Columbian Exchange
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The Columbian exchange, also known as the Columbian interchange, was the widespread transfer of plants, animals, precious metals, commodities, culture, human populations, technology, diseases, and ideas between the
New World The term ''New World'' is often used to mean the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas."America." ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 3 ...

New World
(the
Americas The Americas, which are sometimes collectively called America, are a landmass comprising the totality of North America, North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. ...

Americas
) in the
Western Hemisphere The Western Hemisphere is the half of the planet Earth that lies west of the prime meridian (which crosses Greenwich, London, United Kingdom) and east of the 180th meridian, antimeridian. The other half is called the Eastern Hemisphere. Politica ...
, and the
Old World The "Old World" is a term for Afro-Eurasia that originated in Europe , after Europeans became aware of the existence of the Americas. It is used to contrast the continents of Africa, Europe, and Asia, which were previously thought of by thei ...
(
Afro-Eurasia Afro-Eurasia (also Afroeurasia, Eurafrasia or the Old World The "Old World" is a term for Afro-Eurasia that originated in Europe , after Europeans became aware of the existence of the Americas. It is used to contrast the continents of ...

Afro-Eurasia
) in the
Eastern Hemisphere The Eastern Hemisphere is the half of the planet Earth which is east of the prime meridian (Greenwich), prime meridian (which crosses Greenwich, London, United Kingdom) and west of the 180th meridian, antimeridian (which crosses the Pacific Ocean ...
, in the late 15th and following centuries. It is named after the Italian explorer
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, link=no, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was a ...

Christopher Columbus
and is related to the
European colonization The historical phenomenon of colonization is one that stretches around the globe and across time. Ancient and medieval colonialism was practiced by the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Turkish people, Turks, and the Arabs. Colonialism in the mode ...
and global trade following his 1492 voyage. Some of the exchanges were purposeful; some were accidental or unintended.
Communicable diseases An infection is the invasion of tissue (biology), tissues by pathogens, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the infectious agent and the toxins they produce. An infectious disease, also known as a transmiss ...
of Old World origin resulted in an 80 to 95 percent reduction in the number of
Indigenous peoples of the Americas The Indigenous peoples of the Americas are the inhabitants of the Americas before the arrival of the European colonization of the Americas, European settlers in the 15th century, and the ethnic groups who now identify themselves with those peopl ...
from the 15th century onwards, most severely in the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ) ( es, El Caribe; french: la Caraïbe; ht, Karayib; nl, De Caraïben) is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and some bordering both the Caribbean ...
. The cultures of both hemispheres were significantly impacted by the migration of people (both free and enslaved) from the Old World to the New. European colonists and
African slaves Slavery has historically been widespread in Africa. Systems of servitude and slavery were common in parts of Africa in ancient times, as they were in much of the rest of the Ancient history, ancient world. When the trans-Saharan slave trade ...
replaced Indigenous populations across the Americas, to varying degrees. The number of Africans taken to the New World was far greater than the number of Europeans moving to the New World in the first three centuries after Columbus. The new contacts among the global population resulted in the interchange of a wide variety of
crop A crop is a plant that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence agriculture, subsistence. When the plants of the same kind are cultivated at one place on a large scale, it is called a crop. Most crops are cultivated in a ...

crop
s and
livestock Livestock are the domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to provide labor and produce diversified products for consumption such as meat, eggs, milk, fur, leather, and wool Wool is the textile fibre obtained from sheep an ...
, which supported increases in food production and population in the Old World. American crops such as
maize Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American English, North American and Australian English), is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples of Mexico, indigenous ...

maize
,
potato The potato is a starch#Food, starchy food, a tuber of the plant ''Solanum tuberosum'' and is a root vegetable native to the Americas. The plant is a perennial plant, perennial in the nightshade family Solanaceae. Wild potato species can be fo ...

potato
es,
tomato The tomato is the edible Berry (botany), berry of the plant ''Solanum lycopersicum'', commonly known as the tomato plant. The species originated in western South America, Mexico, and Central America. The Mexican Nahuatl word gave rise to th ...

tomato
es,
tobacco Tobacco is the common name of several plants in the genus ''Nicotiana'' of the Family (biology), family Solanaceae, and the general term for any product prepared from the curing of tobacco, cured leaves of these plants. Nicotiana#Species, M ...

tobacco
,
cassava ''Manihot esculenta'', common name, commonly called cassava (), manioc, or yuca (among numerous regional names), is a woody shrub of the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae, native to South America. Although a perennial plant, cassava is extensively ...

cassava
,
sweet potatoes The sweet potato or sweetpotato (''Ipomoea batatas'') is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the Convolvulus, bindweed or morning glory family (biology), family, Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting tuberous roots are used as a r ...
, and
chili pepper Chili peppers (also chile, chile pepper, chilli pepper, or chilli), from Nahuatl ''Aztec cuisine, chīlli'' (), are varieties of the fruit#Berries, berry-fruit of plants from the genus ''Capsicum'', which are members of the nightshade family ...

chili pepper
s became important crops around the world. Old World
rice Rice is the seed of the Poaceae, grass species ''Oryza sativa'' (Asian rice) or less commonly ''Oryza glaberrima'' (African rice). The name wild rice is usually used for species of the genera ''Zizania (genus), Zizania'' and ''Porteresia'', bo ...

rice
,
wheat Wheat is a Poaceae, grass widely Agriculture, cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain that is a worldwide staple food. The Taxonomy of wheat, many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum'' ; the most widely grown is common wheat ...

wheat
,
sugar cane Sugarcane or sugar cane is a species of (often hybrid) tall, Perennial plant, perennial grass (in the genus ''Saccharum'', tribe Andropogoneae) that is used for sugar Sugar industry, production. The plants are 2–6 m (6–20 ft) tall with ...

