The Europeans’ so-called discovery with the so-called New World fails ever sold as one in the most crucial and earth-shattering moments in human history, ranking right on the websites for with all the advent of agriculture, the domestication of animals, and also the discovery in the utilization of fire.
Although the Vikings made it to Newfoundland across the year 1000, they apparently decided that Greenland makes for a far better colony and scrammed, leaving the Spanish with the glory almost five centuries later. The ensuing exchange of plants, animals, people, and diseases has since been named the “Columbian Exchange” after the charismatic Christopher Columbus, who saw the Bahamas thinking he’d made it to India.
Over the next few centuries, different groups of European explorers brought crops for example corn, potatoes, cassava, tomatoes, peppers, cocoa, peanuts, strawberries, and tobacco back to the Old World from the Americas – meaning that the potato isn’t any more Irish compared to the tomato is Italian, the pepper is Spanish, or cigarette is French. In particular, carb-rich corn and potatoes helped ease the killer food shortages which were all-too common in Europe; Ireland’s population alone swelled 800 percent in 220 years – only to be devastated from the potato blight inside the mid-1840’s. So much for putting your entire potatoes a single basket.
Of course, it can’t be referred to as the Columbian Exchange if your process hadn’t gone either way. Picture the Plains Indians, then subtract the horses. Picture a Central American banana republic, then subtract the bananas. Picture a Columbian donkey carrying a load of coffee beans, then subtract the two donkey and the espresso beans. Picture a spread of Mexican food, then subtract the rice, cheese, lettuce, black olives, onion, chicken, pork, and beef. Or picture a few far-flung, arid, completely impoverished Indian Reservations, then subtract the smallpox, influenza, typhoid, cholera, tuberculosis, measles, scarlet fever, yellow fever, and malaria. These were just a few of the things that Europeans brought with these during the early numerous years of interaction while using New World.
The New World was obviously a pretty healthy place before the Columbian Exchange, which is the reason Old World diseases had this type of easy time decimating the indigenous populations.
Think Jim and Dwight talking medical health insurance on The Office. Dwight: “Don’t need it. Never been sick. Perfect immune system.” Jim: “Okay, well, issues never been sick, then you have no antibodies.” Having already spent centuries suffering continuous outbreaks of some thoroughly nasty diseases, Old Worlders had piled up quite the assortment of antibodies by the time they reached the Americas. In fact, many from the animals they delivered to the New World – those aforementioned chickens, pigs, and cows, as an example – were a major belief that Europeans were so sick constantly. Turns out, sleeping within the same one-room house because your livestock are capable of doing some wicked damage to your wellbeing, especially during a period when bathing once per week made a real dandy.
Before Spanish Colonization along with the Columbian Exchange, the native population in the Americas was estimated to be between 40 and 100 million, meaning that, most likely, Native Americans far outnumbered Europe’s 60 million citizens. In fact, in 1492, the Aztec capitol of Tenochtitlan was larger, cleaner, plus much more beautiful than any city in Europe, even though the Inca boasted the only largest empire on the planet. The “Great Dying” of indigenous individuals who followed might have killed up to 1 in 5 humans worldwide. Westerners want to talk forevery regarding the Black Death of the fourteenth century, but the plague – or sum of Europe’s many plagues – can’t hold a candle to what happened in the New World.
When European settlers found its way to what exactly is now the US, we were holding absolutely delighted by how beautiful, pristine, and park-like the landscape was, and since the “Indians” were dying in droves around them, they thought that God was giving them a sign of their entitlement towards the land. Little did they’re betting that that they had stumbled upon the work of thousands of a lot of maintenance by native peoples, a lot of whom ended up decimated by rapidly-spreading European diseases prior to the colonists had even gotten there.
The vast majority of indigenous people who suffered through the Columbian Exchange no longer exist to tell the tale. However, several of its unexpected survivors are the black populations in the Americas; the introduction in the cassava plant to West Africa resulted in a population boom that will help fuel the slavery built around cultivating Columbian-Exchange cash crops like cotton, sugarcane, coffee, and tobacco. Although Americans have for ages been taught to live by words like “Manifest Destiny” and “American Dream,” we mustn’t neglect the millions upon millions for whom, to quote Langston Hughes’s poem, America was obviously a Dream Deferred.
For more on American history and other cool stuffs, check: http://www.ourgreatamericanheritage.com/