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Unit 1:
European Colonization of America
Lesson 2: Columbian Exchange
• Strand: History
• Topic: Colonization to Independence
• European countries established colonies in North
America as a means of increasing wealth and power. As
the English colonies developed their own governments
and economies, they resisted domination by the
monarchy, rebelled and fought for independence.
• Content Statement: 2
• North America, originally inhabited by American
Indians, was explored and colonized by Europeans for
economic and religious reasons.
Columbian Exchange
Essential Question
• What was the global impact of Columbus’
Columbus’ Legacy
• While Columbus may have failed to achieve
his main goal of finding a shorter sea route to
Asia, his voyages were extremely influential to
the world
• His success inspired other nations to hire
other explorers in search of new wealth,
knowledge, land, and faster sea routes.
• In 1501, Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci
sailed with a fleet that landed on the coast of
present-day South America
• He was amazed with the many varieties of
animals and plants that he saw.
• Mapmakers labeled the new continents
America, after him
Ferdinand Magellan
Opening of the Atlantic
• After European explorers like Columbus and
Magellan, the Atlantic ocean became a
gateway to Africa, India and the Americas.
• The “opening of the Atlantic” altered trade
routes between European countries.
• Portugal and Spain specifically benefited from
these routes across the Atlantic and Pacific
Positives of a shift in trade
+ Spanish and Portuguese traders made
more profits
+ Increase influence in foreign affairs
+ Other European countries began
becoming involve in trade
Negatives of the shift in trade
- Traditional overland trade routes were
less important
- Asia and Venice lost power and control in
The Columbian Exchange
• Columbian Exchange – The transfer of plants,
animals, and diseases from the Americas to Asia,
Africa, Europe and vice versa.
• It is called the “Columbian Exchange”
because it resulted from Christopher
Columbus’ explorations
• It had a tremendous impact on the entire
world economy and trade.
From the Americas to Europe
• Corn, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers
• Tobacco, cocoa,
• Turkey, llama, guinea pig
From Europe to the Americas
• Horses, cattle, pigs, sheep, chicken
• Wheat, barley, rice, bananas
European Diseases
• Europeans also accidentally brought over deadly
diseases such as measles, smallpox, typhus
• Most Europeans had developed natural
resistance to these diseases.
• Native Americans had never been exposed to
these diseases, so they easily became sick and
died from them.
• Hundreds of thousands of Native Americans died
from the spread of European diseases.
• Infection of the respiratory system
• Symptoms– Fever, cough, red eyes, rashes
– Can also lead to further complications and
• Infectious disease that creates fluid filled
blisters on the skin
• Symptoms: fever, headache, vomiting,
legions on the skin
• Can cause blindness and death
• Highly fatal disease transmitted through the
• Easily spread by lice
• Symptoms:
Chills, cough, high fever, rash
Delirium, stupor, muscle pain, death
Northwest Passage
• Spain and Portugal explored Central and South
• Other European countries focused on North
• Northwest Passage – a path that would allow
ships to sail around or through North America
– Would connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans
– Was not found during this time
Searching for the Northwest
• Giovanni da Verrazano
– Italian sailor sent to find NWP
• Jacques Cartier
– French sailor; led French explorations of
• Samuel de Champlain
– French sailor; founded Quebec
– Helped France become established in Canada
• Henry Hudson
– Dutch hired, English sailor sent to find NWP
– Sailed to present-day New York
• Battled bitter colds while exploring north
• Crew mutinied against him
• What was the global impact of Columbus’