World History



























































Columbian Exchange

Because Eurasia and America developed in isolation from one another for thousands of years, they had different plants and animals. After Columbus connected the two landmasses, an exchange of products began: it was called the Columbian Exchange. At this time, Native American cultures included excellent farmers who raised corn, potatoes, tomatoes, chocolate, peanuts, coffee, and tobacco. Corn and potatoes from the New World had a big impact on Chinese and European diets, leading to large population increases in both places.

Columbian Exchange = the exchange of previously unknown plants and animals between the Old World and the New World after the voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1492.

The most important food America acquired from Europe was wheat, used for making bread, pasta, and the like. Soon oats, barley, grapes, rice, and sugarcane were being grown in America. Domesticated animals from Europe changed America in a big way. The plains Indians of North America, for example, built a lifestyle around horses, the Navajos around sheep, and cows came to outnumber people.

The import from Europe with the greatest impact, however, was disease. Most diseases come from human contact with animals, and Europeans had long lived closely with their horses, pigs, cows, and sheep—animals that did not exist in America. Over centuries, Europeans developed some immunity to diseases like smallpox and measles. Native Americans had no such immunity. When these diseases arrived in America, indigenous (native) populations were largely wiped out, emptying much of the land for Europeans.

import = something that is imported (brought into a country) from abroad.

indigenous people = natives; the first people who lived in any region(as opposed to later immigrants).