The Columbian Exchange Guided Notes Essential Understanding

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Ms. McKenna

World History, Part 1

The Columbian Exchange

Guided Notes

Essential Understanding
The discovery of the Americas by Europeans resulted in an exchange of products and resources between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.
The Columbian Exchange is defined as: the widespread exchange of crops, animals, diseases, culture, and ideas between the Eastern (Old World) and Western (New World) hemispheres.

*Old World = Europe, Africa, and Asia

*New World = North and South America
Items with the Most Significant Impact

  1. Horses because they allowed for faster transportation (made conquest easier for Europeans and provided the indigenous people of the Americas with a more effective way to hunt buffalo).

  2. Potatoes because they became a staple (basic element) of diets worldwide and helped feed rapidly growing populations.

  3. Corn for the same reason as potatoes.

  4. Disease because scholars estimate that almost 95% of Native American populations were wiped out from European diseases.

  5. Sugar because it is used EVERYWHERE!

Impact of the Columbian Exchange between Europeans and Indigenous Cultures

  1. Sparked the migration of millions of people.

  2. Diseases depopulated many cultures; however, contact between the two hemispheres circulated a wide variety of new crops and livestock that, in the long term, increased the world population.

  3. The exchange transformed ways of life (e.g., new foods became staples of human diets).

  4. Europeans needed labor to farm land, which led to the encomienda system and slavery.

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