Columbian Exchange Research Paper

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Half of the states in the United States recognize and observe Columbus Day as a federal holiday (“Office Holidays”). However, there has always been a controversy involving the celebration and glorification of European settlers from the Age of Exploration. Many individuals believe that European settlers such as Columbus did not leave a positive impact on the lives for the Native Americans at this time; this controversial subject has led to a divide between the country, and different ethnic groups. In spite of the many controversies that surround this issue, European settlers from the Age of Exploration should be celebrated in modern times because of the societal concepts they introduced to the Native Americans which embarked new systems and…show more content…
The Columbian Exchange was the period of of cultural exchange between the New World and Old World, many of these exchanges were of plants, animals, and different technologies that changed the way of life for both the Native American and Europeans. The exchange began after Columbus’ discovery in 1492, and lasted through the years of discovery and expansion. Mcneill explains, “The Columbian Exchange has led many countries to advance in agricultural production, and increased mortality rate and education” (Mcneill, 2008). As it stands, through this new systems and practices, new economies were started, and many countries were benefited through this this. For example, the establishment of new animals such as cows and horses, as well as various grains, tremendously increased food production in the New World. Duiker justifies, “This exchange had a similar effect in Asia, Africa, and Europe, where products such as corn manioc, and potato, were seen to be valuable” (Duiker 3). Furthermore, the Columbian Exchange positively affected the lives of many Native Americans a well. As previously states, the Columbian Exchange increased the education rate in many countries, especially the New World. The concept of cultural diffusion was adapted, and new skills from the Spanish such as trade, farming, reading/writing, and exchanging new…show more content…
After Columbus’ discovery in 1492, Spanish settlers ended these inhuman practices, and introduced the notion of cultural diffusion by demonstrating new concepts and beliefs to the Native Americans. Human sacrifice was practiced by the Native Americans because it was an act that meant their prayer or request will be fulfilled. Many young children were murdered in the presence of the idols of their gods where their hearts and entrails were taken out and burned, offering the smoke as a sacrifice to their gods. It is estimated that at least fifty souls were sacrificed at each temple in their kingdoms per year. The Aztec tribe leader, Montezuma, believed that their religion was wrong, and asked a Spanish conquistador, Hernán Cortés to remove any statues of the false gods, clean the temples, and teach the Aztecs Christianity. According to author, Cortés, religion of the Aztecs was still practiced in spite of the actions taken, however, the inhuman practice of human sacrifice was ended (Cortés 2). Additionally, the Europeans during the Age of Exploration explored the development of human rights in Europe and the New World. This led Europe to be the source for constituting human rights and proper international conduct. Some of the ideas that correlated to the “development

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