestic animals to the New

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