Different versions make rounds on this, but according to a reliable version, the Columbian Exchange is a term used to explain about the huge culture exchange that happened between the American and Afro-Eurasian hemispheres. This is right from the plants to animals to even the human population and diseases.
This was the result of the voyage undertaken by the famous explorer Christopher Columbus in the year 1492, who created a bridge of sorts between two entirely different geographical locations and created a new evolution called the old world and the new world. The term Columbian Exchange was created by the famous historian Alfred W. Crosby. This exchange ultimately led to a lot of benefits for the people involved. Of course, it was the European population that benefited a lot, but there is a theory which states that Native Americans suffered few damages.
Columbian Exchange – Old World & New World Crops
The Columbian Exchange is a very vital and significant development in ecological history, and this is because of the assembly of two categories of plants – the Old world and the New World. To be more precise, the old world crops comprise of products like barley, rice, wheat, turnips and others. Prior to the arrival of the Europeans onto the American soil, none of these crops were seen or heard. On the other hand, the new World crops, such as manioc, white potatoes, maize and sweet potatoes, had never been seen by the Spanish and other white settlers from Europe. Similarly in America, there was no old world animal population like the cattle, sheep, horse and goat. The new world only had the likes of fowl, llama, dog and alpaca. However, after the Columbian Exchange took place, the total face of both sides of the world changed.
Benefits of Columbian Exchange
According to historians and many ecological experts, the Columbian Exchange has brought about a revolution and evolution in creating a new species altogether. The benefits were experienced more by the New World population, which predominantly had less scope for growing products.
For instance, the shift of donkey, chicken, cow, water buffalo, horse, honey bee and others to the New World created a new pattern of growth and development among animals. Among the plants, the likes of almond, apple, banana, black pepper, cardamom, carrot, coffee and others were taken to the New World and a new system began to prevail. However, at later stages, the Native American revolution could not withstand the European aggression, and the rest is history.
Imagesource: © Sergey Kohl – Fotolia.com