When Christopher Columbus encountered the Taino people on the island they called Guanahani in 1492, he touched off an exchange of plants, animals, diseases, and cultures that transformed worlds. Natives inhabiting the "New World," as the Europeans called it, would pay a heavy price for living in an area now coveted by aggressive outsiders. At the same time, people living in the "Old World" would have their lives altered by the repercussions of this contact. Indeed, after 1492 the world would never be the same again, either geographically or culturally.
The Columbian Exchange
European settlement in the New World began a process of biological, human, cultural, and material exchange, known as the Columbian exchange. This exchange has been an important marker in the history of the world.
Look for answers to these questions when watching the video:
- What was Columbus's vision?
- In what ways did Columbus reflect the spirit of his times?
- Define the term Columbian exchange. What were the short- and long-term consequences of this exchange?