sugar cane
, and
livestock Livestock are the domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to provide labor and produce diversified products for consumption such as meat, eggs, milk, fur, leather, and wool Wool is the textile fibre obtained from sheep an ...
, among other crops, became important in the New World. American-produced
silver Silver is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Ag (from the Latin ', derived from the Proto-Indo-European wikt:Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/h₂erǵ-, ''h₂erǵ'': "shiny" or "white") and atomic number 47. A soft, whi ...

silver
flooded the world and became the standard metal used in
coin A coin is a small, flat (usually depending on the country or value), round piece of metal A metal (from ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or ...

coin
age, especially in
Imperial China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the reign of king Wu Ding. Ancient historical texts such as the '' Book of Documents'' (early chap ...
. The term was first used in 1972 by the American historian and professor Alfred W. Crosby in his
environmental history Environmental history is the study of Human impact on the environment, human interaction with the natural world over time, emphasising the active role nature plays in influencing human affairs and vice versa. Environmental history first emerge ...
book ''
The Columbian Exchange ''The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 '' is a 1972 book on the Columbian exchange The Columbian exchange, also known as the Columbian interchange, was the widespread transfer of plants, animals, precious metal ...
''. It was rapidly adopted by other historians and journalists.


Etymology

In 1972 Alfred W. Crosby, an American historian at the
University of Texas at Austin The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin, UT, or Texas) is a public university, public research university in Austin, Texas. It was founded in 1883 and is the oldest institution in the University of Texas System. With 40,916 undergraduat ...
, published the book ''
The Columbian Exchange ''The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 '' is a 1972 book on the Columbian exchange The Columbian exchange, also known as the Columbian interchange, was the widespread transfer of plants, animals, precious metal ...
'', and subsequent volumes within the same decade. His primary focus was mapping the biological and cultural transfers that occurred between the
Old World The "Old World" is a term for Afro-Eurasia that originated in Europe , after Europeans became aware of the existence of the Americas. It is used to contrast the continents of Africa, Europe, and Asia, which were previously thought of by thei ...
and
New World The term ''New World'' is often used to mean the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas."America." ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 3 ...

New World
s. He studied the effects of 's voyages between the two – specifically, the global diffusion of crops, seeds, and plants from the New World to the Old, which radically transformed
agriculture Agriculture or farming is the practice of cultivating Plant, plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of Sedentism, sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of Domestication, domesticated species created food ...

agriculture
in both regions. His research made a lasting contribution to the way scholars understand the variety of contemporary ecosystems that arose due to these transfers. The term has become popular among historians and journalists and has since been enhanced with Crosby's later book in three editions, ''Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900–1900''. Charles C. Mann, in his book ''
1493 Year 1493 (Roman numerals, MCDXCIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. Events January–December * January 19 – Treaty of Barcelona: Charles VIII of France retur ...
'' further expands and updates Crosby's original research.


Background

The weight of scientific evidence is that humans first came to the New World from
Siberia Siberia ( ; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive region, geographical region, constituting all of North Asia, from the Ural Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. It has been a ...

Siberia
thousands of years ago. There is little additional evidence of contacts between the peoples of the Old World and those of the New World, although the literature speculating on pre-Columbian trans-oceanic journeys is extensive. The first inhabitants of the New World brought with them domestic dogs and, possibly, a container, the
calabash Calabash (; ''Lagenaria siceraria''), also known as bottle gourd, white-flowered gourd, long melon, birdhouse gourd, New Guinea bean, Tasmania bean, and opo squash, is a vine grown for its fruit. It can be either harvested young to be consumed ...
, both of which persisted in their new home. The medieval explorations, visits, and brief residence of the
Norsemen The Norsemen (or Norse people) were a North Germanic peoples, North Germanic ethnolinguistic group of the Early Middle Ages, during which they spoke the Old Norse language. The language belongs to the North Germanic languages, North Germanic br ...
in
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an island country in North America that is part of the Danish Realm, Kingdom of Denmark. It is located between the Arctic Ocean, Arctic and Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic oceans, east of the ...

Greenland
,
Newfoundland Newfoundland and Labrador (; french: Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador; frequently abbreviated as NL) is the easternmost provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada, in the country's Atlantic Canada, Atlantic region. The province comprises t ...

Newfoundland
, and
Vinland Vinland, Vineland, or Winland ( non, Vínland ᚠᛁᚾᛚᛅᚾᛏ) was an area of coastal North America explored by Vikings. Leif Erikson landed there around 1000 AD, nearly five centuries before the voyages of Christopher Columbus and John ...
in the late 10th century and 11th century had no known impact on the Americas. Many scientists accept that possible contact between
Polynesians Polynesians form an ethnolinguistic group of closely related people who are Indigenous peoples of Oceania , native to Polynesia (islands in the Polynesian Triangle), an expansive region of Oceania in the Pacific Ocean. They trace their early pre ...
and coastal peoples in South America around the year 1200 resulted in genetic similarities and the adoption by Polynesians of an American crop, the
sweet potato The sweet potato or sweetpotato (''Ipomoea batatas'') is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the Convolvulus, bindweed or morning glory family (biology), family, Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting tuberous roots are used as a r ...

sweet potato
. However, it was only with the first voyage of the Italian explorer
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, link=no, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was a ...

Christopher Columbus
and his crew to the Americas in
1492 Year 1492 (Roman numerals, MCDXCII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. 1492 is considered to be a significant year in the history of Western world, the West, Europe, Christianity, Isl ...
that the Columbian exchange began, resulting in major transformations in the cultures and livelihoods of the peoples in both hemispheres.


