Nathan Story 13 September, 2012
History 262 Section 14
Amerindian peoples were dying from new disease such as the smallpox, yellow fever and malaria as the uninvited Europeans invaded their land. The isolation of the Indians from the rest of the world made their immunity to new diseases very weak. The invasion known as the beginning of the Columbian Exchange brought an epidemic upon Native Americans along with new species of plants, animals and technologies.
Christopher Columbus arrived in the main land of America in 1492 by mistake. He planned to find a route to India, but has mistakenly ...view middle of the document...
The new creature enhanced their military capabilities along with hunting. Hunting herds of bison in the plains would become much easier and efficient.
The negative effect of the new animals was the sudden increase in the number of cattle across the new world. The first viceroy of Mexico wrote to the Spanish king: “May your lordship realizes that if the cattle are allowed, the Indians will be destroyed”. He was right as for the cattle multiplied and so did the numbers of unprotected crops. The new creatures made up for their vigilance by providing a surplus of meats and hides to everyone. The new world had been introduced to devastating disease which wiped out nearly ninety percent of the population, but also contrarily they were introduced to animals that revolutionized their society.
The Greatest impact that the Indians made on the rest of the world was trading crops. The Indians crops such as beans, squash, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and other foods were higher in calories than the old world was used to. It is said that because of the crops, Europe had a drastic population increase after 1700. The Irish became so dependent on potatoes that in the 1800’s over 1 million people were killed by a disease spread through potatoes. Along with the high calorie foods, chocolate, chilies, and tobacco were brought back from the Americas. Although the Indians had no animals to offer that would make everyday life easier, they did introduce them to turkeys, minks, chinchillas, and guinea pigs. The old world’s immunity to disease was much higher than that of Americas. Sexually diseases such as syphilis were known to originate in North America and were spread to the rest of the world as a result of the Columbian Exchange.
The Columbian exchange started the massive trading system between continents that we still use today. The exchange killed many Native Americans, but without the epidemic, America would not be immuned to the many fatal disease that were passed over by Europeans. Diseases like smallpox, yellow fever, and the plague are nearly extinct today. This was a great historical significance that linked the world.