February 2015

The Columbian Exchange


As soon as Christopher Columbus started picking up seeds, plants and animals to take back to Spain, and doing the same thing in the other direction, he started what historians call the “Columbian Exchange.” Since he was interested in spices, he immediately noticed small round wild chile berries and took them home, thinking they were a kind of peppercorn, which is why people still call them “chile peppers.” Some scholars who would rather not mention Columbus call the process the “Grand Exchange.” Either way this widespread relocation of plants, animals, diseases, humans and idea between the Eurasian and American Hemispheres from 1492 forward changed the world forever.





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