American Economy Before Christopher Columbus

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In the past, European countries came to the Americas looking to build their empire and gain power. They were competing to be the most powerful country and improve their economic lives. In the drive to be the most powerful European country, they started colonizing the Americas. Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer and colonizer who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that opened the New World for conquest and permanent European colonization of the Americas. In 1942, Christopher Columbus sets sail from the port of Seville. He has promised the queen and his crew that they will be back in India in six weeks. Columbus is the one who discovers America, but it is the people that come after him, and what they bring with him, that will transform the “New World”. When the new world was discovered, “The Columbian Exchanged” was born.

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Before Columbus, Europe’s economy was booming, and they needed more opportunities for their people, so they set out to search for another land. Over in Europe, they are cutting the forests for fuels and space. The growing population needs more food and more space to grow it. They have the tools, they have the transports, and they have the energy, but they are beginning to run out of space and time. Europeans grow food for approximately the same amount of people in a tenth of the space, their diet is bread and porridge. North and South American agriculture is based on corn maze while European agriculture depended on a combination of farming and animal husbandry. Animals like horses, goats, pigs, sheep, and cattle are essential to Europe’s prosperity, none of these animals are known to North or South America. Native Americans have to hunt on foot and dress in hides, using bows and arrows or spears made of wood, bone, or stone because they do not have guns or horses. The bison hunt is essential for their survival. On the other hand, the European have guns, the noblemen hunt for sport, pleasure, for prestige. When Europeans have exploited their natural resources, there is no fish in their rivers, their continent is crowded with people and they don’t know what to do with them. Nowhere else in the world are rivalries between princes and kings as intense, curiosity and greed are widespread in Europe, for the first time people the common people have a hunger for new ideas, and the printing press was invented and literacy is spreading, that was the first time when European kings and queens send explorers beyond the horizon to expand their power.

The effects of colonization were reflected in different groups of people. There are different perspectives about colonization which some think had brought good impact some think the other way. The contact of Europe and America has formed the New World which have to broaden people’s horizon. It had helped the country become more powerful also extended its sovereignty to the outside world. Although the contact between Europe and America and the Colombian Exchange seems to have some positive changes and improvements of the countries, it also brought many kinds of concern and negative influence. Some of the long-term consequences of Columbus's encounters with the Americans were slavery, the spread of disease through the Columbian exchange, and new rivalries in Europe. The Columbus Exchange has had a huge impact on every society on the planet. For example, Europeans introduced new diseases into the Americas. Because the Native Americans did not have antibodies, many people were killed by smallpox and caused a great deal of cultural loss. Before Columbus arrived, the population of the Americas was unknown, but this disaster was estimated to have killed at least 50-90% of the population, and it was estimated that about 15-16 million people died.

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American Economy Before Christopher Columbus. (2022, February 26). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 17, 2024, from
“American Economy Before Christopher Columbus.” Edubirdie, 26 Feb. 2022,
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