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Columbian Exchange


Michael McFadden

on 26 February 2018

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Transcript of Columbian Exchange

The Colombian Exchange was the enormous widespread exchange of plants, animals, human populations, and diseases, between the Eastern and Western hemispheres that occurred after Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas (1492).

What is the
Columbian Exchange?
New foods became staples of human diets, and new growing regions opened up for crops. For example, before AD 1000, potatoes were not grown outside of South America.
What effect do you predict this would have on world population?
One of the first European exports, the horse, changed the lives of many Native American tribes on the Great Plains, allowing them to shift to a nomadic lifestyle based on hunting bison on horseback.
Before the arrival of Europeans, the Llama
was the only domesticated animal in the
New World. Cattle, horses, pigs, sheep,
and many other animals were introduced
into North and South America.
How do you think land use would
change with the introduction of
The Columbian Exchange greatly affected almost every society on earth. New diseases (some from Asia) to which indigenous people had no immunity, depopulated many cultures. By some estimates, nearly 80 percent of the native population of the Americas was wiped out from the introduction of European diseases
Which Native American groups do
you think would be most vulnerable
to disease? The less settled hunter-
gatherer groups, or societies that
were complex, with cities?
Human Populations
As disease wiped out the vast majority
of Native Americans, Spanish settlers in
the Americas began importing Africans
to work the profitable plantations.
At first the crowded cities of Native Americans died first, but in the
end no indigenous groups were safe from Old World disease.
Central Mexico -
25 million people
in 1519. Less than
a million in 1605.

Throughout the Americas-
90% of the Native
population was gone
within 100 years of
Columbus' landing.
Slavery in the Spanish colonies began with the capture and enslavement of local Native Americans. However, as these populations shrank due to imported European diseases, warfare, and famine, African slaves began to be used instead. Beginning in 1502, the enslavement of Africans in Spanish America did not officially end until 1886.
Native People in Latin America today are typically poorest ethnic group, often living on the least fertile land.
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