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The Columbian Exchange
Transcript of The Columbian Exchange
Starting in 1530, cacao was ground down and made into a drink severed to Spanish Monarchs as an early from of hot chocolate. It was commonly flavored with sugarcane and peppers .
In the 1800s, the colonial people of Virginia made a strong alcoholic cider from apples and they sweetened it with honey.
Latin American Studies: http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/colonial/disease-contact.pdf
The Origin of Cacao
The cacao bean was discovered in the early 1500s by the Aztecs. The bean was rare and therefore used as a form of currency and was sacred to their religion.
The Origin of the Honey Bee
The honey bee was first discovered in Southeast Asia in 5000 BCE. Through travel, the honey bee eventually spread to Europe by 400 AD.
The Origin of Smallpox
The first recorded case of smallpox was in 400 AD in India. Through trade and migration, the disease quickly spread to Europe and Africa.
The Spread of Cacao
Hernán Cortes, a Spanish conquistador, found the Aztecs using cacao and brought it back to Spain when he returned home in 1530. In 1590, Jesuit José de Acosta described the drink in his book
The Spanish then flavored the cacao with sugar and pepper and made it into a drink to serve to Spanish monarchs. They kept the cacao a secret until 1600 when it spread around Europe and gained popularity. By 1700, chocolate shops were opening around Europe once people discovered how to make chocolate out of cacao.
The Spread of Honey Bees
From Europe, the honey bee then spread to North America during the early 17th century when the English were migrating to the New World.
The first recorded evidence in the New World was in Virginia in 1648. George Strayton was mentioned in a letter written by his neighbor who was describing his beekeeping buisiness.
The Spread of Smallpox
Smallpox was brought to the New World when ships involved in African slave trade came to Mexico. The first recorded case in America was in 1520 at Veracruz with the arrival of Panfilo de Narvaez.
From Veracruz, smallpox continued to spread through Chile to North America. An outbreak in 1518 killed off Taino people in Mexico. A vaccine was finally invented in 1796 and the disease slowly dissapeared.
Impact of Cacao
Once France found out about cacao, it quickly spread to the rest of Europe. This brought a lot of income to Europe as a whole but it also caused deforestization because of the high demand.
Impact of the Honey Bee
With honey bees in the New World, farming became easier because the plants were better pollinated. Beekeepers were also able to sell honey and candles (from the wax) which helped the economy.
Impact of Smallpox
Smallpox effected the New World because it killed off a lot of the population. This made the economy less stable and the cities less urbanized. 90% of Native Americans died.