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The Demographic Effects of the Columbian Exchange: A Compartive Examination

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The Columbian Exchange Comparative Essay

Analyze similarities and differences in the demographic effects of the Columbian Exchange on TWO of the following regions between 1492 and 1750 in Africa, America, and Europe.

The effects of the Columbian Exchange between the regions of 1492 and 1750 in Africa, Americas, and Europe was an exchange of people, foods, plants, animals, and other commodities across the Atlantic in the years after the Columbian discovery of the Americas and made a global impact. The Columbian Exchange traded a large variety of goods and ideas, however, there were many similar crops, ideas, and technology traded between these two regions. Therefore, the regions of 1492 and 1750 had many similar concepts in trading.

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Plants and animals were an important factors in trading. New plants were discovered along with many discoveries on new land. Potatoes and corn were two starch crops that came to the Old World. The crop provided advantages over competitors. Potatoes were cheap food for sailors. More potatoes were produced per arc. Potatoes could yield almost four times the amount of food per acre than rye. Potatoes offered a balanced nutrition and could be harvest and kept in a barn. Apples, pears, plums, cherries, and many other crops were transferred from the Old World to the New World. These fruits were transplanted to local gardens and orchards. The reason for the transfer was to be the basis of plantations and ranches. Wheat and Cattle could tolerate less moisture and cooler climates, so ranches and farms at higher elevations could focus on the cattle. Drugs were also used in both the new and old world. Tobacco is a native plant to America and grew almost everywhere. Alcoholic beverages were known in America from maple sap, wine from cactus fruits and more. Horses were imported to America for transportations.

Ideas were often modified as they are transmitted from one person to another. There were many trades of ideas from the Old World to the New World. Christianity was a major religion that was passed to the colonies in America. Missionaries were the agents to spreading the religion. The idea of confederation was passed forming the idea of confederation and a form of governmental structure. One major effect of the spread of ideas of government was the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation served as the basis of the first government of the independent United States. Many ideas soon incorporated into the US Constitution. Government ideas from the Europeans spread to America to become its own country.

Technology was traded including tools, materials, and methods of manufacturing passed on. European technology were an improvement over traditional American technology that was adopted immediately. Guns were a major advantage for war and American Indians saw power in them. Many colonial powers tried to trade guns to the Indians. Indians started to learn how to repair guns and manufacture parts for colonies in New England. Indians adopted items for the prestige associated with them. For example, European-style clothing bestow certain a measure of status to the wearer. The process of adopting European technology was selective and some items were rejected. Snow shoes, fish traps, buckskin clothing, and googles were adopted frequently from Native Americans.


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