SNHU My History with History and the Colombian Exchange Essay

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Southern New Hampshire University


What is your history with history? Describe your previous experience with the study of history. What have you liked or disliked about studying history in the past? Are there any time periods or significant events that are of particular interest to you?

Then, identify one positive and one negative effect of the Columbian Exchange and briefly describe why you feel that way. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

In responding to two of your classmates’ discussion posts, offer additional details of the exchange they did not mention in their posts that might support or question their conclusions.

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Discussion Rubric: Undergraduate 100-Level History Your active participation in the discussion topics is essential to your overall success this term. Discussion questions are designed to help you make meaningful connections between the course content and the larger concepts and goals of the course. These discussions offer you the opportunity to express your own thoughts, ask questions for clarification, and gain insight from your classmates’ responses and instructor’s guidance. Please note, you are not expected to utilize outside sources beyond your textbook for your discussion posts, therefore you will not be required to use citations. If you do so choose to use additional resources, be sure to cite them appropriately. Requirements for Discussion Topic Assignments Students are required to post one (1) initial post and to follow up with at least two (2) response posts for each discussion board assignment. For your initial post (1), you must do the following: Compose a post of one to two paragraphs. In Module One, complete the initial post by Thursday at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. In Modules Two through Eight, complete the initial post by Thursday at 11:59 p.m. of your local time zone. Take into consideration material such as course content and other discussion topics from the current module and previous modules, when appropriate. For your response posts (2), you must do the following: Reply to at least two different classmates outside of your own initial post thread. In Module One, complete the two response posts by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. In Modules Two through Eight, complete the two response posts by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. of your local time zone. Demonstrate more depth and thought than simply stating that “I agree” or “You are wrong.” Guidance is provided for you in each discussion prompt. Critical Elements Comprehension Exemplary (100%) Develops an initial post with an organized, clear point of view or idea using rich and significant detail Timeliness Engagement Writing (Mechanics) Provides relevant and meaningful response posts with clarifying explanation and detail Writes posts and comments that are easily understood, clear, concise, and free of writing errors Proficient (85%) Needs Improvement (55%) Develops an initial post with a Develops an initial post with a point of view or idea using point of view or idea but with adequate organization and detail some gaps in organization and detail Submits initial post on time Submits initial post one day late Provides relevant response posts Provides somewhat relevant with some explanation and detail response posts with some explanation and detail Writes post and comments that Writes posts and comments that are easily understood but are understood but includes includes some writing errors major writing errors Not Evident (0%) Does not develop an initial post with an organized point of view or idea Value 40 Submits initial post two or more days late Provides response posts that are generic with little explanation or detail Writes posts that others are not able to understand 10 Total 30 20 100% Peers to respond to Peer 1: Hey Everyone, My name is Nick and I’m from Philadelphia. I’m currently pursuing a degree in European History. I’ve always been a fan of history and I have a particular interest in medieval history related to France and England. I’ve liked how history and the way it was taught has changed as I grew up. As I got older, I found that more of the history I was studying began to focus on all areas of life in a particular time and not just focusing on famous kings and famous battles. I really enjoy learning about the Plantagenet dynasty in England and the relationship the Kingdoms of France and England had from 1066 onward as well as how people lived during the medieval period. I think one positive effect from the Columbian Exchange was the exchange of crops and animals that transformed Europe and the New World. Eating habits changed and it gave both places a more diverse set of crops and animals that they could domesticate or use for hunting. One negative effect that the Columbian Exchange had is the uneven exchange of disease. While many Europeans were familiar with these germs the New World was not and it decimated the population so much that it made colonial expansion much worse by having to deal with these deadly diseases along with settlers that looked to expand into territory that was already claimed. I feel this way mainly because the Colombian Exchange is so one sided. It really benefited Europe while at the same time becoming a death sentence for the Americas. Peer 2: Hi everyone! My name is James and I live on the coast of CT! I just turned 26 yesterday! I am an avid runner and I love to watch movies or documentaries every night! I fell in love with history long ago when i first travelled America visiting over 10 national parks and historical sites on a cross country trip I took with some friends in an RV! It was incredible seeing everything and learning history along the way that I never knew about! I also love to watch a documentary or a docu-series on anything related in the past or present! Whether its about information on how black holes are made, to a documentaries on bonnie and Clyde, or its about how Hitler came into power, how about a documentaries on the Russian revolution? I love to learn something new every night, even if I have seen it before I know if I watch it again I will always learn something new, especially if its about the 1920s all the way leading to the end of WW2, that is my favorite era of history to study! So if