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What is one of the effects of the Columbian Exchange?

twnuke's profile pic

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What is one of the effects of the Columbian Exchange?

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larrygates's profile pic

Posted (Answer #1)

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It is overly simplistic to focus only on the negative aspects of the Colombian Exchange. While it is true that it resulted in unimaginable death and suffering to the native peoples of the Americas, it had positive effects in Europe, primarily as the result of the introduction of maize (corn) and potatoes to that continent. The cultivation of these crops in Europe led to better health, decreased levels of infant death, and ultimately a population explosion. The explosion in population was largely responsible for the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Additionally, the exchange saw the introduction of sheep, cattle and horses to the Americas.

So, its effects were both good and bad.  

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pohnpei397's profile pic

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Perhaps the most important impact of the Columbian Exchange was felt by the natives of the Americas.  Large percentages of the native population died due to the Columbian Exchange.  This came about largely because of the fact that the Europeans brought germs to the New World.  The people of the Americas had never been exposed to such infectious diseases as measles and smallpox.  Without any resistance to those diseases, they were helpless and died in huge numbers.  This is the most important impact of the exchange because of the fact that it was so devastating to the native population.

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