Columbian Exchange Essay

947 WordsAug 24, 20144 Pages
The Columbian Exchange was the widespread exchange of animals, plants, culture, human populations, communicable diseases, technology and ideas between the American and Afro-Eurasian hemispheres following the voyage to the Americas by Christopher Columbus in 1492, colonization and trade by Europeans in the Americas, and institution of the slave trade in Africa and the Americas.[1]:163 The term was coined in 1972 by Alfred W. Crosby, a historian at the Eastern Maine Community College, in his eponymous work of environmental history.[2][3]:27 The contact between the two areas circulated a wide variety of new crops and livestock, which supported increases in population in both hemispheres. Explorers returned to Europe with maize, potatoes, and tomatoes, which became very important crops in Europe by the 18th century. Similarly, Europeans introduced manioc and peanut to tropical Asia and West Africa, where they flourished and supported growth in populations on soils that otherwise would not produce large yields. Contents [hide] 1 Influence 1.1 Crops 1.2 Livestock 1.3 Disease 2 Examples 2.1 Tomatoes in the Old World 3 Unintentional introductions 4 Introduced feral populations 5 See also 6 References 7 External links Influence[edit] Inca-era terraces on Taquile are used to grow traditional Andean staples such as quinoa and potatoes, alongside wheat, a European introduction. Crops[edit] Portuguese trading animals in Japan; detail of Nanban panel (1570–1616) Before AD 1500, potatoes were not grown outside of South America. By the 1840s, Ireland was so dependent on the potato that the proximate cause of the Great Famine was a potato disease.[4]Maize and manioc, introduced by the Portuguese in the 16th century,[5] have replaced sorghum and millet as Africa's most important food crops.[6] 16th-century Spanish colonizers

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