The Europen Exchange Essay

Submitted By abbynicole18
Words: 1087
Pages: 5

The cultures of Europe, Africa and the Americas were similar in how they utilized land and agriculture for survival. However, each culture differed in the extent to which the land was utilized and the developments that resulted from its utilization. These differences altered the interactions of the peoples from these three areas. First, take a look at the culture of Europe. Agricultural development and population grown began in the fertile crescent much earlier than it did in Africa and the Americas. The fertile soil initially led to crops, population growth and expansion across Europe. The development of land and population growth created a higher importance on land ownership and led to the creation of governments and taxation. This system led to a search for goods, riches and knowledge by explorers. As the trade industry expanded, explorers began to seek out quicker routes to popular trade destinations and knowledge from around the world was brought home. This knowledge from around the world led to technology in Europe and the creation of a diverse economy. Explorers also began trading slave populations from around the world as the economies of European countries grew more robust. This culture was much different than that of Africa and the Americas. Africa did have gold, ivory and slaves to trade with Europe, but they did not have the technological advancements, tools nor the government and taxation needed for expansion across the atlantic. Although they had large cities and a large population base, their economy was not as diverse or as robust. Capitalism was not part of African culture and land was still viewed as needed for survival in producing food to sustain the population. People in the Americas did not seem to be aware of life off the continent. Although they did have nutrient rich foods and products the Europeans and Africans desired, they also lacked the technological advancements to push them past subsistence agriculture. They used hand made tools and did not have a government system in place to seek opportunity off of the continent. Land and agriculture was also still viewed as a means for survival, not as a tool for economic prosperity. The lack of population density allowed for less importance on land ownership. Europeans believed that when they found the land that they would own it and everything on it. The American's believed that no one owned the land and that it should be used to hunt and gather. This caused conflict between the two groups. Europe also had a strong Christian culture and believed that the Natives had no real belief system. They hoped to convert them to Christianity. The Natives however did have their own belief system and were not interested in converting to Christianity. The Columbian Exchange was the intentional exchange of commodities between the New World and the Old World and the unintentional exchange of disease. This exchange was promoted by Christopher Columbus. The exchange of most of the commodities positively influenced both old and new world populations but the exchange of disease and slaves had a negative impact that we are still dealing with today. The commodities traded were animals, plants and people. While the America's did have a few animals on their land, these animals were not used for a food supply. The Europeans brought over pigs, cows, and horses. When we think of an Indian, we often picture a man with a painted face sitting on a horse. We now know that although horses played a large role in Indian lifestyle, it was not until after Columbus came that they became a part of the culture. Once horses were introduced to the Indians, they used them for travel and hunting. With horses, hunting was much easier for the Indians and they were able to kill more animals and trade furs for money. Pigs played a large role in the food process for the Americas. Pigs can reproduce fast and are a good food source. Like cows, pigs