Here is an essay I wrote for school
The Columbian exchange from Europe to the New World during the 1550’s to the 1700’s had both a positive and negative effect on European Civilization due to the unknown recourses that challenged the explorers. Wealth, agriculture, and diseases all had an impact on life for the Europeans.
One of the most important goals for the explorers who traveled to the New World was collecting wealth. When explorers initially traveled to the New World with Columbus, they expected to find a quicker route to India, a country where there was valuable spices and silks that would bring him fame and fortune. Instead of landing in India, Columbus and his crew hit what would soon be called the Americas where gold, silver, and exotic riches would change the economy of Europe forever. The discovery of gold and silver epically helped Spain because jobs were available to go to the New World, as well as new technology was developed to make mining more affordable. Along with the gold and silver, Columbus and many other explorers would be introduced to cash crops that would allow more success for the explorations.
The discovery of new plants and animals in the New World changed the diets as well as the way of life in Europe. Maize, sweet , tomatoes, vanilla, sunflowers, cacao beans, coffee, a verity (do you mean variety?) of peppers, eggplants, and new tobacco were all useful plants that the Europeans were able to eat and make a living off of. After the crops were being grown in Europe, trade started with Asia for the new plants. Though Columbus was aware or /of the cocoa beans that would later become the main ingredient in chocolate, it was Hernan Cortes who brought the sweet treat to Europe for many royals to enjoy brewed. The discovery of cocaine was also significant; a discovery that the Europeans saw the natives using the drug by chewing on leaves during ceremonies. The discovery of new plants also changed the rubber industry in Europe. The Native Americans way of producing latex as well as other rubbers made it more possible for boots, toys, tents, and other important items that the Europeans could make. Charles Marie de La Condamie discovered this in the 1700’s. The Europeans were also able to use new types of animals. The New World had small dogs, llamas, new breeds of pigs, sloths, and baboons in South America while Beavers and other small mammals were found in North America. Though not all of the animals they discovered were for consuming, many of the mammals made good fur products.
Unknown to the explorer’s knowledge, new diseases would interrupt the survival and exploration. The native people of the Americas were also unaware of the illnesses that the Europeans brought to them. The trade of diseases was a negative aspect for the Columbian trade for everyone involved. Syphilis is a very dangerous disease that was transmitted from the New World back to Europe from the beginning of discovering the New World. Syphilis is most commonly transferred form participating in sexually intercourse, but can also be transferred for/by direct contact of/with someone who is contaminated. Even Columbus’s crew had sexually encounters with the natives. The Europeans had never contacted syphilis and so their bodies were not immune. Their symptoms would start off with sores on their bodies, and progress to a rash. When men returned for Europe, syphilis was spread around Europe causing many to die. On the flip side, the Europeans gave the Natives people smallpox, tuberculosis, whopping cough, as well as a long list that would forever affect the people.
The development and discovery of the New World molded the European way of life and economy because of the Colombian Exchange. New ideas and encounters were able to give the Europeans a new insight on how their own technology could change.
Answered By: Devyn - 9/24/2012