The Columbian Exchange took place as a result of the European colonization of the Americas. The transfer of culture and biology between the Old and New World that characterizes the exchange began when Christopher Columbus arrived in the Caribbean Islands in 1492.Continue Reading
After its separation millions of years ago from a landmass containing Eurasia and Africa, the American continent experienced a period of ecological isolation. As a result of this isolation, its ecosystems evolved separately and took on different characteristics to those found elsewhere in the world.
Following Columbus' arrival, many of the European nations were interested in colonizing the newly discovered land and sent men in ships to conquer territory, find gold and convert the local people to Christians. With the arrival of these foreign colonizers, the native people living in the Americas were exposed to not only European people and their culture for the first time, but also to new varieties of animals, plants and diseases.
Similarly, the European colonizers were also exposed to biological and cultural elements that did not exist in the Old World. This exchange between the continents was completed when returning Europeans took home with them the goods and microorganisms particular to the American continent.Learn more about Exploration & Imperialism
The exchange of animal and plant populations across the Atlantic Ocean, known as the Columbian Exchange, began in the late 15th century and dramatically altered the ecosystems of both the Old and New Worlds. In a few centuries, the exchange established new crops and animals in new ranges.Full Answer >
European colonization caused revolutionary changes to Africa's political geography and old African empires and kingdoms met their demise. The societies in Africa were in flux and politically and organizationally unstable so they were unable to resist the European invaders.Full Answer >
The Monroe Doctrine stated that North and South America were no longer open to European colonization and any effort to subjugate countries in the western hemisphere was an attack on the United States. It stipulated that the United States would avoid interfering in internal European affairs or existing European colonies.Full Answer >
Examples of colonialism include the ancient Greek colonization of Sicily, the Spanish colonization of South America, the Viking colonization of Normandy and the British colonization of Australia. Colonialism involves a powerful nation sending settlers to permanently live in another land under the originating nation's control.Full Answer >