Diseases

The first manifestation of the Columbian exchange may have been the spread of
syphilis Syphilis () is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium ''Treponema pallidum'' subspecies ''pallidum''. The signs and symptoms of syphilis vary depending in which of the four stages it presents (primary, secondary, latent, and ...

syphilis
from the native people of the
Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lanmè Karayib; jam, Kiaribiyan Sii; nl, Caraïbische Zee; pap, Laman Karibe) is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean in the tropics of the Western Hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico ...
to Europe. The history of syphilis has been well-studied, but the origin of the disease remains a subject of debate. There are two primary hypotheses: one proposes that syphilis was carried to Europe from the
Americas The Americas, which are sometimes collectively called America, are a landmass comprising the totality of North America, North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. ...

Americas
by the crew of Christopher Columbus in the early 1490s, while the other proposes that syphilis previously existed in Europe but went unrecognized. The first written descriptions of the disease in the Old World came in 1493. The first large outbreak of syphilis in Europe occurred in 1494–1495 among the army of Charles VIII during its invasion of Naples. Many of the crew members who had served with Columbus had joined this army. After the victory, Charles's largely mercenary army returned to their respective homes, thereby spreading "the Great Pox" across Europe and killing up to five million people. The Columbian exchange of diseases in the other direction was by far deadlier. The peoples of the Americas had had no contact to European and African diseases and little or no immunity. An epidemic of swine influenza beginning in 1493 killed many of the Taino people inhabiting
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ) ( es, El Caribe; french: la Caraïbe; ht, Karayib; nl, De Caraïben) is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and some bordering both the Caribbean ...
islands. The pre-contact population of the island of Hispanola was probably at least 500,000, but by 1526, fewer than 500 were still alive. Spanish exploitation was part of the cause of the near-extinction of the native people. In 1518,
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease caused by variola virus (often called smallpox virus) which belongs to the genus Orthopoxvirus. The Ali Maow Maalin#Maalin's case, last naturally occurring case was diagnosed in October 1977, and the World ...

smallpox
was first recorded in the Americas and became the deadliest imported European disease. Forty percent of the 200,000 people living in the
Aztec The Aztecs () were a Mesoamerican culture that flourished in central Mexico in the post-classic period from 1300 to 1521. The Aztec people included different Indigenous peoples of Mexico, ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those g ...

Aztec
capital of
Tenochtitlan , ; es, Tenochtitlan also known as Mexico-Tenochtitlan, ; es, México-Tenochtitlan was a large Mexican in what is now the historic center of Mexico City. The exact date of the founding of the city is unclear. The date 13 March 1325 was ...

Tenochtitlan
, later
Mexico City Mexico City ( es, link=no, Ciudad de México, ; abbr.: CDMX; Nahuatl: ''Altepetl Mexico'') is the capital city, capital and primate city, largest city of Mexico, and the List of North American cities by population, most populous city in North Amer ...

Mexico City
, are estimated to have died of smallpox in 1520 during the war of the Aztecs with conquistador
Hernán Cortés Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro Altamirano, 1st Marquess of the Valley of Oaxaca (; ; 1485 – December 2, 1547) was a Spanish ''conquistador'' who led an expedition that caused the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, fall of the Aztec E ...

Hernán Cortés
. Epidemics, possibly of smallpox and spread from
Central America Central America ( es, América Central or ) is a subregion of the Americas. Its boundaries are defined as bordering the United States to the north, Colombia to the south, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Cen ...

Central America
, decimated the population of the
Inca Empire The Inca Empire (also Quechuan and Aymaran spelling shift, known as the Incan Empire and the Inka Empire), called ''Tawantinsuyu'' by its subjects, (Quechuan languages, Quechua for the "Realm of the Four Parts",  "four parts together" ) wa ...

Inca Empire
a few years before the arrival of the Spanish. The ravages of European diseases and Spanish exploitation reduced the Mexican population from an estimated 20 million to barely more than a million in the 16th century. The indigenous population of
Peru , image_flag = Flag of Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo nacional del Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (emblem), National seal , national_motto = "Fi ...

Peru
decreased from about 9 million in the pre-Columbian era to 600,000 in 1620. Scholars Nunn and Qian estimate that 80–95 percent of the Native American population died in epidemics within the first 100–150 years following 1492. The deadliest Old World diseases in the Americas were smallpox,
measles Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease caused by Measles morbillivirus, measles virus. Symptoms usually develop 10–12 days after exposure to an infected person and last 7–10 days. Initial symptoms typically include fever, often ...
,
whooping cough Whooping cough, also known as pertussis or the 100-day cough, is a highly contagious bacterial disease. Initial symptoms are usually similar to those of the common cold The common cold or the cold is a virus, viral infectious disease of ...
,
chicken pox Chickenpox, also known as varicella, is a highly contagious disease caused by the initial infection An infection is the invasion of tissue (biology), tissues by pathogens, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host t ...
,
bubonic plague Bubonic plague is one of three types of Plague (disease), plague caused by the plague Bacteria, bacterium (''Yersinia pestis''). One to seven days after exposure to the bacteria, flu-like symptoms develop. These symptoms include fever, headac ...
,
typhus Typhus, also known as typhus fever, is a group of infectious diseases that include epidemic typhus, scrub typhus, and murine typhus. Common symptoms include fever, headache, and a rash. Typically these begin one to two weeks after exposure. ...
, and
malaria Malaria is a Mosquito-borne disease, mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals. Malaria causes Signs and symptoms, symptoms that typically include fever, fatigue (medical), tiredness, vomiting, and headaches. In se ...

malaria
.


