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Effects of the Colombian Exchange

The Columbian Exchange effected Europe and the Americas similarly and differently in environmental ways such as crops and in demographic ways such as diseases. The Columbian Exchange involved the transfer of lots of people, the exchange of crops, animals and resources that went between the New and Old World. European explorers came over to the Americas and brought things that ultimately helped the Natives to prosper such as new farming techniques, hunting, fighting, and city building these were some of the more demographic effects.

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Europe also affected the Americas environmentally by bringing foods such as wheat, rye, barley, oats and millet. Just like Europeans, the Americans helped to bring new plants, vegetables, and fruits back to the old world such as corn, tomatoes, and coco beans. Another demographic effect of the Columbian Exchange was diseases. When Europeans explorers came to the Americas they introduced new diseases such as tuberculosis, measles, cholera, typhus, and smallpox.

Of all the exchanges between the Native Americans and Europeans, disease had the most impact. Native Americans also gave the Europeans diseases as well such as Syphilis. The European explorers then brought that disease back to Europe killing many Europeans in the process. The Americans attracted more disease than the Europeans because a majority of the diseases that the Europeans brought over they were already immune to, but the Americans were not. This was a major difference and was the reason for a majority of Native American deaths.

An environmental difference between Europe and the Americans was that European explorers brought new cattle over to the New World. The natives had never seen or used European cattle before such as horses, cows, buffalo, and pigs. Many Native Americans abandoned agricultural for the nomadic lifestyle because hunting Buffalo made them far richer. An environmental difference was that New World food was far more caloric than Old World food, so the population doubled. Corn and potatoes could now grow in soil that was useless for Old World crops.

Also deforestation occurred in the Americas where it did not occur in Europe. This essentially harmed the environment. People were now beginning to leave Europe and repopulate the New World. The Europeans were able to affect the Europeans demographically by converting mass amounts of Natives to Christianity in the New World. However, Native Americans were not able to convert a large amount of Europeans to their belief. The effects of the Columbian Exchange were overall terrible for the Native Americans and very beneficial to Europeans in the Old World.