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The Great Columbian Exchange History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

The Columbian Exchange took place in 1492 when Christopher Columbus voyaged to Amercia.There was a dramatic exchange of humans, plants, cultures, food and Animals between the Afro-Eurasian Hemispheres and the America. The most importantly the slaves were bartered during the Columbian exchange. The author of “The Columbian exchange” Alfred Crosby stated that the effects of the Columbian voyage to the America was highly devasting just like the “blacks deaths” in old world [1] (Cowey 1991, 54-56).

The viral diseases like the small pox and the meseals were common in the old world. The Afro-Eurasian residents were immune to the diseases like the small pox, measeals, Influenza, syphilis etc. from their child hood. The natives of the America had low immunity to these diseases as there were no such viral diseases ever existed in the America. The Columbus voyaged to America fueled with meseals and small pox as a result the deaths rose to a great extent. The American doctors had never encountered with the patients with such diseases like the small pox and meseals and they do not know the treatment of these diseases which also contributed to the increased death rate. The Spinards were moving towards through the Caribbean island of Santo damingo to Antilles Island and then to mainland of Mexico and then finally to the South America but the diseases they carried moved at a greater pace through these areas and ultimately causing huge deaths world [2] (Carlos Ruvalcaba).

The Columbian exchange lead to the adoption of the Christianity by the Indians, formation of the Spanish colonies and the marriage pattern also changed as a result of the Columbian exchange. The Pre Columbian Indians used to live in the groups and they usually marriages with in the tribes but when small pox and meseals spread across the America and death rate increased resulted in marriages between diverse societies which occasioned in the development of the new communities1 (Cowey 1991, 54-56).

As a result of the “Columbian exchange” the sugar cane business was introduced in the America by the Spaniards who were specialist in producing sugar through the sugarcane which was totally dependent on the African slaves. The African slaves like the Europeans had immunity to the small pox and the meseals. So they started to exchange the slaves for the things because the severe kind of labour shortage arose in the new world as a result of the extensive death rate caused by the small pox and the meseals [3] (Susan Miller).

The introduction of the sugar business resulted in the sugarcane plantation in the new world. This lead to deforestation to a high degree causing in turn the drought and the erosion of the soil. The population of the African slaves and the whites in 18th century was almost equal due the huge import of the African slaves to Antiguan planters. The condition of the slaves in Antiguan planters were miserable. The slaves were maltreated and workday was infinite and the masters used to beat the slaves for the beatings were common for the least breach (Susan Miller).

After the Columbian exchange in 17th century the slaves were exchanged between Africa Europe and the West Indies. European goods like arms, gin, gunpowder and trinkets were bartered for slaves in West Africa. The slaves brought to the West Indies were sold for the coffee, indigo, tropical products and sugar and then these products were sent to the European countries. The slaves were also exchanged by providing the rum to Africans by the European merchants which than again sold the slaves for the sugar and molasses in the West Indies for use in the rum making3 (Susan Miller).

The “Columbian exchange” resulted in the recognition of the Sunday as an important day of worship. The slaves used to practice their religious ritual quietly which they have brought from the Africa. The slaves used to enjoy little independence on Sunday they were permitted to sell the food that they have grown in their gardens on Sunday in the market.so as a result of the Columbian exchange the Sunday was named as the” “Negroes holiday” as the slaves could relax and trade freely on Sunday. On the “Negroes holiday” the slaves were able to improve their economic status in a significant way3(Susan Miller).

Benefits of Columbian exchange to the new world

The Columbian exchange resulted in the wide variety of growth of livestock and new crops among the two hemispheres. Spanish colonies were formed in the new world. The quinine was discovered for the treatment of the malaria. The slaves started to be traded from the old world to the new world for working in the sugar plant in New world. Sugarcane a major crop of Asia and coffee a major crop of Africa also became the main crops of the new world [4] (Schwartz 1991, 58-62).

