Once mounted, the Indians could more easily hunt bison and could more forcefully resist efforts to colonize their land.While exporting domesticated plants and livestock to the Americas, the Europeans imported productive plants cultivated by the Indians. Maize and potatoes from the Americas produced more food per acre than traditional European crops such as wheat. European farmers enjoyed larger harvests by adding, or switching to, the American plants. Europeans also adopted tomatoes, beans, peppers, and peanuts. The great European killers included smallpox, typhus, diphtheria, bubonic plague, and cholera. These were diseases that had existed in Europe for centuries. As a result, the European population over generations had developed some natural defenses against them. That is, among the population there was a percentage of people whose bodies were able to fight off the diseases before they became fatal. The native populations of the Americas had not built up such natural defenses. The European diseases hit with devastating effect. In some cases, entire villages simply disappeared.
The Columbian Exchange helped trigger enormous population shifts around the world. Larger harvests aided by new American crops fueled European population growth. From about 80 million in 1492, Europe’s population grew to 180 million by 1800. That growth nearly doubled Europe’s share of the world population from about 11% in 1492 to 20% in 1800. Meanwhile, the Native American proportion of the global population collapsed from about 7% in 1492 to less than 1% in 1800.The European surplus population flowed westward across the Atlantic to replace the Indians in the Americas. Those colonizers brought along millions of Africans as slaves. Never before had so many people moved so far with such a powerful impact. As a result, maritime trade and migration integrated four great continents: Europe, Africa, South America, and North America.
An economic system based on private ownership and the investment of resources, such as money, for profit. During the Age of Exploration, European economies transitioned from a system in which monarchs had controlled all wealth to capitalism.Balance of Trade is the difference in value between what a nation imports and what it exports over time. The goal of European nations during the exploration era was to have more money coming in for goods exported than going out for goods imported. Subsidies are government payments to new industries; the government invested this money to encourage greater production and exports. European nations also improved transportation systems within their countries by building roads, bridges, and canals to increase production. They placed high tariffs, or taxes, on foreign goods to keep them out of their own countries.