Columbian Exchange Argumentative Essay

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“In fourteen hundred ninety-two/Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” (Marzollo)1

That is the famous beginning to the poem “IN 1492” by Jean Marzollo. In 1492, Columbus sailed from Palos Port in Palos de la Frontera, Spain, to San Salvador in the Bahamas. This famous voyage gave the Europeans a route to go to the newly “discovered” land--the Americas.

Since then, this route was used for many trades and exchanges which later became known as the Columbian Exchange. The Columbian Exchange indeed has had a positive effect on the science and technology for both the Europeans and the Native Americans, due to the new tools introduced to the Native Americans, the medicinal knowledge from plants and herbs obtained by the Europeans, and improved literacy and education of the Native Americans.
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One common explanation is that many Native Americans had died after the Europeans’ arrival, especially from diseases brought over by the Europeans, and the survivors could not possibly care about science and technology innovations. I disagree. The Black Plague in the Fourteenth Century that took place in Europe was first brought by ships traveling back from Asia. If the same argument holds, then one should blame commerce and trade as the cause of the Black Plague. Yet, no one is proposing that trade is bad, and the world is better off without international trade, just to save the Black Plague. Therefore, why would one argue it is best not to have the Columbian Exchange, so new diseases would not have been brought to the American Continent.

Besides, benefits of the Columbian Exchange outweigh the unfortunate consequences such as new diseases, especially in improvements in science and technology such as domestication of animals, upgrades in agricultural tools, and exchange of medicinal

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