Chapter 17 - THE WORLD: CHAPTER 17 QUESTIONS: Why was the...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
THE WORLD: CHAPTER 17 QUESTIONS: Why was the Columbian Exchange so important and how did it affect nutrition in Europe and Asia? Why should the Columbian Exchange be regarded as one of the biggest revolutions in human history? Much of what is considered ‘traditional’ foods and ingredients around the world today were unknown before the 16 th century. The widespread exchange of foods around the world is referred to as the Columbian Exchange, not only were plants and animals intentionally transferred, but microbes as well. Not all of the transfers were intentional. In a very rapid period of time, the unique faunal and floral evolution in the world had been compromised by these introduced species. Secondly, the rapid spread of people and technology, as well as a dramatic increase in exploitation resulted in a profound change in ecosystems around the world. Plants and animals that adapted well to new environments brought both variety and in some cases a more stable and abundant food supply as well as new medicines. Maize is a high-yield, highly adaptable and hearty plant with a short growing season. It first arrived in China in 1555. It gradually became popular due to its adaptability and little energy input, providing a new and needed food source in China. It took later for maize to catch on in Europe. Sweet potatoes were also early arrivals in China and allowed exploitation of areas which were previously considered marginal. Both were used as animal food and in the case of traditional crop failures. While potatoes never caught on in Asia or North America, Bengal and Europe took readily to them. Livestock required grasses and weeds to thrive and Europeans preferred grain to corn. Transplanting these plants allowed rapid expansion of ranching. Early settlers in what is now the USA failed initially and had to rely on native plants and animals. Sugar cane was the first import to the Americas that resulted in a major market impact. It was so highly successful that supply outweighed demand initially but it rapidly came to be in demand by Europeans. Sugar became such a cash crop that it led to violent conflict and land seizures by competing powers. In the 1600s coffee, from Yemen, rapidly grew to be the most popular drink in the Old World, from Turkey to Western Europe. Coffee was transplanted in the 17 th through 19 th centuries, to the New World, the islands, the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean. Chocolate took longer to catch- on but was eventually transplanted to West Africa. Until the 19 th century, China supplied the world with tea. What are some of the explanations for the “age of plagues”? Why did it suddenly end in the mid-18 th century? How did the introduction of new diseases by Europeans affect population levels in the Americas? In the previously disease ravaged Old World countries, while older plagues diminished, new or
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course UGC 112 taught by Professor Barry during the Spring '08 term at SUNY Buffalo.

Page1 / 4

Chapter 17 - THE WORLD: CHAPTER 17 QUESTIONS: Why was the...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online