The Columbian Exchange – the Truth Behind the Mirage
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The Columbian Exchange: The Truth behind the Mirage
The Columbian Exchange was the foundation for so many things in our world today. Its importance varies from the foods we eat, to the holidays we celebrate. It is the reason why we celebrate Thanksgiving to this day.
Some people do not know the whole truth of what the Columbian Exchange really was nor what took place during the Columbian Exchange.
The Columbian Exchange took place in 1492. It was a wide spread exchange of animals, plants, cultures, human diseases, and ideas between the Native Americans and the Europeans.
Christopher Columbus was the leader of the Europeans who come across America, which is where the Columbian Exchange took place. Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in Genoa, Italy. He was an Italian Spanish navigator who sailed across the Atlantic ocean in hopes of finding a route to Asia, but instead achieved fame by encountering the land of the Americas instead.
The second Monday in October is celebrated across America as “Columbus Day” however, most people believe that he was a tremendous man who founded our great country. Little do they know what really happened once he arrived and began to settle into America. In school, children are taught that he was a National hero. In actuality, the man was a murder.
However, he believed that he had come across a land that was unknown to the “civilized” world. While he was the one to discover America, he was also the one who replaced the natives peaceful home with slavery, warfare, and inhuman acts. Christopher Columbus and his mean who accompanied him completely destroyed a civilization, a culture, and a land. These are NOT acts that symbolize a “hero”. When Christopher Columbus thoughts come into play and get set into action, one can see that he never had any intentions on respecting any of the Natives rights or concerns.
His first sight of the Indians was of a group of attractive, unclothed people. To Columbus, their nakedness represented a lack of culture, customs, and religion. Columbus saw this as an opportunity to spread the word of God. He believed that they would be easy to manipulate because to him they appeared defenseless, easy to trick because they lacked experience in trade. He also saw the Natives as an easy source of profit because they could be enslaved. Columbus did not think anything more of what would come from their relationship other than master and slave. These thought were only a foreshadowing of what was to come.
The Columbian exchange was not only a trade of animals, food, and ideas; it was also a trade of knowledge as well. The Natives taught Christopher Columbus and his man how to farm, Native species in medicine, and hunting techniques. The Columbian Exchange involved Europeans bringing to the Americas sugar, bananas, oranges, pigs sheep, cattle, and horses. These successfully altered the Indian diet, economy, as well as their way of life. In addition, the Indian maize, squash, tomatoes, and potatoes were introduced to the Europeans, altering their diet as well. While these positive aspects benefited both societies, the diseases brought by the Europeans were extremely detrimental to the Indian cultures. The Indians had never encountered any diseases so therefore their immune systems could not fight the diseases off and in the end 90% of the Indian population was killed off due to smallpox, weasels, and the flu.
After all of the exchanging had been done; both the Natives and the Europeans joined for a large feast. This was known as Thanksgiving. That day was filled with peace, thanks, and new experiences. However, little did the Indians know that the following day would be filled with pain, agony, and suffering.
Even though Columbus came across to be an open-minded man, from his very first contact with the Native people, Columbus had their domination in mind. For example, on October 14, 1492, Columbus wrote in his journal, “With fifty men they can all be sub judged and made to do what is required of them.”
The very next morning Christopher Columbus began enslaving the native race. He simply took over the islands, along with the natives