Demographic Effects of the Columbian Exchange

Demographic Effects of the Columbian Exchange

Comparative Essay

The Columbian exchange affected many regions all over the world. The Americas and Europe were similar in their changing population densities caused by diseases and goods. Also Europe and the Americas both benefited from the exchange of foreign crops and livestock across the Triangle trade routes. However, Europe and the Americas were different in their migration of peoples. The effects of the Columbian Exchange was similar in Europe and the Americas because of their changing population growth and the diffusion of goods to each country but differed in their expansion of territory.

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The Americas and Europe were similar because both of their population densities changed due to diseases and goods. When Europeans first came to the Americas in search of a fresh start they inadvertently brought with them many diseases that killed off most of the Native Americans such as measles, smallpox, whooping cough, chicken pox, and influenza. The introduction of cattle from Europe brought most of these diseases. The reason for this is because Native Americans had never been around cattle before so they couldn’t have developed immunity to them.

As a whole diseases from Europe wiped out close to 90% of the population of the New world. While for the Europeans population was increasing because of all the goods that were being imported from the Americas like peppers, tomatoes, and tobacco. The Native Americans also gave to the Europeans, venereal disease also known as syphilis. It was first identified by physicians in 1493, in Cadiz, Spain, the port which Columbus returned to after his first voyage. The reason for the incline and decline of population in both the Americas and Europe was due to the introduction of new diseases.

Since the pipeline between Europe and the Americas made by Columbus’s voyages to the new world had been opened it was asier to spread unfamiliar diseases between populations that hadn’t developed Europe and the Americas were similar because of their exchange of immunity. foreign crops and livestock. The Columbian Exchange brought upon the diffusion of goods from both the Americas and Europe such as tobacco, pepper, and tomato from the Americas and wheat, horses, and goats form Europe.

The most important good that was exchanged was cattle and horses from Europe. The introduction of horses to Native Americans changed their life in both good and bad ways. The reason for this is because horses made farming more efficient. Horses could pull plows that were too heavy for the Natives. Horses also gave the Native Americans advantages in war by providing them a height advantage over their enemies. However, horses also brought many diseases that killed off most of the Natives.

Tobacco is a great example People began smoking and chewing tobacco when it was first brought back to Europe which created a whole new industry revolving around cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco. Plants and animals like these and many more helped revolutionize the “old world’s” way of life. One way Europe and the Americas differed was through their expansion of territory. The discovery of the “New world” attracted many people in search of goods such as gold and silver or new ways to get to Asia.

Many nations were sending explorers and colonists to the New world including France, England and Spain. Europe started to increase in territorial expansion due to the enhancement of technology improvement, weapon mastery, and rank of power. As their worldly, status began to change there was a rapid increase of explorations and increase in expansion. This was due to improvements of technology and building structure of boats. Slaves were also transported to the New world from Africa. The journey from Africa to the Americas is called the Middle Passage.

Captive slaves were dragged in chains to board commercial ships. Death was caused by starvation, disease, unsanitary conditions or severe ocean weather. The reason for Europe’s expansion of territory was caused by new opportunities for land and products in the New world. The hope of finding gold in the Americas drove the greedy Europeans to migrate there. The Natives had no reason to travel to Europe because they had no need for power and wealth unlike the Europeans who eventually ended up destroying the Native’s way of life.

from Nandarnold

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