Columbian Exchange in America and Europe Essay

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Columbian Exchange in America and Europe

The Columbian Exchange had dramatic demographic effects in both the Americas and Europe. One major factoring concerning both of the two regions was the spread of new diseases causing a decline in the growth of both the America’s and Europe’s population. However, the impact tended to be much more negative for the Americans. Through the Columbian exchange the Europeans brought multiple new diseases to the Native American population, including small pox.

The coming of these diseases had such a great influence and caused the population to decrease so much it became known as the great dying. On the other hand, new diseases were being brought to Europe as well from European sailors after “intermixing” with natives. The main disease being brought was syphilis. Although not necessarily as harmful as the diseases that killed off the current populations of the America’s syphilis caused a major problem in the population growth of further centuries due to the infertility problems that came along with syphilis.

Another demographic change brought along by the Columbian exchange was that of the intermixing of cultures and decline in 100% native citizens, primarily in the Americas with coming of the Europeans. The Columbian exchange brought little Americans back to Europe causing little intermixing. However with the coming of Spanish into Mexico and Peru, a new population of mixed-race emerged, otherwise known as mestizo, which soon became a common feature of colonial socities. Another factor that the Columbian Exchange brought to Europe and the America’s was the introduction of new agricultural products.

For, the America’s this meant the bringing of new crops such as wheat and barley to be grown, yet not necessarily immediately becoming a staple of ones diet, though for Europe new agricultural products brought a lasting environmental effect on their dry hard to grow soil. With the introduction of products such as tomatoes, tobacco, and especially potatoes new products were able to be grown in these hard living areas and certain environmental factors that once held societies back from population growth were now being put to use for the better of the region.

In addition to agriculture making an environmental impact the coming of new livestock also had a lasting effect on the Americas. Through the exchange, Europeans brought cattle, horses, and pigs to the America’s all thriving in the environment and soon become very prominent and numerous in their new surroundings, soon becoming associated with their new habitat. On the contrary, little livestock was brought back from the Americas creating little change in the livestock and indigenous species of the European region.

One more environmental effect due to the Columbian exchange, was the Columbian exchanges impact on the over extensive mining of silver in the Americas. This mining led to deforestation and acid mine drainage led to a decline in the population os species in nearby aquatic habtitats. Not to mention, having the devastating demographic impact on the Americas in the aspect that these regions where silver as mined lost many men, due to the harsh and risky working conditions set in the mines… just to extract silver!!

From 1450 to 1750, the Columbian exchange brought new ideas, life and diseases to Europe and the Americas leaving lasting demographic and environmental impacts, however with the rise of mercantilism in Europe and their eager desire to integrate their society into the Americas a more negative and dramatic effect was placed on the surroundings and growth of the population..

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  • University/College: University of California

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  • Date: 9 January 2017

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