Despite maize’s success, the humble potato probably had a stronger impact in improving the food supply and in promoting population growth in Eurasia. The potato had little impact in Africa, where conditions did not suit it. But in northern Europe the potato thrived. It had the most significant effect on Ireland, where it promoted a rapid population increase... After 1750, Scandinavia, the Low Countries, Germany, Poland, and Russia also gradually accepted the potato, which helped drive a generalpopulation explosion in Europe. This population explosion may have laid the foundation for world-shaking developments such as the Industrial Revolution and modern European imperialism. The potato also fed mountain populations around the world, notably in China, where it encouraged settlement of mountainous regions.In West Africa, peanuts and cassava provided new foodstuffs. Cassava, a tropical shrub native to Brazil, has starchy roots thatwill grow in almost any soil. In the leached soils of West and Central Africa, cassava became an indispensable crop. Todaysome 200 million Africans rely on it as their main source of nutrition. Cacao and rubber, two other South American crops,became important export items in West Africa in the 20th century. The sweet potato, which was introduced into China in the1560s, became China’s third most important crop after rice and wheat. It proved a useful supplement to diets throughout themonsoon lands of Asia. Indeed, almost everywhere in the world, one or another American food crops caught on,complementing existing crops or, more rarely, replacing them. Created by J.R. McNeill for LEARN NC. Web. Accessed 6 Aug. 2017.Context VideoBefore examining documents 2a and 2b, watch clips from the video America Before Columbus(59:50- 1:06:06) and in synthesis chart on the positiveand negative effects of the Columbian exchange.
UNIT 9 | Interactions and Disruptions| What was the impact of the Columbian Exchange on the Old World and New World?