How Columbian Exchange Reshaped Global Consumption Patterns

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In what ways did the 'Columbian Exchange' re-shape global consumption patterns from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries? What cultural or political perceptions have driven resource consumption or conservation over the last 500 years of human history? Use at least three examples from our lectures and other course materials.
The discovery of America by Cristobal Colon, in 1492, was one of the most important events in world history and represents the definitive encounter of two worlds that had evolved independently from the origin of humanity, which changed the course of history. For the first time, a global network was created, since Columbus's trip connected Europe with America, creating the largest world historical process, the Columbian exchange.

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The Columbian exchange was a process of exchanging plants, animals, diseases, and people across the Atlantic from Europe to Africa to America and vice versa. There were advantages and disadvantages in this process, it was possible to bring new crops to grow in suitable environments for them, as well as some diseases, which created a great effect that reformed the global consumption patterns of the XVII to XIX centuries, creating several consequences, among them several cultural and political perceptions that drove the consumption and conservation of resources in the last 500 years of human history, which will be discussed.

Columbus began the process of bringing things from the Old World to the new world and from the new world to the old world. Colon brought with it sugar, grapes, coffee which was looking for high prices in Europe. One of the most lucrative crops in the Caribbean was the cultivation of sugar, Europeans did not want to waste a single part of land, so they decided to send all their food to have their land available to continue growing sugar where they took advantage of and brought people from the Americas to basically convert them into slaves and have them working in the production of sugar. Just as Europeans transported their products to the new world, they also took the advantage of bringing New World crops to the Old World, such as tomatoes, potatoes, corn, cassava. One of the important things to emphasize, is that the products that were brought from the new world were very dense that is to say that with a potato crop you could feed three times a population to a wheat crop, for example. This caused the food of the New World helped to increase the population in Europe and Africa. The plantations were worked mainly by the slaves, as mentioned above, which created a demand for work and made the slave trade grow.

Early European travelers also transported domestic animals to the Americas such as cows, horses, pigs, and sheep, where they came with advantages and disadvantages because the horse was a very useful animal while the pigs multiplied very fast and were exposed to them. The pigs would end up with everything they had to eat, even ruining the topsoil and crops of the Native Americans, but in spite of this the brought back of the domestic animals could provide the new world with new sources of food, transportation and the possibility of grow the economy with the creation of meat export companies.

The spread of native American crops has had a huge impact on the global population, promoted plantation agriculture and global trade. Many of the plants that were exchanged or transported were able to adapt very well in Europe Asia and Africa, products such as potatoes brought from the New World, were grown in quantity without taking up space and had many calories which helped prevent hunger droughts. The Colombo exchange helped people as well as the Old World, as the New World could have a greater variety of food products, spread throughout the world and could improve the food in each of those places, taking so diversity and options. While in Europe, Asia, Africa the population grew, in America the population decreased because they were exposed to many types of infections by Europeans that led to death. We can conclude that with the Colombo exchange the world 'became better', since I create a greater quantity of goods and money in movement, helping the economy in both worlds. It also caused more crops to be dispersed in different parts of the planet, and at the same time, people began to be more exposed to contagious diseases from person to person, which caused more defenses to be created and these diseases to become minimal. and since not everything can be good, the Colombian exchange also creates inequality, where the most powerful countries are able to take more advantage of these connections between the Old World and the New World.

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