What are three effects of the Age of Exploration?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Age of Exploration was one of the most important times in the history of the world.  It changed the world in many far-reaching ways.  Let us examine three of them.

  • It caused the Columbian Exchange to happen.  This was the exchange of plants, animals, germs, and other things between the Old World and the New that began when Columbus reached the Americas.  This brought foods like corn, tomatoes, and potatoes to Europe and it brought European germs to the Americas, causing the death of millions of natives.
  • It caused colonization.  When the Europeans “discovered” the rest of the world, they quickly tried to colonize many parts of it.  They felt that “right made might” and that they had the right to colonize any place that they could defeat militarily.
  • It brought about the Atlantic Slave Trade.  When Europeans colonized the New World, many of them decided that they needed slave labor to work plantations there.  This led to the wholesale taking of Africans to work as slaves in the sugar, tobacco, cotton, and other plantations of the New World.
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