The Columbian Exchange

The Columbian Exchange or Grand Exchange refers to the widespread transfer of animals, plants, culture, human populations, communicable diseases


Common Old World Diseases included:

  • Smallpox
  • Measles
  • Malaria
  • Yellow fever
  • Influenza
  • Chicken Pox

Common New World Diseases included:

  • Syphilis
  • Polio
  • Hepatitis
  • Encephalitis


The contrast between the two sets of organisms, Old World and New World, those closely associated with humanity—crop plants, domesticated animals, germs, and weeds—was very sharp. The difference between the two lists of crops was, with the possible exception of cotton, absolute.


The horses help the old world to hunt and get to place to place


Guns, Germs, and Steel, popularized the notion that European imperialism succeeded due to European advantages over other people in the areas of, well... guns, germs, and steel. As far as colonization of the Americas is concerned, though, guns and steel were all but immaterial.