The Pre-Columbian Exchange

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The purpose of the article, “African Rice in the Columbian Exchange”, is to highlight the greatly ignored African contribution to the Columbian Exchange. Carney argues that scholarship acclaims an exaggerated amount of impact on rice cultivation in the New World to the Europeans and give too little credence to the Africans. He begins by explaining that crop exchanges between Africa and Asia had taken place long before the Europeans became involved. These exchanges were made possible due to the maritime routes that scholarship overlooks. This neglect of details gives way for Europeans to take credit for much of the crop dispersal (especially rice) that occurred during the Columbian exchange. He then explains how the Atlantic Slave trade acted…show more content…
The concentration of plant domestication in Africa took place in the East African Savanna, West African Savanna, and the tropical rain forest region of West and Central Africa. These crops included everything from Ethiopian oats to Bambara groundnut. Carney utilized tables from original sources to support these claims. Many of these African cereals and crops spread out to different countries and became food staples during the pre-Columbian exchange. Scholarship indicates that during the pre-Columbian exchange, Asian sativa was introduced to Africa and thus became a common type of rice used throughout Africa. However, as proven by the observations of Muslim Scholars and Egyptian Hieroglyphics, West Africa had already established an intricate and well developed rice cultivation system during the eleventh century. Therefore, Asian sativa was not introduced in Africa until late in the pre-Columbian Exchange. There was also a lack of evidence that sativa ever permeated to the center of Africa. This indicates that Africans had domesticated a different type of rice, glaberimma, many years before they ever came in contact with Asian

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