The Columbian exchange resulted in the production of the variety of the traditional condiments and spices such as, cardamom ginger, almonds and clove.Milk,Cheese,Pork and beef were made a major part of the American Cusine.The meat of Sheep, chicken and goat also became the major staple of the New world. Vegetable seeds, Chickpeas were also bought by the Columbus to the new world in his later voyages. The African Music was introduced in the American culture and they got amused with it greatly4 (Schwartz 1991, 58-62).

The domestic animals that were transferred from the old world to the new world includes camels, cat, Donkey, cow, water buffalo Ferret, honey bee, Rabbit (domestic),Rock pigeon, Pig ,guineafowl etc. The domestic plants that were transferred to the new world as a result of the Columbian exchange from the old world includes Beet, Ackee, Apricot, Brassica oleracea-derived vegetables, Barley, Almond Banana, bitter melon, Artichoke, cantaloupe Asparagus, bilberry (“blueberry”, “blaeberry”) Brussels sprout, cinnamon, kale and collard greens cantaloupe etc. 4(Schwartz 1991, 58-62).

Benefits of Columbian exchange to the Old World

Potatoes, tomatoes and maize were the major crops of the American hemisphere when the explorers resumed back to the Eurasia these crops also became the major cultivation of the Eurasia in 18th century. The first tomatoes to reach Italy were yellow in colour and the climate of Italy supports the growth of the tomatoes and formation of the tomato sauce. Chili/paprika the major part of the South American culture became the major part of the cuisines of Asia. The Europeans chef also enjoyed the peanuts, vanilla, green beans, pineapple and the manioc in West Africa and the south Asia. Capsicum peppers mostly grown in New World became the part of the cuisines of the old world especially India and china. The chocolate was brought to the old world from the new world 4(Schwartz 1991, 58-62).

The horses were exported from the old Wold to the new world which changed the lifestyle of the many tribes residing in the America. Other animals that were transferred from the new world to the old world includes American Mink (fur farming), alpaca, Llama, Muscovy duck and guinea pig. Common beans i.e. Lima, kidney and pinto were also brought to the old world. The domestic plants that were transferred from the new world to the old world incudes pumpkin, Rubber, quinoa, strawberry (commercial varieties) Squash, Sapodilla, wild rice Yucca, yerba mate, zucchini etc. 4 (Schwartz 1991, 58-62).

Harmful things of the exchange

During the Columbian exchange the most harmful thing was the wide spread of the diseases among the New world which were brought by the spainards.The explorer belonging to the old world were actually immune to these diseases since their childhood when they voyaged to the south America the small pox and the meseals spread widely in new world creating large numbers of deaths across the Amercia.The most worst scenario reported was a case when the whole city population died as a result of small pox and the meseals. The most common diseases that were carried from the old world to the new world includes influenza, Leprosy scarlet fever, Malaria, smallpox, Meseals and typhoid etc. The most common diseases that were carried from the new world to the old world includes Bejel, Pinta, Syphilis, Chagas disease etc2 (Carlos,2013).

Which Society Suffered and harmed the Most?

As are result of the Columbian exchange the New world suffered more because the explorer of the old world brought with them lots of diseases like the smallpox and the Meseals to which the natives of the new world were not immune that caused a huge number of deaths in the New world. So the exchange brought more harm to new world in form of deaths of its population although also received lots of benefits like flourished sugar production, bartered slaves,domestic animal and plant transfer from old world 2(Carlos,2013).

Which Society benefited the Most?

Overall the old world benefited most through Columbian exchange because there were less human death in old world as compared to the new world where the death rate was very huge.Secondy the American culture and the food were also transferred from the new world to the old world. Lots of domestic animals and the domestic plants were also transferred from the new world to the old world 4 (Schwartz, 1991).

Role of African in Columbian exchange

The Columbian exchange resulted in the plantation of the sugarcane industry in the new world by the Spaniard. The huge deaths in the new world caused labour shortage. To cope with that the slaves were bartered from the Africa to work in the sugar producing plants. The slaves were bartered against the Rum, coffee, indigo, tropical products and sugar.

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