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History of the United States
Respiratory System

Where did the Columbian Exchange take place?


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November 17, 2009 7:22PM

Columbian Exchange

As a result of Columbus's voyages to the New World, a biological pipeline between America and Europe opened up that had been apart since before humans appeared on earth. The lands had drifted apart that had once be connected. Some species of plants and animals flourished in both areas, and some did not. There were many new animals and plants in the Americas that Europeans had never seen. And, Europeans brought plants and animals to the New World that America had never seen. This includes viruses and other biological organisms. The new animals brought to America upset the ecology of the area. The people living in the Americas did not have resistance to many of the "germs" brought by the Europeans. Biologically, the Indians had not been exposed to measles, smallpox, whooping cough, chicken pox, and influenza. The effect of these diaereses on the Americans was catastrophic. Bacteria and viruses killed more Native Americans than did Spanish swords. The Indians also gave to the Europeans, venereal disease. Medical historians disagree on the origins of syphilis, but it was first identified by physicians in 1493, in Cadiz, Spain, the port which Columbus returned to after his first voyage. The Colombian Exchange was also a cultural exchange. New agricultural developments were traded, economic activity and opportunities opened up between the New and Old Worlds, and new ideas were exchanged.