The Columbian Exchange

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The Columbian Exchange Reading Questions General Questions: 1. The process of migration is a recurring theme throughout the book because this migration is the catalyst for all cultural and biological changes brought upon by the Columbian Exchange. Originally, there was a passage that connected the Old and New Worlds. But as it was enveloped underwater, this connection was lost. This passage served as an influential link between two different civilizations but after its destruction, two worlds began to grow farther apart and develop more independently. But even then, migration still held a key role. Migration is a theme that Crosby puts into use because all the changes and consequences of the Columbian Exchange are brought about by the migration of both people from the Old World to the New World and their returns. People, including Africans, who were mainly used as slaves, and Europeans like Columbus, travelled to the Americas for a variety of reasons. Spanish missionaries and conquistadors sought to convert the people of the New World and establish dominance overseas. To do this, they needed the labor of African slaves, leading to another mass migration. This migration helped explode the population of the New World since so many people came to the Americas with the promise of cheap land and easy living. Migration was a heavy factor in the changes to the Native American population for this migration. The people of the Old World brought their diseases with them, which took advantage of the Native Americans inexistent antibodies toward illnesses like smallpox- which brought about massive and catastrophic population decreases for the Native Americans, about 80-90%. The transfer of diseases, although more noticeable on the Native American populations, also went both ways. The people of the New World exposed the Old World to diseases like syphilis. This transfer shows
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