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The Long-Term Consequences Of Christopher Columbus' Encounters

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In the past, European countries came to the Americas looking to build their empire and gain power. They were competing to be the most powerful country and improve their economic lives. In the drive to be the most powerful European country, they started colonizing the Americas. Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer and colonizer who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that opened the New World for conquest and permanent European colonization of the Americas. In 1942, Christopher Columbus sets sail from the port of Seville. He has promised the queen and his crew that they will be back in India in six weeks. Columbus is the one who discover America, but it is the people that come after him, and what they bring with him, that will transform the “New World”. When the new world was discovered, “The Columbian Exchange” was born.

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Before Columbus, Europe’s economy was booming, and they needed more opportunities for their people, so they set out to search for other land. Over in Europe they are cutting the forests for fuels and spaces. The growing population needs more food and more space to grow it. They have the tools, they have the transports, and they have the energy, but they are beginning to run out of space and time. Europeans grow food for approximately the same amount of people in the tenth of the space, their diet is bread and porridge. North and South American agriculture is based on corn maize while European agriculture depended on a combination of farming and animal husbandry. The animals like horses, goats, pigs, sheep, and cattle are essential to Europe’s prosperity, none of these animals are known to North or South America. Native Americans have to hunt on foot and dress in hides, using bow and arrow or spear made of wood, bone, or stone because they do not have gun or horses. The bison hunt is essential for their survival. On the other hand, the European have gun, the noblemen hunt for sport, pleasure, for prestige. When Europeans have exploited their nature resources, there is no fish in their rivers, their continent is crowed with people and they don’t know what to do with them. Nowhere else in the world are rivalries between princes and kings as intense, curiosity and greed are widespread in Europe, for the first time people the common people have a hunger for new ideas, and printing press was invented and literacy is spreading, that was the first time when European kings and queens send explorers beyond the horizon to expand their power.

When the Europeans came over to America, they quickly found out that the land was inhabited by aboriginal people. They colonized America which is what the European knowns as the New World. This is when the formation of Columbian Exchange began. The Europeans brought their plants and animals, as well as diseases such as smallpox, influenza, measles, and chicken pox. Because the European used to these diseases, the American Indians do not have immunity for them which killed millions of indigenous people due to the sickness. But from another point of view, this contact has brought an increase in population for both hemispheres and diverse crops, such as new corn varieties and livestock. After the explorers of the time brought them back to Eurasia, the highly productive corn, potatoes, and tomatoes became important crops at that time. Rich agricultural products led to a surge in European population. In addition, with the expansion of Western colonists and the development of the mining industry, especially the silver smelting industry, and the discovery of a large number of silver mines in South America, silver production has increased unprecedentedly. Western powers dominated by the Spanish Empire sold a large amount of silver to East Asia. Europeans also brought horses to help the conquest of the land. Horses populated quickly, it becomes a symbol of native culture and meaning blessing to First Nations, and transformations of their lives. The newcomer brought Christianity to the New World which has become one of the major religious beliefs in the western world today. Europeans have brought some good and bad impact to the New World which is important for people to be looking at today because it is strongly related to the world of today.

The effects of colonization were reflected in different groups of people. There are different perspectives about colonization which some thinks it had brought good impact some thinks the other way. The contact of Europe and America has formed the New World which have broaden people’s horizon. It had helped the country become more powerful also extending its sovereignty to the outside world. Although the contact between Europe and America and the Colombian Exchange seems to have some positive changes and improvement of the countries, it also brought many kinds of concern and negative influence. Some of the long-term consequences of Columbus’s encounters with the Americans were slavery, spread disease through the Columbian exchange, and new rivalries in Europe. The Columbus Exchange has a huge impact on every society on the planet. For example, Europeans introduced new diseases into the Americas. Because the Native Americans did not have antibodies, many people were killed by smallpox and caused a great deal of cultural loss. Before Columbus arrived, the population of the Americas was unknown, but this disaster was estimated to have killed at least 50-90% of the population, and it was estimated that about 15-16 million people died.

10 October 2020

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