15th and 16th Centuries
"The seams of Pangaea were closing, drawn together by the sailmaker's needle. Chickens met kiwis, cattle met kangaroos, Irish met potatoes, Comanches met horses, Incas met smallpox--all for the first time."
--Alfred W. Crosby, author and historian of The Columbian Exchange, on the Columbian Exchange
The Columbian Exchange was the transfer of goods between the Americas, Europe, and Africa. Goods exchanged included plants, animals, culture, settlers, slaves, diseases, technology, and ideas. The Columbian Exchange resulted in the introduction of items that were new to the country it was exported to, such as Europeans introducing peanuts and manioc to Africa and tropical Asia. This trade system was a direct result of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas in 1492. The Columbian Exchange was the set-up for Europe gaining immense power and wealth, slavery taking root in American culture, and even explains many cultural and economical ideas of the present
"For the natives, they are neere all dead of Small poxe, so as The Lord hathe cleared our title to what we possess."
--John Winthrop, founder of Massachusetts Bay Colony, on the acquiring of land from the Native Americans