What Are the Pros and Cons of Christopher Columbus’s Journeys?

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There were many advantages and disadvantages to Columbus’s travels to America, including the pro of advancing trade and the con of disrupting the lives of indigenous people. When Christopher Columbus arrived in the Caribbean, he made communication and trade possible between Europe and the Americas. Known as the Columbian Exchange, the transfer of food, animals, language, religion, and disease greatly benefited Europe and destroyed American indigenous cultures at the same time.

Columbus brought foods back to Europe, such as potatoes, corn and tomatoes, which became dietary staples and contributed to population growth. The Europeans also used the land in their new territories to grow cash crops such as coffee and sugar.

Although the Columbian Exchange improved life in Europe, the native people in the Americas were not as fortunate. Many of them died from exposure to new diseases, and they lost their cultures as the Europeans colonized the region, forcing them to convert to Western practices and beliefs.