Summary Of The Columbian Exchange

891 Words4 Pages
Europe explorers flocked to the Americas in search of wealth and power. The Europeans brought with them their technology, plants, and animals, and returned with materials they didn’t previously know existed, a swap known as the Columbian Exchange. In just a few hundred years the New World thrived with dozens of young, prosperous new nations. The cost of success in the New World did not go unpaid, however; it was those who had already been living on the land for generations who ultimately paid the price. Historians often argue what the cost was of the Columbian Exchange. Countless indigenous people died because it, but this does not answer the question. The question requires a moral response because the American Indians were defenseless against…show more content…
And it was not only disease that brought death to the American Indian population; the Europeans intentionally killed many of the American Indians in their conquests of land, and finally, history simply cannot answer the question because there are too many unknowns. Disease was the most devastating aspect of the Columbian Exchange. The Europeans did not intentionally bring the deadly organisms with them, but it caused the death of, possibly, millions of lives. The American Indians had no defense system for the diseases, unlike the explorers who had built up immunity. There was literally nothing that the American Indians could do to help themselves. Smallpox nearly decimated the powerful Aztec tribe, killing 60 to 97 percent of the people. Smallpox most notably ravaged the land, but measles, typhus, mumps, whooping cough and scarlet fever all…show more content…
It was their goal to claim as much land, wealth and power as they could. They fought off tribes of the indigenous people who were often no match for the Europeans. The explorers had the advantage of steel, guns and gunpowder. The American Indians own weapons were powerless against the men fitted with steel armor, swords and lances. The guns the Europeans brought weren’t even necessary for the fights; they were too large and inefficient but the sound alone was enough to make the indigenous people afraid. The technology was so new and frightening to the indigenous people that the Aztecs ascribed supernatural powers to the Europeans. One Spanish conquistador could kill a dozen Aztec people in mere

More about Summary Of The Columbian Exchange

Open Document