The Columbian Exchange The Columbian exchange began one of the largest exchanges of many different varieties of food, animals and disease. Many which were different and from different regions of the world that had never been transported before. We take for granted that everything we have is from here and it has always been here. But through "The Columbian Exchange" for example, the potato that had not been grown outside South America became Ireland's main staple by the 1800's. The horse which was an import from Europe changed the Great Plains and the lifestyle of Native Americans, before the horse they had had to stalk bison and run them off cliffs or trap them. Tomatoes which were exchanged became an Italian trademark. Coffee and sugarcane which came from Asia became extensive Latin American crops.
Before the exchange there were no oranges in Florida, no bananas in Ecuador, no rubber trees in Africa, no cattle in Texas, no burros in Mexico, no chocolate in Switzerland and even the Dandelion was brought by theEuropeans. For almost every purpose the Europeans brought their baggage meat, milk, leather, fiber, power, speed, and even manure, they brought everything!
Disease was another dimension of the Columbian Exchange, with catastrophic consequences for Native Americans who for centuries were an isolated population and thus lacked adequate immunities for diseases introduced by Europeans. Eruptive fevers, like smallpox and measles, proved deadly and often wiped out over half of entire tribes.
"Deadly epidemics, or rapid spreading of diseases, swept over the Caribbean islands. Smallpox wiped out whole villages in a matter of months. . . . In thefirst century of Spanish rule (1500-1600), Indians in Central and …