Columbian exchange crosby thesis
The main thesis of this book outlines that the changed history of our planet became the most significant consequence of Columbus discovery. It has really caused a stir. If suddenly American Indian crops would not grow in all of the world, it would be an ecological tragedy.
Humans have in the very last tick of time reversed the ancient trend of geographical biodiversification. This, simply put, means that the population will grow enormously faster than the food supply will.
And when migration takes place, those creatures who have been longest in isolation suffer most, for their genetic material has been least tempered by the variety of world diseases… few of the first rank killers among the diseases are native to the Americas.
The New World had only a few, possibly because humans had been present there and had lived in dense populations, cities, for a short time compared to the Old.
This wild oscillation of the balance of nature happens again whenever an area previously isolated is opened to the rest of the world. Crosby will also throw in a reference to the reader to help emphasize his point.
Columbian exchange diseases
Disease, as a natural check, prevents this from happening. What made these transplanted crops such a boon for the rest of the world is that they did not compete with crops currently being grown and could be planted in fields that would otherwise have lain fallow. He then moves into the topic of food and shows how the population explosion began concurrently with the transplanting of New World Crops to the Old World. I had a great deal of trouble getting it published. Even where climates have been similar, as in the Amazon and Congo basins, organisms have tended to get more different rather than more alike because they had little or no contact with each other. A large tome would not provide enough space to list the plant, animal, and micro-organism exchanges, and a thousand volumes would be insufficient to assess their effect. There were other avant garde humans in the Americas, certainly the Vikings about 1, CE, possibly Japanese fishermen, etc. Cook, Woodrow Borah, Kenneth F. As the world around them changes, the physiology of the human changes as well. I enjoyed this section as much as I did the section on the biological explosion of the animals. The humans in question were hunter-gatherers who had domesticated very few organisms, and who in all probability came to America from Siberia, where the climate kept the number of humans low and the variety of organisms associated with them to a minimum. The Columbian Exchange by Alfred W. The Europeans brought to New world bubonic plague, chicken pox, cholera, influenza, leprosy, malaria, measles, scarlet fever, smallpox, typhoid, typhus. These were the Amerindians or, if you prefer, proto-Amerindians , and they brought with them a number of other Old World species and subspecies, for instance, themselves, an Old World species, and possibly the domesticated dog, and the tuberculosis bacillus. Then, I fell upon it, starting with smallpox.
Columbus brought them together, and almost immediately and continually ever since, we have had an exchange of native plants, animals and diseases moving back and forth across the oceans between the two worlds. Even where climates have been similar, as in the Amazon and Congo basins, organisms have tended to get more different rather than more alike because they had little or no contact with each other.
Thereby, lack of info about economic and political motives of conquers cannot be perceived as some shortcoming.
based on 17 review