The Intercontinental Exchange In The Early 1600's

528 words - 2 pages

The intercontinental exchange began when the Europeans arrived in the Caribbean. It consisted of the intended and inadvertent introduction of pathogens, plants, animals, technology, ideas, and religion between North America, South America, Europe, and Africa. It was a benefit and a detriment to each continent’s people.Perhaps the biggest catastrophe that occurred due to intercontinental exchange was the spread of pathogens and disease. Europeans and later Africans brought smallpox and a host of other diseases with them to America, where those diseases killed as much as 90 percent of the native population of two continents. Europeans came away lucky, with only a few tropical diseases from Africa and, probably, syphilis from the New World. In America, disease destroyed civilizations (learnnc.org). The spread of syphilis was very rampant. Not clear as to whether it was actually a North American disease; European explorers often passed syphilis back to European countries, mainly within the ports that occupied the coast line. Malaria was also contracted by the Europeans, most likely from Africa, and then later brought to America as well.A major exchange between Spain and North America was the idea of Catholicism. When the Spanish conquerors controlled the southwest territories of North America they began to set up mission colonies. These colonies held churches as a place to convert Natives to Catholicism and would later spread up the coast of California. Positive influences also occurred with the exchange of animals such as hogs, sheep, cattle, and most importantly horses. When the Native Americans accidentally came across horses that belonged to the Spanish, they found new ways of hunting...

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