How was life improved by the Columbian Exchange?

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First, let's examine what is meant by the Columbian Exchange.  The Columbian Exchange happened when organisms from the Old World interacted with organisms from the New World during the time of exploration--for our purposes, let's make this from the 1500s to the 1700s.  Europeans were the primary winners from the Columbian Exchange, as vegetables from the New World gave the Europeans much-needed vitamins and minerals.  The natives taught the Europeans how to grow pumpkins, tomatoes, corn, and squash, and this influx of vitamins increased European longevity.  The European economy improved as well with the addition of bat guano from South America which served as a ready source of nitrogen. Tobacco from Virginia was used as currency in the Middle East and Asia.  

While the diseases brought over from the Columbian Exchange did wipe out ninety percent of native Americans, the natives of the New World did reap some benefits from the Europeans.  Spanish horses escaped and were tamed by the Plains tribes.  This enabled them to follow the buffalo more easily; before this, tribes such as the Lakota were walkers and they used dogs as draft animals.  

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