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The Columbian Exchange and the Effects on Europe

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History 120

The Columbian Exchange and the effects on Europe.

Essay 1

Ricki Fausett


Ricki Fausett



The Columbian Exchange is a global exchange of goods and ideas between the Old World (Europe, Asia, and Africa) and the New World (America). When Columbus first discovered America, Spain wanted to set up colonies. Columbus found some people that he named “Indians.” They colonies started to trade with each other, and by doing do, they began the Columbian Exchange. Many countries were involved in this trade, including China, Africa, and Italy. This exchange of new ideas, traditions, food, religion and diet changed cultures everywhere.

The Native Americans gave and received many items. One of the most important things that the Indians received was horses. Before horses, Indians had no way of carrying heavy loads from place to place. When the Europeans arrived in America, they gave them the horses, and then transporting goods was much easier. The Plains Indians also used horses to hunt and herd the buffalo. Another important item was that the Europeans introduced to them were different types of medicine. The Indians already had medicine and healing (herbs) of their own, but the European way was much more efficient. In return, the Indians also gave the Europeans some herbal treatments.

Europe, Asia, and Africa received many goods, such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, and tobacco. Both types of potato influenced many countries diets including China and Ireland. Tobacco was another valuable addition to Europe and other places in the Old World. Many people loved it. They could chew it, smoke it and snuff it. These who sold the tobacco made much money. Also, many new vegetables from the New World such as tomatoes, peppers, and corn went to the Old World and added to people’s diets, which resulted in better health because they received more nutrition and vitamins from the new foods.

Along with all the positive things that the Columbian Exchange, there were negative things passed between the two worlds. Europeans diseases came to the New World. Diseases such as typhus, chicken pox, small pox and influenza plagued the Native Americans. Since they had never been exposed to these diseases, most of them were virtually wiped out from the sickness. In Europe, tobacco love was growing, and soon it became a problem. Many people were getting sick or dying from starting to make and smoke cigars with the tobacco.



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