The Columbian Exchange Essay

1371 Words 5 Pages
Between 1492 and 1750, the Columbian Exchange, produced by European explorers in the “New World”, resulted in numerous effects to both the people of the Americas and the people of Europe. The native Indians suffered tremendously by the cultural exchange leading to population decline, and also a transformation in culture due to the new order imposed by Europe. However, Europeans benefited greatly from the Columbian Exchange by their economic gain through the attainment of new natural resources and new pool of labor. The Columbian Exchange resulted in the massive death of Native Indians via the European explorers bearing contagious diseases as seen in documents 2, 6 and 8. Due to the European migration to the Americas, Indian population declined …show more content…
Christopher Columbus described in his diary the indians ignorance and lack of religion as a motive for them to willingly convert to Christianity and learn the spanish language (doc 1). Columbus’s diary represents the ethnocentrism european explorers felt towards the indigenous people. This shows that one of the many goals of European explorers was to evangelize the Indians in order to stake their control over the area. Eventually, those indians that opposed the conversion would be threatened with their lives. Since Columbus is a white european voyager sent by Spain during the 15th century, he displays his superiority over the indians due to their lack of knowledge in weaponry and distinct physical features. The indians pagan beliefs opposed his monotheistic religion. As a result, Columbus believed that the indigenous people were savages who needed to be helped. This belief will eventually lead to the Indian’s loss of control over their native culture. Furthermore, due to the exchangement of crops, the Americas was introduced to domesticated animals, particularly, horses, pigs, sheep, and cattle (doc 3). Specifically, horses were crucial during battle since they provided faster travel and more intricate war tactics. The introduction of these species led indian tribes to leave …show more content…
Christopher Columbus, navigator and voyager for Spain, stated in his diary that the Natives ignorance of weapons such as swords made of iron and their good size and stature would make them good servants (doc 1). Columbus’s view of the natives represents the large pool of slaves that Spain will eventually acquire. Columbus described the natives as uncivilized individuals who were inferior to the European explorers. This shows slavery systems of labor exploitation were created to acquire new resources for European mercantilism. Moreover, Europe was introduced to the potato by the natives and flourished in the nation due to the economic protection the vegetable offered Europeans against tax collectors (doc 3). As a result, the potato was in great demand in Europe due to its ability to not spoil or decay. This shows that newly acquired crops such as the potato helped increase consumer markets in Europe. Eventually, the surplus of food enabled Europe to sustain a greater population that would be used to colonize the Americas and overcome famines that would soon begin. Furthermore, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella’s establishment of a new economic system, the encomienda system, demanded that Indians work to extract gold, cultivate the fields, and harvest food from the island for the Spanish

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