New World Beginnings Assignment

2139 words - 9 pages

3. What was the impact on the “Indians,” Europeans and Africans when each of their separate worlds “collided” with one another?

Throughout the course of history, it has been evident that the collision of separate worlds result in major contributions from one another. After Columbus's fortuitous discovery of the two Americas, an economic system of global interdependence manifested. This interdependence occurred between the continents of Europe, Africa, and the two Americas. Each continent had something vital to offer. Europe provided “markets, the capital and the technology.” Africa contributed labor and the New World was rich in raw materials.
When the continents came in contact with each other, they began sharing raw materials, ideas, and even diseases. The “exotic beasts” Europeans encountered such as iguanas and rattlesnakes left them in shock. They quickly learned of the different crops that were apart of the Native American’s (were called “Indians” at the time) diet. These crops include tobacco, maize, corn, pineapples, vanilla, chocolate, beans, tomatoes, and potatoes. The cultivation of these crops were fundamentally globalized. Along with food supply, the Indians also equipped the Europeans with raw materials such as gold and silver. These raw materials were important to Europeans because it resulted in an economic growth for Europe. In return, Europeans decided to introduce crops and animals from the Old World such as wheat, sugar, rice, coffee, horses, cows, and pigs. Indian tribes became mobile through the use of these horses, it made their work load easier and hunting became more simple for them. Europeans also brought smallpox, measles, the bubonic plague, and a lot of other deadly diseases to the Americas. This led to depopulation of the “Indian” race, “90 percent of the Native Americans perished,” meaning after the two worlds “collided” the population of the New World significantly declined. Along with this, enslavement and armed aggression also greatly impacted the lives of Native Americans. The enslaved Indians angered by the injustice done to them put blood in their masters food and transmitted a lethal disease called syphilis to the Europeans. The continent of Africa contributed forced labor to the New World. Millions of Africans hesitantly migrated to the New World in order to work in the cane fields and sugar mills. The new food crops introduced to Africa led to a population boom which is said to “offset the losses” of slavery. This entire process of the separate worlds colliding and exchanging goods, animals, labor, ideas, and diseases is known as The Columbian Exchange.
Without the collision of Europe, Africa, and the Americas, the development of each world would have been delayed. Native Americans were taught a new way of living, they learned about laws, technology, market, and etc after the interference of Europeans. Europeans were able to economically grow through the use of new crops found in the...

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