African slavery

The
Atlantic slave trade The Atlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, or Euro-American slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of enslaved African people, mainly to the Americas. The slave trade regularly used the triangular trade route and ...
consisted of the involuntary immigration of 11.7 million Africans, primarily from West Africa, to the Americas between the 16th and 19th centuries, far outnumbering the about 3.4 million Europeans who migrated, most voluntarily, to the New World between 1492 and 1840. The prevalence of African slaves in the New World was related to the demographic decline of New World peoples and the need of European colonists for labor. The Africans had greater immunities to Old World diseases than the New World peoples, and were less likely to die from disease. The journey of African slaves from Africa to America is commonly known as the "
middle passage The Middle Passage was the stage of the Atlantic slave trade The Atlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, or Euro-American slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of enslaved African people, mainly to the Americas ...
". Enslaved Africans helped shape an emerging African-American culture in the New World. They participated in both skilled and unskilled labor. Their descendants gradually developed an ethnicity that drew from the numerous African tribes as well as European nationalities. The descendants of African slaves make up a majority of the population in some Caribbean countries, notably
Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; French: ), officially the Republic of Haiti (); ) and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, east of Cuba and Jamaica, and ...

Haiti
and
Jamaica Jamaica (; ) is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. Spanning in area, it is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles and the Caribbean (after Cuba and Hispaniola). Jamaica lies about south of Cuba, and west of Hisp ...

Jamaica
, and a sizeable minority in most American countries. A movement for the abolition of slavery, known as
abolitionism Abolitionism, or the abolitionist movement, is the movement to end slavery. In Western Europe and the Americas, abolitionism was a historic movement that sought to end the Atlantic slave trade and liberate the enslaved people. The British ...
, developed in Europe and the Americas during the 18th century. The efforts of abolitionists eventually led to the abolition of slavery (the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. I ...

British Empire
in
1833 Events January–March * January 3 Events Pre-1600 *AD 69, 69 – The Roman legions on the Rhine refuse to declare their allegiance to Galba, instead proclaiming their legate, Aulus Vitellius, as emperor. * 250 – Emperor De ...
, the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
in
1865 Events January–March * January 4 – The New York Stock Exchange opens its first permanent headquarters at Broad Street (Manhattan), 10-12 Broad near Wall Street, in New York City. * January 13 – American Civil War : Sec ...
, and
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, ...
in
1888 In Germany, 1888 is known as the Year of the Three Emperors. Currently, it is the year that, when written in Roman numerals, has the most digits (13). The next year that also has 13 digits is the year 2388. The record will be surpassed as late ...
).


Silver

The New World produced 80 percent or more of the world's
silver Silver is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Ag (from the Latin ', derived from the Proto-Indo-European wikt:Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/h₂erǵ-, ''h₂erǵ'': "shiny" or "white") and atomic number 47. A soft, whi ...

silver
in the 16th and 17th centuries, most of it at
Potosí Potosí, known as Villa Imperial de Potosí in the colonial period, is the capital city and a municipality of the Potosí Department, Department of Potosí in Bolivia. It is one of the list of highest cities in the world, highest cities in the wo ...
in
Bolivia , image_flag = Bandera de Bolivia (Estado).svg , flag_alt = Horizontal tricolor (red, yellow, and green from top to bottom) with the coat of arms of Bolivia in the center , flag_alt2 = 7 × 7 square p ...

Bolivia
, but also in Mexico. The founding of the city of
Manila Manila ( , ; fil, Maynila, ), officially the City of Manila ( fil, Lungsod ng Maynila, ), is the capital city, capital of the Philippines, and its second-most populous city. It is Cities of the Philippines#Independent cities, highly urbanize ...

Manila
in the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
in 1571 for the purpose of facilitating trade in New World silver with China for
silk Silk is a natural fiber, natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be weaving, woven into textiles. The protein fiber of silk is composed mainly of fibroin and is produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoon (silk), cocoons. The be ...

silk
,
porcelain Porcelain () is a ceramic material made by heating Chemical substance, substances, generally including materials such as kaolinite, in a kiln to temperatures between . The strength and translucence of porcelain, relative to other types of pot ...

porcelain
, and other luxury products has been called by scholars the "origin of world trade." China was the world's largest economy and in the 1570s adopted silver (which it did not produce in any quantity) as its medium of exchange. China had little interest in buying foreign products so trade consisted of large quantities of silver coming into China to pay for the Chinese products that foreign countries desired. Silver made it to Manila either through Europe and by ship around the
Cape of Good Hope The Cape of Good Hope ( af, Kaap die Goeie Hoop ) ;''Kaap'' in isolation: pt, Cabo da Boa Esperança is a rocky headland on the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula in South Africa. A common misconception is that the Cape o ...

Cape of Good Hope
or across the Pacific Ocean in Spanish
galleon Galleons were large, multi-decked sailing ships first used as armed cargo carriers by European states from the 16th to 18th centuries during the age of sail and were the principal vessels drafted for use as Warship, warships until the Anglo- ...
s from the Mexican port of
Acapulco Acapulco de Juárez (), commonly called Acapulco ( , also , nah, Acapolco), is a city and major seaport in the Political divisions of Mexico, state of Guerrero on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, south of Mexico City. Acapulco is located on a dee ...

Acapulco
. From Manila the silver was transported onward to China on Portuguese and later Dutch ships. Silver was also smuggled from Potosi to
Buenos Aires Buenos Aires ( or ; ), officially the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires ( es, link=no, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires), is the Capital city, capital and primate city of Argentina. The city is located on the western shore of the Río de la Plata ...

Buenos Aires
,
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country in the southern half of South America. Argentina covers an area of , making it the List of South American countries by area, second-largest ...

Argentina
to pay slavers for African slaves imported into the New World. The enormous quantities of silver imported into Spain and China created vast wealth but also caused inflation and the value of silver to decline. In 16th century China, six ounces of silver was equal to the value of one ounce of gold. In 1635, it took 13 ounces of silver to equal in value one ounce of gold. Taxes in both countries were assessed in the weight of silver, not its value. The shortage of revenue due to the decline in the value of silver may have contributed indirectly to the fall of the
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China, ruling from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last ort ...