any one has a good movie or documentary I can watch, please leave some suggestions for me! I haven't really studied or looked a whole lot into the Columbian Exchange. I do know that it brought trade, disease, populations, and slavery to almost the entire world. Crops and plants were a huge factor in introducing new foods to countries and populations that never knew about before. One important plant that was introduced was the tobacco plant. It arrived in England around the mid 1500s and it wasn't until 1700 that it was a money making industries. Another positive that really interests me is the technological advances and ideas that started to come around the world from different places. Colonies used these ideas to advance their society so they can start competing in the ever changing world that was happening. Some of the things that came out of the Columbian Exchange that negatively impacted the world was the almost extinction of the native people. They were introduced to unimaginable diseases like small pox, syphilis, and swine-flu. Some of the hardest hit communities were the Incas and Aztecs with populations nearly being wiped out due to no one being in contact with these diseases so no one built up immunizations. No one even could think of the devastation we have because back when America was first coming about. Another huge topic that went on during this time period was the exploitation of slaves and the slave trade from Africa. Between the old world and the new world in America the settlers and the trade was bringing in more slaves then the people who were coming to the new world. it is sad to think of all the people taken forcibly from their homes and way of life just to be forced into one that isn't right for them and not there way of living. The Columbian Exchange Even as maps documented Europeans’ expanded knowledge of the Americas, they could not capture the experience of contact between peoples separated for centuries by the Atlantic Ocean. Most important, the Spaniards were aided in their conquest of the Americas as much by germs as by maps, guns, or horses. Because native peoples in the Western Hemisphere had had almost no contact with the rest of the world for millennia, they lacked immunity to most germs carried by Europeans. Disease along with warfare first eradicated the Arawak and Taino on Hispaniola, wiping out some 300,000 people. In the Inca empire, the population plummeted from about 9 million in 1530 to less than half a million by 1630. Among the Aztecs, the Maya, and their neighbors, the population collapsed from some 40 million people around 1500 to about 3 million a century and a half later. The germs spread northward as well, leading to catastrophic epidemics among the Pueblo peoples of the Southwest and the Mississippian cultures of the Southeast. These demographic disasters—far more devastating even than the bubonic plague in Europe—were part of what historians call the Columbian exchange. But this exchange also involved animals, plants, and seeds and affected Africa and Asia as well as Europe and the Americas. The transfer of flora and fauna and the spread of diseases transformed the economies and environments of all four continents. Initially, however, it was the catastrophic decline in Indian populations that ensured the victory of Spain and other European powers over American populations, facilitating their subsequent exploitation of American land, labor, and resources. The diseases that swept across the Americas came from Africa as well as Europe. Indeed, it was Africans’ partial immunity to malaria and yellow fever that made them so attractive to European traders seeking laborers for Caribbean islands after the native population was decimated. African coconuts and bananas had already been introduced to Europe, while European traders had provided their African counterparts with iron and pigs. Asia also participated in the exchange, introducing Europe and Africa not only to the bubonic plague but also to sugar, rice, tea, and highly coveted spices. America provided Europeans with high-yielding, nutrient-rich foods like maize and potatoes, as well as new indulgences like tobacco and cacao. The conquered Inca and Aztec empires also provided vast quantities of gold and silver, making Spain the treasure-house of Europe and ensuring its dominance on the continent for several decades. Sugar was first developed in the East Indies, but once it took root in the West Indies, it, too, became a source of enormous profits and, when mixed with cacao, created an addictive drink known as chocolate. In exchange for products that America offered to Europe and Africa, these continents sent rice, wheat, rye, lemons, and oranges as well as horses, cattle, pigs, chickens, and honeybees to the Western Hemisphere (Figure 4). The grain crops transformed the American landscape, particularly in North America, where wheat became a major food source. Cattle and pigs, meanwhile, changed native diets, while horses inspired new methods of farming, transportation, and warfare throughout the Americas. The Columbian exchange benefited Europe far more than the Americas. Initially, it also benefited Africa, providing new crops with high yields and rich nutrients. Ultimately, however, the spread of sugar and rice to the West Indies and European cravings for tobacco and cacao increased the demand for labor, which could not be met by the declining population of Indians. This situation ensured the expansion of the African slave trade. The consequences of the Columbian exchange were thus monumental for the peoples of all three continents.
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My History with History and the Colombian Exchange

Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation

My History with History and the Colombian Exchange
Part 1:
Hello everyone! My name names, and I am from location. Since a young age, I have
been a fan of history, and I watched numerous history documentaries as a child. I have a
particular interest in history from the Regal Period, during which powerful kings ruled over
Rome. As I got older and joined high school, I became even more interested in history, and I
enjoyed my history classes. I also did so much research concerning the Chinese Dynasty. I
discovered fascinating facts like how King Wu of the Zhou province rebelled against Shang’s
King, Zhou, around 1046 BCE. The Zhou Dynasty got established when...

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