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Colombian Exchange Essay

910 words - 4 pages

Samantha Harris
April 4, 2014

The Columbian Exchange
Columbus’s Voyage played a pivotal role in History because it lead to the exchange of goods, people and ideas, between the Old World and the World, which has been termed the Columbian Exchange or the Great Exchange, devised by historian Alfred Crosby, of the University of Texas. Many new and different goods were exchanged between parts of the Earth and transformed Europe and American ways of life. Everyone today knows that Florida is famous for our oranges, and as a matter of fact it is our official state fruit and is a major part of Florida’s economy. However, did you know that before Columbus and the Columbian Exchange, oranges did ...view middle of the document...

Many people suffered from malnutrition and starvation before the Columbian Exchange. The factor that promoted good health and population growth was the increase and improvement of food supply in Europe. “The adoption of efficient, carbohydrate-rich American crops such as corn, potatoes, and cassava allowed Europeans and Africans to overcome chronic food shortages” (shmoop.com). A primarily important American crop that was brought over to Europe, for example, is the potato, rich in starch, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber, became an important part of the European diet so much so that it became a part of almost every meal they had. “An entirely new food plant or set of food plants will permit the utilization of soils and seasons…causing a real jump in food production and therefore, in population.”(Crosby, The Columbian Exchange, p.168) New plants in Europe not only positively affect its population, but is also created economic stimulation. Plants from the new world, which were now being produced in Europe, were sold and traded making profit and helping the economy. Chili and paprika were traded with India for example. Bigger plantations were set up in Europe which created a larger supply of plants that could be sold or traded. Bigger plantations also created a demand for labor. For example some plantations consisted of maize (corn) which became a staple crop in Europe. Corn provided people with more jobs as famers and allowed farmers to sell to merchants in order for them to sell to the people which stimulated the economy. There were also nonfood plants that made it to Europe such as rubber, tobacco, and cotton that helped Europe’s economy. The tobacco plant was known at first for its healing properties and had spread to all parts of Europe. ...

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