Ming dynasty
in 1644. Likewise, silver from the Americas financed Spain's attempt to conquer other countries in Europe, and the decline in the value of silver left Spain faltering in the maintenance of its world-wide empire and retreating from its aggressive policies in Europe after 1650.


The wheel

Although large-scale use of wheels did not occur in the Americas prior to European contact, numerous small wheeled artifacts, identified as children's toys, have been found in Mexican archeological sites, some dating to approximately 1500 BCE. Some argue that the primary obstacle to large-scale development of the wheel in the Americas was the absence of domesticated large animals that could be used to pull wheeled carriages. The closest relative of
cattle Cattle (''Bos taurus'') are large, domestication, domesticated, Cloven hoof, cloven-hooved, herbivores. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae and the most widespread species of the genus ''Bos''. Adult females are referr ...

cattle
present in Americas in pre-Columbian times, the
American bison The American bison (''Bison bison'') is a species of bison native to North America. Sometimes colloquially referred to as American buffalo or simply Bubalina, buffalo (a different clade of bovine), it is one of two extant species of bison, alongs ...

American bison
, is difficult to domesticate and was never domesticated by Native Americans; several horse species existed until about 12,000 years ago, but ultimately became extinct. The only large animal that was domesticated in the Western hemisphere, the
llama The llama (; ) (''Lama glama'') is a domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a List of meat animals, meat and pack animal by Inca empire, Andean cultures since the Pre-Columbian era. Llamas are social animals and live with othe ...

llama
, a pack animal, was not physically suited to use as a draft animal to pull wheeled vehicles, and use of the llama did not spread far beyond the
Andes The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains (; ) are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western ...

Andes
by the time of the arrival of Europeans. On the other hand,
Mesoamerica Mesoamerica is a historical region and cultural area in southern North America and most of Central America. It extends from approximately central Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica. Withi ...
ns never developed the
wheelbarrow A wheelbarrow is a small hand-propelled vehicle, usually with just one wheel, designed to be pushed and guided by a single person using two handles at the rear, or by a sail to push the ancient wheelbarrow by wind. The term "wheelbarrow" is mad ...

wheelbarrow
, the
potter's wheel In pottery, a potter's wheel is a machine used in the shaping (known as throwing) of clay into round ceramic ware. The wheel may also be used during the process of trimming excess clay from leather-hard dried ware that is stiff but malleable, a ...

potter's wheel
, nor any other practical object with a wheel or wheels. Although present in a number of toys, very similar to those found throughout the world and still made for children today ("pull toys"), the wheel was never put into practical use in Mesoamerica before the 16th century. Possibly the closest New World civilizations came to the utilitarian wheel is the
spindle whorl A spindle whorl is a disc or spherical object fitted onto the Spindle (textiles), spindle to increase and maintain the speed of the spin. Historically, whorls have been made of materials like amber, antler, bone, ceramic, coral, glass, stone, meta ...
, and some scholars believe that the Mayan toys were originally made with spindle whorls and spindle sticks as "wheels" and "axes".


Effects


Crops

Because of the new trading resulting from the Columbian exchange, several plants native to the Americas have spread around the world, including
potatoes The potato is a starch#Food, starchy food, a tuber of the plant ''Solanum tuberosum'' and is a root vegetable native to the Americas. The plant is a perennial plant, perennial in the nightshade family Solanaceae. Wild potato species can be fo ...

potatoes
,
maize Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American English, North American and Australian English), is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples of Mexico, indigenous ...

maize
,
tomatoes The tomato is the edible Berry (botany), berry of the plant ''Solanum lycopersicum'', commonly known as the tomato plant. The species originated in western South America, Mexico, and Central America. The Mexican Nahuatl word gave rise to th ...

tomatoes
, and
tobacco Tobacco is the common name of several plants in the genus ''Nicotiana'' of the Family (biology), family Solanaceae, and the general term for any product prepared from the curing of tobacco, cured leaves of these plants. Nicotiana#Species, M ...

tobacco
. Before 1500, potatoes were not grown outside of
South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere at the northern tip of the continent. It can also be described as the souther ...

South America
. By the 18th century, they were cultivated and consumed widely in Europe and had become important crops in both
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
and North America. Potatoes eventually became an important staple of the diet in much of Europe, contributing to an estimated 25% of the population growth in Afro-Eurasia between 1700 and 1900. Many European rulers, including
Frederick the Great Frederick II (german: Friedrich II.; 24 January 171217 August 1786) was King in Prussia from 1740 until 1772, and King of Prussia from 1772 until his death in 1786. His most significant accomplishments include his military successes in the S ...

Frederick the Great
of Prussia and
Catherine the Great Catherine II (born Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst; 2 May 172917 November 1796), most commonly known as Catherine the Great, was the reigning empress of Russia from 1762 to 1796. She came to power following the overthrow of her husband, Peter III of Rus ...
of Russia, encouraged the cultivation of the potato. Maize and
cassava ''Manihot esculenta'', common name, commonly called cassava (), manioc, or yuca (among numerous regional names), is a woody shrub of the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae, native to South America. Although a perennial plant, cassava is extensively ...

cassava
, introduced by the Portuguese from South America in the 16th century, gradually replaced
sorghum ''Sorghum'' () is a genus of about 25 species of flowering plants in the grass family (Poaceae). Some of these species are grown as cereals for human consumption and some in pastures for animals. One species is grown for grain, while many other ...

sorghum
and
millet Millets () are a highly varied group of small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for fodder and human food. Most species generally referred to as millets belong to the tribe Paniceae, but some millets also ...

millet
as Africa's most important food crops. of the 16th-century introduced new staple crops to
Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with Africa Africa is ...

