The Columbian Exchange Essay example

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The Columbian Exchange is the exchange of plants, animals, food, and diseases between Europe and the Americas. In 1492, when Christopher Columbus came to America, he saw plants and animals he had never seen before so he took them back with him to Europe. Columbus began the trade routes which had never been established between Europe and the Americas so his voyages initiated the interchange of plants between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, which doubled the food crop resources available to people on both sides of the Atlantic. When the Europeans explored the Americas, they were introduced to new plants, foods, and animals, as well as riches and land. Foods such as corn, white and sweet potatoes, beans, tomatoes, cacao, fruits,…show more content…
Grains such as wheat, rye, barley, oats and rice were shared. Citrus fruits, grapes, onions, cabbage, turnips, cotton, coffee, sugarcane, as well as spices and herbs, were among the many other foods and plants introduced to Native American culture. Also introduced were European religion and culture, new tools for agriculture, and new weaponry such as knives and firearms. One consequence of the exchange was mass death. In the search for new routes for trade, people of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas came in contact with each other, causing the spread of disease. Columbus's colonization brought a host of new diseases to the populations of the Americas. Europeans exported their diseases such as influenza, tuberculosis and smallpox. In return, European traders and colonizers returned the Europe with syphilis and typhus from the Americas. The slave trade caused the spread of malaria and yellow fever from Africa to the Caribbean and North America, and yellow fever to Europe. While trying to adapt Native Americans to European customs, Columbus and his followers took advantage of the Indians. The Spanish burned the Natives sacred objects and would not allow them to practice their own religions. They also abused the Natives, enslaving them, taking land from them, and raping their women. Because of the conquistadors quest for gold and other riches,
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