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Spanish Settlers in the V Century + Jamestown and Plymouth Colonies in the Vii Century

  • Date Submitted: 06/15/2011 06:51 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 46.6 
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Spanish settlement When and why did Spanish settlers go to the Americas? What were the effects of Spanish conquest?
          -1492: Christopher Columbus had been searching for a new route to the Asian Indies and was convinced he had found it.
          -Effects: New foods reshaped the diets of people in both hemispheres. Tomatoes, chocolate, potatoes, corn, green beans, peanuts, vanilla, pineapple, and turkey transformed the European diet, while Europeans introduced sugar, cattle, pigs, cloves, ginger, cardamom, and almonds to the Americas. Global patterns of trade were overturned, as crops grown in the New World---including tobacco, rice, and vastly expanded production of sugar--fed growing consumer markets in Europe.
          Even the natural environment was transformed. Europeans cleared vast tracks of forested land and inadvertently introduced Old World weeds. The introduction of cattle, goats, horses, sheep, and swine also transformed the ecology as grazing animals ate up many native plants and disrupted indigenous systems of agriculture. The horse, extinct in the New World for 10,000 years, transformed the daily existence of many indigenous peoples. The introduction of the horse encouraged many farming peoples to become hunters and herders. Hunters mounted on horses were also much more adept at killing game.
          Death and disease--these too were consequences of contact. Diseases against which Indian peoples had no natural immunities caused the greatest mass deaths in human history. Within a century of contact, smallpox, measles, mumps, and whooping cough had reduced indigenous populations by 50 to 90 percent. From Peru to Canada, disease reduced the resistance that Native Americans were able to offer to European intruders.
          With the Indian population decimated by disease, Europeans gradually introduces a new labor force into the New World: enslaved Africans. Between 1502 and 1870, when the Atlantic slave trade was finally...

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