Asia
from the
Americas The Americas, which are sometimes collectively called America, are a landmass comprising the totality of North America, North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. ...

Americas
, including
maize Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American English, North American and Australian English), is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples of Mexico, indigenous ...

maize
and
sweet potato The sweet potato or sweetpotato (''Ipomoea batatas'') is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the Convolvulus, bindweed or morning glory family (biology), family, Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting tuberous roots are used as a r ...

sweet potato
es, and thereby contributed to population growth in Asia. On a larger scale, the introduction of potatoes and maize to the Old World "resulted in caloric and nutritional improvements over previously existing staples" throughout the Eurasian landmass, enabling more varied and abundant food production. Tomatoes, which came to Europe from the New World via
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...

Spain
, were initially prized in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...

Italy
mainly for their ornamental value. But starting in the 19th century,
tomato sauce Tomato sauce (also known as '' salsa roja'' in Spanish or ''salsa di pomodoro'' in Italian) can refer to many different sauces made primarily from tomatoes, usually to be served as part of a dish, rather than as a condiment A condiment is ...

tomato sauce
s became typical of
Neapolitan cuisine Neapolitan cuisine has ancient historical roots that date back to the Greco-Roman period, which was enriched over the centuries by the influence of the different cultures that controlled Naples and its Kingdom of Naples, kingdoms, such as that of ...
and, ultimately,
Italian cuisine Italian cuisine (, ) is a Mediterranean cuisine#CITEREFDavid1988, David 1988, Introduction, pp.101–103 consisting of the ingredients, recipes and List of cooking techniques, cooking techniques developed across the Italian Peninsula and late ...
in general.
Coffee Coffee is a drink prepared from roasted coffee beans. Darkly colored, bitter, and slightly acidic, coffee has a stimulant, stimulating effect on humans, primarily due to its caffeine content. It is the most popular hot drink in the world. S ...

Coffee
(introduced in the Americas circa 1720) from Africa and the Middle East and
sugarcane Sugarcane or sugar cane is a species of (often hybrid) tall, Perennial plant, perennial grass (in the genus ''Saccharum'', tribe Andropogoneae) that is used for sugar Sugar industry, production. The plants are 2–6 m (6–20 ft) tall with ...

sugarcane
(introduced from the
Indian subcontinent The Indian subcontinent is a list of the physiographic regions of the world, physiographical region in United Nations geoscheme for Asia#Southern Asia, Southern Asia. It is situated on the Indian Plate, projecting southwards into the Indian O ...

Indian subcontinent
) from the
Spanish West Indies The Spanish West Indies or the Spanish Antilles (also known as "Las Antillas Occidentales" or simply "Las Antillas Españolas" in Spanish language, Spanish) were Spanish colonies in the Caribbean. In terms of governance of the Spanish Empire, The ...
became the main export commodity crops of extensive
Latin America Latin America or * french: Amérique Latine, link=no * ht, Amerik Latin, link=no * pt, América Latina, link=no, name=a, sometimes referred to as LatAm is a large cultural region in the Americas where Romance languages — languages derived f ...

Latin America
n
plantations A plantation is an agricultural estate, generally centered on a plantation house, meant for farming that specializes in cash crops, usually mainly planted with a single crop, with perhaps ancillary areas for vegetables for eating and so on. Th ...

plantations
. Introduced to
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
by the Portuguese, and potatoes from South America have become an integral part of . Because crops traveled but often their endemic fungi did not, for a limited time yields were higher in their new lands. Dark & Gent 2001 term this the "". However, as globalization has continued the ''Columbian Exchange of pathogens'' has continued and crops have declined back toward their endemic yields the honeymoon is ending.


Rice

Rice was another crop that became widely cultivated during the Columbian exchange. As the demand in the New World grew, so did the knowledge of how to cultivate it. The two primary species used were ''
Oryza glaberrima ''Oryza glaberrima'', commonly known as African rice, is one of the two domesticated rice species. It was first domesticated and grown in West Africa around 3,000 years ago. In agriculture, it has largely been replaced by higher-yielding Oryza sa ...
'' and ''
Oryza sativa ''Oryza sativa'', commonly known as Asian rice or indica rice, is the plant species most commonly referred to in English as ''rice''. It is the List of rice cultivars, type of farmed rice whose cultivars are most common globally, and History of ...

Oryza sativa
'', originating from West Africa and Southeast Asia, respectively. European planters in the New World relied upon the skills of African slaves to cultivate both species. Georgia, Province of South Carolina, South Carolina, Captaincy General of Cuba, Cuba and Puerto Rico were major centers of rice production during the colonial era. Enslaved Africans brought their knowledge of water control, milling, winnowing, and other agrarian practices to the fields. This widespread knowledge among African slaves eventually led to rice becoming a staple dietary item in the New World.


Fruits

Citrus fruits and grapes were brought to the Americas from the Mediterranean. At first planters struggled to adapt these crops to the climates in the New World, but by the late 19th century they were cultivated more consistently. Bananas were introduced into the Americas in the 16th century by Portuguese sailors who came across the fruits in West Africa, while engaged in commercial ventures and the slave trade. Bananas were consumed in minimal amounts in the Americas as late as the 1880s. The U.S. did not see major increases in banana consumption until large plantations were established in the Caribbean.


