The Columbian ExchangeMike HiltunenWhat if Columbus never sailed west in an attempt to discover a new route to East Asia?What would our world be like today if Columbus had never “discovered” the New World? Well,not only did Columbus’ ambition bring him to the Americas, it drastically transformed the livesof both Native Americans and Europeans. The effects of the exchange were both positive andnegative for both cultures and the long term impacts helped to shape the world we know today.For Native Americans the most detrimental effect came not from the invaders themselvesbut from the germs they brought with them. (Crosby, 2014) The natives were introduced to suchillnesses as measles, typhus, influenza and smallpox. Smallpox was by far the most devastatingdisease and exposure left some native populations completely decimated within a matter ofyears. “In the Maya area of Mexico, as much as 95 percent of the population perished within afew years of the natives’ first contact with the Spanish.” (Brinkley, 2014)The results of the exchange were not completely one-sided though. The Native Americansdid benefit in a number of ways from their contact with the Europeans.