Columbus and the Columbian Exchange Why, if at all, is Columbus important? Why did the European invaders have such long-lasting effects on the New World societies? Columbus Sailed 1492 Why? What was Columbus trying to do? Begins HUGE changes in Americas ?Admiral of the Ocean Sea? ?As I saw that they were very friendly to us, and perceived that they could be much more easily converted to our holy faith by gentle means than by force, I presented them with some red caps, and strings of beads to wear upon the neck, and many other trifles of small value, wherewith they were much delighted, and became wonderfully attached to us? It appears to me, that the people are ingenious, and would be good servants and I am of opinion that they would very readily become Christians, as they appear to have no religion. They very quickly learn such words as are spoken to them. If it please our Lord, I intend at my return to carry home six of them to your Highnesses, that they may learn our language.? Cantino map, section Why are they able to succeed? CortÚs as example Minor landowner in Cuba Acting without permission A few hundred men Between 1519 and 1521 conquered Aztec Empire Shocked Europe Aztecs sophisticated and Powerful No obvious technological edge How did he succeed? Collusion? Aztec empire precarious La Malinche/ Do˝a Marina as interpreter/traitor Traveled gathering allies in fight So public face of rebellion How did he succeed II: Disease? Europeans brought new diseases--- smallpox etc. No immunities so HUGE effects Fewer domesticated animals Isolation Massive die-offs Numbers disputed, but populations plummeted over 16th century Killed between 30% and 90% of people Effects of diseases Villages abandoned Land fallow No one left to nurse the living or bury the dead Disrupt societies Leaders die without naming successors Supernatural punishment--- Europeans don?t get sick General despair Reinforced European sense that conquest justified mandate from God empty land for their use General Conclusions Europeans benefit from confluence of circumstances Interpret as providence Later interpret as natural superiority Means that New World colonies different in kind from most earlier invasions
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