Tomatoes

It took three centuries after their introduction in Europe for tomatoes to become a widely accepted food item. Tobacco, potatoes, chili peppers, tomatillos, and tomatoes are all members of the nightshade family. Similar to some European nightshade varieties, tomatoes and potatoes can be harmful or even lethal if the wrong part of the plant is consumed in excess. Physicians in the 16th century had good reason to suspect that this native Mexican fruit was poisonous; they suspected it of generating "melancholic humours". In 1544, Pietro Andrea Mattioli, a Grand Duchy of Tuscany, Tuscan physician and botanist, suggested that tomatoes might be edible, but no record exists of anyone consuming them at this time. However, in 1592 the head gardener at the botanical garden of Aranjuez near Madrid, under the patronage of Philip II of Spain, wrote, "it is said [tomatoes] are good for sauces". In spite of these comments, tomatoes remained exotic plants grown for ornamental purposes, but rarely for culinary use. On October 31, 1548, the tomato was given its first name anywhere in Europe when a house steward of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo I de' Medici, Duke of Florence, wrote to the De' Medici's private secretary that the basket of ''pomi d'oro'' "had arrived safely". At this time, the label ''pomi d'oro'' was also used to refer to figs, melons, and citrus fruits in treatises by scientists.''A History of the Tomato in Italy Pomodoro!'', David Gentilcore (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2010). In the early years, tomatoes were mainly grown as ornamentals in Italy. For example, the Duchy of Florence, Florentine aristocrat Giovan Vettorio Soderini wrote that they "were to be sought only for their beauty" and were grown only in gardens or flower beds. Tomatoes were grown in elite town and country gardens in the fifty years or so following their arrival in Europe, and were only occasionally depicted in works of art. The practice of using
tomato sauce Tomato sauce (also known as '' salsa roja'' in Spanish or ''salsa di pomodoro'' in Italian) can refer to many different sauces made primarily from tomatoes, usually to be served as part of a dish, rather than as a condiment A condiment is ...

tomato sauce
with pasta developed only in the late nineteenth century. Today around of tomatoes are cultivated in Italy.


Livestock

Initially at least, the Columbian exchange of animals largely went in one direction, from Europe to the New World, as the Eurasian regions had domesticated many more animals. Horses, donkeys, mules, pigs,
cattle Cattle (''Bos taurus'') are large, domestication, domesticated, Cloven hoof, cloven-hooved, herbivores. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae and the most widespread species of the genus ''Bos''. Adult females are referr ...

cattle
, sheep, goats, chickens, large dogs, cats, and bees were rapidly adopted by native peoples for transport, food, and other uses. One of the first European exports to the Americas, the horse, changed the lives of many Native Americans in the United States, Native American tribes. The mountain tribes shifted to a nomadic lifestyle, based on hunting bison on horseback. They largely gave up settled agriculture. Horse culture was adopted gradually by Great Plains Indians. The existing Plains tribes expanded their territories with horses, and the animals were considered so valuable that horse herds became a measure of wealth. While mesoamerican peoples (Mayas in particular) already practiced apiculture, producing wax and honey from a variety of bees (such as ''Melipona'' or ''Trigona''), European bees (''Apis mellifera'')—more productive, delivering a honey with less water content and allowing for an easier extraction from beehives—were introduced in New Spain, becoming an important part of farming production. The effects of the introduction of European livestock on the environments and peoples of the New World were not always positive. In the Caribbean, the proliferation of European animals consumed native fauna and undergrowth, changing habitat. If free ranging, the animals often damaged ''conucos,'' plots managed by indigenous peoples for subsistence. The Mapuche of Araucanía (historic region), Araucanía were fast to adopt the horse from the Spanish, and improve their military capabilities as they fought the Arauco War against Spanish colonizers. Until the arrival of the Spanish, the Mapuches had largely maintained chilihueques (llamas) as livestock. The Spanish introduction of sheep caused some competition between the two domesticated species. Anecdotal evidence of the mid-17th century show that by then both species coexisted but that the sheep far outnumbered the llamas. The decline of llamas reached a point in the late 18th century when only the Mapuche from San José de la Mariquina, Mariquina and Huequén next to Angol raised the animal. In the Chiloé Archipelago the introduction of pigs by the Spanish proved a success. They could feed on the abundant shellfish and algae exposed by the large tides. In the other direction, the turkey (bird), turkey, guinea pig, and Muscovy duck were New World animals that were transferred to Europe.


Medicines

European exploration of tropical areas was aided by the New World discovery of quinine, the first effective treatment for
malaria Malaria is a Mosquito-borne disease, mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals. Malaria causes Signs and symptoms, symptoms that typically include fever, fatigue (medical), tiredness, vomiting, and headaches. In se ...

malaria
. Europeans suffered from this disease, but some indigenous populations had developed at least partial resistance to it. In Africa, resistance to malaria has been associated with other genetic changes among sub-Saharan Africans and their descendants, which can cause sickle-cell disease. The resistance of sub-Saharan Africans to malaria in the southern United States and the Caribbean contributed greatly to the specific character of the Africa-sourced slavery in those regions. Similarly, yellow fever is thought to have been brought to the Americas from Africa via the
Atlantic slave trade The Atlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, or Euro-American slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of enslaved African people, mainly to the Americas. The slave trade regularly used the triangular trade route and ...
. Because it was endemic in Africa, many people there had acquired immunity. Europeans suffered higher rates of death than did African-descended persons when exposed to yellow fever in Africa and the Americas, where history of yellow fever, numerous epidemics swept the colonies beginning in the 17th century and continuing into the late 19th century. The disease caused widespread fatalities in the Caribbean during the heyday of slave-based sugar plantation. The replacement of native forests by sugar plantations and factories facilitated its spread in the tropical area by reducing the number of potential natural mosquito predators.The means of yellow fever transmission was unknown until 1881, when Carlos Finlay suggested that the disease was transmitted through mosquitoes, now known to be female mosquitoes of the species ''Aedes aegypti''.


