Negative Effects of the Age of Exploration on the World

Categories: Christopher Columbus

The age of exploration had all kinds of negative effects on the world. It allowed for things like animals, food, plants, and diseases to be exchanged between the new world and the old world. This exchange was caused by explorers coming from Europe to the Americas, in search of gold and other valuables to bring back to their countries. Although the explorers contributed to all kinds of discoveries, they also killed thousands of people, stole their resources, and caused widespread disease and loss of biodiversity in the Americas, so they should be punished for these actions.

When the explorers came to the Americas, they killed thousands of indigenous people. When Columbus came arrived in the Americas, he met the natives, but referred to them as Indians. He saw that they wore gold jewelry, and immediately assumed there was gold nearby (Columbus' Journal, p.

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97). He took many of them as slaves, and thousands of them died on the trip back to Spain (1491 Continued, p.

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4). When Pizarro came to the Incan empire, he too killed thousands of innocent people. After he had arranged for the Incan leader to come meet him in Cajamarca, he ambushed the Incan soldiers and killed thousands of them (Pizarro Executes Emperor). These indigenous people who were killed were obviously innocent, and didn't need to lose their lives. Because the explorers killed innocent people, they should be found guilty.

The explorers also took the indigenous people's resources when they came to the Americas. When Columbus came to his destination, he took whatever he could from the natives because they were willing to give him almost anything (Columbus' Journal, p. 96). After that, he wanted even more, so he forced the natives to find gold for him, or he would cut off their hands (1491 Continued, p. 4). Columbus also forced the natives to dive for pearls in very bad conditions, and they were tortured if they didn't carry out the task (De Las Casas, p. 99). When Pizarro captured Atahualpa, he asked for a room full of gold and a 2 rooms full of silver, in exchange for the emperor (The People's History, p. 89). Even though the gold and silver was brought to Pizarro, he killed Atahualpa anyway. The explorers didn't care about the native people at all. They just wanted gold and other valuables to bring back to their countries, and they should be punished for being so inconsiderate.

Disease was a major factor in the deaths of the indigenous people, and the ecosystems of the Americas are completely different in present day because of the European explorers. When Cortez came to the Aztec empire, he spread a disease called smallpox. This disease is considered the reason that the Aztec empire fell. When Cortez attacked the Aztecs, he should've been defeated easily, but he had smallpox on his side (1491, p. 143). When Columbus came to his destination, he brought tons of plant and animal species that the Americas had never seen before. They quickly spread into the environment, completely crushing ecosystems (1491 Journal Reading, p. 352). The explorers caused diseases to spread and ecosystems to crumble, and they should be punished for making such a dramatic change to the future of the Americas.

Updated: Mar 11, 2022
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Negative Effects of the Age of Exploration on the World. (2021, Dec 16). Retrieved from

Negative Effects of the Age of Exploration on the World essay
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