Q:

What are the causes for the Columbian Exchange?

A:

Quick Answer

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

Full Answer

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

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How is the Columbian Exchange significant in history?

    A:

    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 >
  • Q:

    What are positive and negative effects of colonialism in the United States?

    A:

    Colonialism in the United States, also called colonization, provided economic benefits by allowing the colonies to enjoy some degree of autonomy from Great Britain, but also restricted trade to only between the colonies and Great Britain, and established high taxes on the colonies. Great Britain initially established the colonies to derive benefits from overseas territories, primarily in the area of economics. Great Britain ultimately succeeded in making a profit from trade within the colonies, but allowed the colonies the opportunity to grow independently, which in turn led to their separation from Britain.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    How did European colonialism affect Africa's culture?

    A:

    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 >
  • Q:

    What did the Monroe Doctrine state?

    A:

    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 >

Explore