Cultural exchanges

One of the results of the movement of people between New and Old Worlds were cultural exchanges. For example, in the article "The Myth of Early Globalization: The Atlantic Economy, 1500–1800", Pieter Emmer makes the point that "from 1500 onward, a 'clash of cultures' had begun in the Atlantic". This clash of culture involved the transfer of European values to indigenous cultures. As an example, the emergence of the concept of private property in regions where property was often viewed as communal, concepts of monogamy (although many indigenous peoples were already monogamous), the role of women and children in the social system, and different concepts of labor, including slavery, although slavery was already a practice among many indigenous peoples and was widely practiced or introduced by Europeans into the Americas. Another example included the European abhorrence of Human sacrifice in pre-Columbian cultures, human sacrifice, a religious practice among some indigenous populations. During the initial stages of European colonization of the Americas, Europeans encountered fence-less lands. They believed that the land was unimproved and available for their taking, as they sought economic opportunity and homesteads. However, when European settlers arrived in Virginia, they encountered a fully established indigenous people, the Powhatan. The Powhatan farmers in Virginia scattered their farm plots within larger cleared areas. These larger cleared areas were a communal place for growing useful plants. As the Europeans viewed fences as hallmarks of civilization, they set about transforming "the land into something more suitable for themselves". Tobacco was a New World agricultural product, originally a luxury good spread as part of the Columbian exchange. As is discussed in regard to the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the tobacco trade increased demand for free labor and spread tobacco worldwide. In discussing the widespread uses of tobacco, the Spanish physician Nicolas Monardes (1493–1588) noted that "The black people that have gone from these parts to the Indies, have taken up the same manner and use of tobacco that the Indians have". As Europeans traveled to other parts of the world, they took with them the practices related to tobacco. Demand for tobacco grew in the course of these cultural exchanges among peoples. One of the most clearly notable areas of cultural clash and exchange was that of religion, often the lead point of cultural conversion. In the Spanish and Portuguese dominions, the spread of Catholicism, steeped in a European values system, was a major objective of colonization. Europeans often pursued it via explicit policies of suppression of indigenous languages, cultures and religions. In British America, Protestant missionaries converted many members of indigenous tribes to Protestantism. The French colonies had a more outright religious mandate, as some of the early explorers, such as Jacques Marquette, were also Catholic priests. In time, and given the European technological and immunological superiority which aided and secured their dominance, indigenous religions declined in the centuries following the European settlement of the Americas. While Mapuche people did adopt the horse, sheep, and wheat, the over-all scant adoption of Spanish technology by Mapuche has been characterized as a means of Resistance through culture, cultural resistance. According to Caroline Dodds Pennock, in Atlantic history indigenous people are often seen as static recipients of transatlantic encounters. But thousands of Native Americans crossed the ocean during the sixteenth century, some by choice.


Organism examples


Later history

Plants that arrived by land, sea, or air in the times before 1492 are called archaeophytes, and plants introduced to Europe after those times are called Neophyte (botany), neophytes. Invasive species of plants and pathogens also were introduced by chance, including such weeds as Salsola, tumbleweeds (''Salsola'' spp.) and Avena fatua, wild oats (''Avena fatua''). Some plants introduced intentionally, such as the kudzu, kudzu vine introduced in 1894 from Japan to the United States to help control soil erosion, have since been found to be invasive pests in the new environment. Fungi have also been transported, such as the one responsible for Dutch elm disease, killing Ulmus americana, American elms in North American forests and cities, where many had been planted as street trees. Some of the invasive species have become serious ecosystem and economic problems after establishing in the New World environments. A beneficial, although probably unintentional, introduction is ''Saccharomyces eubayanus'', the yeast responsible for lager beer now thought to have originated in Patagonia.Elusive Lager Yeast Found in Patagonia
''Discovery News'', August 23, 2011
Others have crossed the Atlantic to Europe and have changed the course of history. In the 1840s, ''Phytophthora infestans'' crossed the oceans, damaging the potato crop in several European nations. In Ireland, the potato crop was totally destroyed; the Great Famine (Ireland), Great Famine of Ireland caused millions to starve to death or emigrate. In addition to these, many animals were introduced to new habitats on the other side of the world either accidentally or incidentally. These include such animals as brown rats, earthworms (apparently absent from parts of the pre-Columbian New World), and zebra mussels, which arrived on ships. Escaped and feral populations of non-indigenous animals have thrived in both the Old and New Worlds, often negatively impacting or displacing native species. In the New World, populations of feral European cats, pigs, horses, and cattle are common, and the Burmese python and green iguana are considered problematic in Florida. In the Old World, the Eastern gray squirrel has been particularly successful in colonising Great Britain, and populations of raccoons can now be found in some regions of Germany, the Caucasus, and Japan. Fur farm escapees such as coypu and American mink have extensive populations.


See also

* Arab Agricultural Revolution * Early impact of Mesoamerican goods in Iberian society * First contact (anthropology) * Great American Interchange * List of food plants native to the Americas * Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact theories * Global silver trade from the 16th to 19th centuries * Transformation of culture


References


Further reading


The Columbian Exchange: Plants, Animals, and Disease between the Old and New Worlds
by Alfred Crosby, Alfred W. Crosby (2009)
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
by Charles C. Mann (2006)
Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World
by Jack Weatherford (2010)


External links


Worlds Together, Worlds Apart
by Jeremy Adelman, Stephen Aron, Stephen Kotkin, et al.
Foods that Changed the World
by Steven R. King from the Wayback Machine
The Columbian Exchange
video, study guide, analysis, and teaching guide {{DEFAULTSORT:Columbian exchange Agricultural revolutions History of agriculture History of Europe History of globalization History of indigenous peoples of the Americas History of the Americas Horticulture Introduced species Invasive species Spanish colonization of the Americas Spanish exploration in the Age of Discovery History of the Atlantic Ocean Transatlantic cultural exchange Age of Discovery