Negative Effects Of The Columbian Exchange

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The Columbian exchange was the transfer of culture, foods, animals, and technology between Europe and the newly discovered Americas due to colonization. For Europe, the outcomes of the Columbian exchange were largely positive and resulted in many economic and cultural benefits. The consequences were quite different for the Native Americans, who faced genocide and enslavement at the hands of the European invaders. The Columbian Exchange resulted in significant detriment to the Native American population due to the rapid spread of communicable disease as well as the abuse suffered under the Encomienda system, while European colonizers profited greatly off of newly discovered crops and farming land. The most destructive effect of the Columbian…show more content…
The Spanish Monarchy established the Encomienda system, which exploited and dehumanized indigenous American populations while subjecting them to unspeakable hardships. The original concept was that the Spanish would protect and Christianize the Native Americans in exchange for their labor and tributes. In reality, it was little more than thinly veiled slavery and became one of the most destructive practices implemented in the New World. Natives were forced to work under highly dangerous conditions and faced harsh punishment if they dared to object to their treatment or resist in any way. This system of labor remained in place in Latin America up until the mid 18th century, though it had become ineffective long before then. The Encomienda led to the origin of the Black Legend, a scathing condemnation of the Spanish colonists cruelty and abuse initially popularized by Bartolomé de Las Casas, the “Protector of the Indians”. Las Casas, a priest who had dedicated to his life to fighting for the rights of indigenous peoples, objected greatly to the inhumane treatment of Native Americans and believed that the greed of the Spanish was to blame for a large number of unnecessary deaths. An important development in the treatment of Native Americans under the Encomienda system was the passing of the New Laws of 1542, which limited the power of the Encomenderos and stated that Native Americans were to be treated as free people and would no longer be forced to do unpaid labor. This outraged the colonists and resulted in uprisings across the Americas, especially in Peru where settlers rallied behind Gonzalo Pizarro, becoming a formidable enemy. Even though the rebellions were quashed, Charles V repealed the New Laws and later came out with a revised version that was much more palatable for the Spanish

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