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The Columbian Exchange Christopher Columbus History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

Christopher Columbus was a voyager, guide, and colonist, was born in Republic of Genoa. As he started his journey he completed his four voyages including first journey to the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, Bahamas, Cuba, Hispaniola and Spain, then second voyage was the exploration of Caribbean sea and Hispaniola and Haiti then the third voyage was to verify the existence of a continent that King John II of Portugal claimed was located to the southwest of the Cape Verde Islands and Portuguese Porto Santo Island, South America, including the Orinoco River(Tobago and Concepcion (Grenada), Columbus made a fourth voyage, ostensibly in hunt of a westward route to the Indian Ocean and sailed to Central America. Those voyages, and his efforts to establish permanent settlements on the island of Hispaniola, started the Spanish colonization of the New World.

The Columbian Exchange, as well alleged the Grand Exchange refers to the barter of diseases, ideas, food, crops, and populations amid the New World and the Old World afterward the boating to the Americas by Christopher Columbus in 1492. “The term was coined in 1972 by Alfred W. Crosby, a historian at the University of Texas at Austin, in his eponymous work of environmental history” [1].

The Old World-by which we mean not only Europe, but the whole Eastern Hemisphere got from the Columbian Exchange in a number of ideas. Innovations of new supplies of metals are perhaps the finest known. But Old World also got new staple crops, like potatoes, sweet potatoes and cassava. Less calorie-intensive foods, like tomatoes, chili peppers, cacao, peanuts, and pineapples were also launched, and are now culinary centerpieces in most Old World countries, namely Italy, Greece, and other Mediterranean countries, India and Korea, Hungary, and Malaysia and Thailand. Tobacco, another New World crop, was so collectively accepted that it came to be used as a substitute for currency in many parts of the world. The swap over also drastically increased the availability of many Old World crops, like sugar and coffee, which were particularly compatible for the soils of the New World.

Columbus, cruising West in seek off to the east flavors and gold, brought about heritage revolutions that reached effectively every territory in the world. Europe was absolutely prepared for a change. The smaller and merchant categories had put up with a dull menu for years. Peasants commonly ate dark baked bread made with rye and wheat; cabbage soup and cheeses topped up out a usual serving of food. Wealthier families ate much of the identical things, but they enjoyed more variety in tastes, thanks to the obsession with Asian spices that first set Columbus on his way. The Americas may not have made customary spices and condiments such as clove, ginger, cardamom and almonds, but they made potatoes, corn and other colorful plantings that stimulated the 16th century palate. Peanuts and vanilla, also green beans, pineapple and turkey all broadened the horizons of European chefs.

“The first tomatoes to reach Europe were probably yellow, since the Italian word for it is “pomodro” “golden apple.” While the tomato took root in every European culture, it truly conquered Italy, where the warm climate proved ideal for the source of rich red sauces. Still, Europeans were slow to accept it. Like many exotic foods including the far less assertive potato it was first thought to be either a poison or an aphrodisiac” [2].

The Americas were being invaded by new foods as well. Before Columbus, numerous native heritages were somewhat meatless. In the 16th century, composes food historian Reay Tannahill, Mexicans started their day “with a basin of maize porridge, sweetened with honey or spiced with red pepper. The major serving of food of the day was at the hottest time, in the early afternoon.”

With Columbus came an explosion of new foods. Before Columbus, Peru’s meat specialty had been the guinea pig; after the explorer’s visits, Mexico and Peru suddenly had beef and pork, also milk and cheeses. Chickens, sheep and goats also provided new meats that quickly became staples. Columbus took vegetable seeds, wheat and sugar cane to the Caribbean in his later voyages. As the foods spread around the world and ingredients became shared, and so food came to be one of the pillars of national identity. Africa was also a major player in the food exchange. Thanks to Columbus, it got such crops as maize, sweet potatoes and green beans, which opened up new agricultural chances to a continent that had previously been confined to a relatively narrow spectrum of foodstuffs. Sokolov “is the epitome of how this country works: immigrants come to America looking for a better life, but bringing the best of their old culture with them happily, that always includes the food” [2].

