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The Columbian Exchange
Transcript of The Columbian Exchange
The Columbian Exchange was the massive exchange of agricultural goods, slave labor, communicable diseases, and ideas between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. It began in 1492CE. It is known to be the most significant event of modern history.
For reasons beyond human control, the Columbian Exchange massively benefited the people of Europe and its colonies while bringing catastrophe to Native Americans.
The Europeans brought over:
Europeans brought back:
Smallpox, Measles, Malaria, Typhus
How the exchange impacted
the Native Americans
Europeans brought over new diseases.
Europeans conquer & enslave
The first time Native Americans had never seen a horse, pig, sheep or cow.
Europeans quickly conquer all civilization they encounter.
Europeans believe they were sent to convert the Natives to Christianity.
Fruit & Vegetables
Died from multiple diseases they had never been exposed to before
Many Natives lost their lives to the Europeans
Impact on the Native Americans
Positives for Natives and Europeans
IT ALL STARTED...
Negatives for Natives and Europeans
Killed with weaponry
forced into slavery
He thought that the earth was smaller than it is, and like all other Europeans at that time, he did not know about the existence of America.
Brought syphilis to Europe
Columbus wanted to find a new route to the Far East; India, China, Japan and the Spice Islands. If he could reach these lands, he would be able to bring back rich cargoes of silks and spices.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Europeans wanted to find sea routes to the East.
Who prospered more?
Natives or Europeans
Columbus knew that the world was round and realized that by sailing west, instead of east around the coast of Africa, as other explorers at the time were doing, he would still reach the East.
THE COLUMBIAN EXCHANGE
The Worlds Food Supply
The transfer of foods between the Old and New Worlds during the Columbian Exchange had important consequences for world history. There are two channels through which the Columbian Exchange expanded the global supply of agricultural goods. First, it introduced previously unknown species to the Old World. Many of these species like potatoes, sweet potatoes, maize, and cassava resulted in caloric and nutritional improvements over previously existing staples.
Crops such as tomatoes, cacao, and chili peppers were not by themselves especially rich in calories, but complemented existing foods by increasing vitamin intake and improving taste. In many instances, the New World foods had an important effect on the evolution of local cuisines. Chili peppers gave rise to spicy curries in India, to paprika in Hungary, and to spicy kimchee in Korea. Tomatoes significantly altered the cuisine of Italy and other Mediterranean countries.
Second, the discovery of the Americas provided the Old World with vast quantities of relatively unpopulated land well-suited for the cultivation of certain crops that were in high demand in Old World markets. Crops such as sugar, coffee, soybeans, oranges, and bananas were all introduced to the New World, and the Americas quickly became the main suppliers of these crops globally.
Impact on the Europeans
The Americans produced vast amounts of gold and silver. However the material was obtained, the amount imported to Europe made economies based on money possible. This allowed more trade.
Why Was This A Turning Point?
Between the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, over twelve million Africans were shipped to the Americas during the transatlantic slave trade, the largest involuntary migration in human history. The trade was fueled by the high demand for labor in the Americas, which was driven, at least in part, by two aspects of the Columbian Exchange:
The first was the spread of Old World diseases to Native Americans, which resulted in extremely low population densities in the New World.
The second was the cultivation of highly prized Old World crops, such as sugar and coffee, which were particularly well- suited to New World soils and climates.
The forced movement of African slaves to the Americas reached its height in the eighteenth century. In the nineteenth century, the flow of slaves slowed, first as a result of the British Slave Trade Act of 1807 that banned imports of slaves into British colonies, and later because of the British Slavery Abolition Act of 1837, which abolished any use of slave labor within the British colonies.In response to the abolition of the slave trade, many employers resorted to bonded labor contracts as a way to obtain a continued supply of cheap labor.
Having somewhere to go and new opportunities invigorated Europe. People could now seek their fortune or get a fresh start. Having a destination also increased technological development of deep ocean ships
European and African populations swelled as American crops helped to overcome Old World famine.
The European colonists who would eventually found the settlements that would become the United States
...identify what was transferred to and from both the old and new world.
...explain the impact of the Colombian Exchange in the past and today.
Do you agree with Crosby, should we be grateful to the Colombian Exchange? Are longer healthier lives worth the sacrifice of a diminished biosphere? How will this understanding impact how you live your life in the future?