The Colonies in America
Each region was a unique blend of European traditions, the local environment, Native
American culture, and African culture
In part, new colonies were established because European countries were trying to build
Colonization encouraged the rapid exchange of plants, animals, and diseases
Relations between Native Americans and Europeans frequently began with peace but
often disintegrated into violence.
Many colonists sought religious freedom and new land
Native Americans were vulnerable to European diseases, especially smallpox. In some
areas, up to 90 percent of the Native population died from this disease.
century “Columbian exchange” –
the biological encounter between the
Western and Eastern parts of the world
included the introduction of new animals
(horses, cattle, sheep, swine, chickens, rodents) and plants (sugar cane, coffee, fruits,
garden vegetables, and various grains) to America.
African slaves introduced rice and yams to the New World. Native Americans introduced
corn, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, squash, peanuts, avocados, tobacco, turkeys,
pineapples, pumpkins, and manioc to the Old World.
Image in the upper right is a drawing by G. B. Ramusio, Navigationi et Viaggi, Venice,