Right from the start, Columbus considered to set up a sugar industry on Hispaniola much like the ones back home on the Canary and Madeira isles. So on his second voyage to the New World, he brought along some stalks of sugar cane. When the Indians started lowering from disease, the Spaniards went back to Africa. By the mid of the 16th years a nascent sugar industry completely dependent on very dark slave labor had taken contain in the Spanish Caribbean.

The dramatic change on Hispaniola prompted a Spanish historian to write: “There are so many Negroes in this island, as a result of the sugar factories, that the land seems an effigy or an image of Ethiopia itself” [3]. Thus began a accord between sugar production and African bull work that was to boss Caribbean life for about four centuries.

Slavery grew added important as European crusaders bedeviled the sugar plantations of the eastern Mediterranean from their Arab predecessors. By the 15th century, African disciplinarian supplied the activity for the Spanish and Portuguese plantations on the Atlantic islands off the bank of Africa. To the Spanish way of thinking, then, African disciplinarian were the analytic band-aid to the activity shortages in the New World.

While Spaniards in the Caribbean were the aboriginal to aftermath and consign sugar, their beat efforts were anon outstripped by developments on the American mainland. Sugarcane prospered in the Spanish territories of Mexico, Paraguay and Peru. From 1526, the Portuguese had amorphous shipment sugar from Brazil to Lisbon in bartering quantities.

By the end of the 17th century, the British had as well accustomed stakes in the Caribbean, and bull work became a basic allotment of their anew acclimatized colonies about from the start. Dutch traders, who had ballast in Brazil, aboriginal alien sugar authoritative to English colonists on the island of Barbados in the 1630’s.

As Columbus fabricated his voyages to the north, south and Central America he took some catching diseases with him including mumps, measles, whooping cough, smallpox, cholera, gonorrhea and chicken fever.

“The year was 1520. Cortes had already entered the capital of the Aztec empire and imprisoned Moctezuma when he received notice of the arrival of Narvaez at the port of Veracruz, with express orders to apprehend him. Cortes left for Veracruz accompanied by a few men and soundly defeated Narvaez in just a few hours. When he returned victorious to Tenochtitlan, he discovered that the Aztecs were readied for combat. Pedro de Alvarado, who had stayed behind in Mexico as commander-in-chief during Cortes’s absence, had uncovered a secret insurrection under the guise of a fiesta and proceeded to massacre women, old people, and warriors dressed in festive costume, as well as a large number of children in the streets of the great city”[4]. As he came aback he founded added able adversity than his field guns, horses, and crossbows smallpox and measles epidemics abutting the acquisition army and laid decay to the abundant Aztec empire.

Some historians anticipate these diseases were not ancient to the Aztec apple and accordingly Aztec doctors did not apperceive of any blazon of treatment, so the epidemics advance rapidly throughout the Americas. The aboriginal abstracts offered by the chroniclers bury these illnesses at atomic in account to the abstemious in the basic of the abundant empire, Tenochtitlan.

The chronicles of Columbus already allege of assorted catching communities afflicted by smallpox in 1507, in the afresh apparent islands and after in Haiti in 1517, which makes aboveboard the antecedent of the atramentous man as transmitter of the disease. Some account agenda that in 1525, if the Extremenian conquistador was authoritative a cruise through those lands, he begin the apple of Tumluz bisected destroyed, “because of an abundant bane that occurred to them” [4]. The supposition point with greater affirmation against the achievability that the affliction came from Mexico, back it is accepted that over the advance of those 5 years the epidemics destroyed the Mayas and Guatemaltecos, implying a alive appear the south that could able-bodied accept accomplished the Incas by agency of traders. It can be added that in 1532 Pedro de Alvarado beatific a letter to Carlos V, anachronous September 1st, in which he says: “In all of New Spain there came a bane over the citizenry that they alarm measles.” Thus the argument comes down to which affliction the Aztecs were adversity from if they were defeated by Cortes and his allies. That it ability accept been either smallpox or measles is pecata minuta, compared with the after-effects it produced in favor of the fistful of men that dared to accost the abundant Aztec empire.


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