Cattle, pigs, goats, and chickens, unknown before the European encounter, joined the Native American diet. Horses and donkeys transported people and goods quickly. Horses also provided the nomadic peoples of western North America with a new, more effective way to hunt buffalo.

Population Growth

The transfer of food crops from continent to continent took time. By the 1700s, however, corn, potatoes, manioc, beans, and tomatoes were contributing to population growth around the world. While other factors help account for the population explosion that began at this time, the dispersal of new food crops from the Americas was certainly a key cause.

Movement of People and Ideas

The Columbian Exchange resulted in the migration of millions of people. Shiploads of Europeans sailed to the Americas in search of new opportunities. Others settled on the fringes of Africa and Asia. As you have read, the Atlantic slave trade forcibly brought millions of Africans to the Americas. Native American populations, however, declined drastically in the years after European arrival, largely as a result of diseases. Some American diseases traveled to Europe.

The vast movement of people led to the diffusion, or transfer, of ideas and technologies. Europeans and Africans brought their beliefs and customs to the Americas. In Europe and elsewhere, people adapted ideas and inventions from distant lands. Language also traveled. Words such as pajama (from India) and hammock or canoe (from the Americas) entered European languages as evidence of the global exchange.

A Commercial Revolution

The opening of direct links with Asia, Africa, and the Americas had far-reaching economic consequences for Europeans and their colonies. Europe underwent a period of economic growth and change known as the Commercial Revolution, which spurred the growth of modern capitalism, banking, and investing.

The Price Revolution

By the 1500s, prices began to rise in many parts of Europe. At the same time, there was much more money in circulation. Earnings were often retained in banks or reinvested in the economy.

A rise in prices that is linked to a sharp increase in the amount of money available is called inflation. The period in European history when inflation rose rapidly is known as the price revolution. Inflation was fueled by the enormous amount of silver and gold flowing into Europe from the Americas by the mid-1500s.

The Columbian Exchange
Corn Turkeys Wheat Coffee
Potatoes Pineapples Sugar Horses
Sweet Potatoes Tomatoes Bananas Pigs
Beans Cocoa Rice Cows, oxen
Peanuts Cassava/manioc Oats Goats
Squash Silver Barley Chickens
Pumpkins Quinine Rye Smallpox
Chili peppers Sunflowers Grapes Typhus

Analyze Charts

The Columbian Exchange affected people around the world. What livestock were introduced to the Americas by the Columbian Exchange?

End ofPage 418

Table of Contents

World History Topic 1 Origins of Civilization (Prehistory–300 B.C.) Topic 2 The Ancient Middle East and Egypt (3200 B.C.–500 B.C.) Topic 3 Ancient India and China (2600 B.C.–A.D. 550) Topic 4 The Americas (Prehistory–A.D. 1570) Topic 5 Ancient Greece (1750 B.C.–133 B.C.) Topic 6 Ancient Rome and the Origins of Christianity (509 B.C.-A.D. 476) Topic 7 Medieval Christian Europe (330–1450) Topic 8 The Muslim World and Africa (730 B.C.-A.D. 1500) Topic 9 Civilizations of Asia (500–1650) Topic 10 The Renaissance and Reformation (1300–1650) Topic 11 New Global Connections (1415–1796) Topic 12 Absolutism and Revolution Topic 13 The Industrial Revolution Topic 14 Nationalism and the Spread of Democracy (1790–1914) Topic 15 The Age of Imperialism (1800–1914) Topic 16 World War I and the Russian Revolution (1914–1924) Topic 17 The World Between the Wars (1910–1939) Topic 18 World War II (1930–1945) Topic 19 The Cold War Era (1945–1991) Topic 20 New Nations Emerge (1945–Present) Topic 21 The World Today (1980-Present) United States Constitution Primary Sources 21st Century Skills Atlas Glossary Index Acknowledgments