In the period 1450 to 1750 C.E. trade became a global interaction for the first time, impacting different states in a number of ways.
This global interaction was created by many elements, silver being one of the most important. This is because silver became a medium of exchange when China required it to be their form of payment for taxes. Not only did this cause the value of silver to skyrocket around the world, it also created a link between East Asia and the New World. The Columbian Exchange was another factor that helped to form a massive network of interaction and exchange between The Americas and Afro-Eurasia. The establishment of this widespread interaction affected many different regions, including The Americas and East Asia. These effects consist of access to other goods and ideas, via the Columbian Exchange, exposure to foreign diseases, and changes in the economy. The Columbian Exchange was the massive transatlantic interaction and exchange between The Americas and Afro-Eurasia.
With a new network of exchange came access to new goods between the old and new worlds. China traded silk, tea, and porcelain to The Americas, in exchange for silver or even furs. Besides new goods, this interaction also brought in “advancements in agricultural production, evolution of warfare, increased mortality rates and education”, (public.gettysburg.edu). The most notable advancement in technology was the creation of a written alphabet, which had made the establishment of treaties more efficient.
Other advancements in technology include new farming equipment, firearm and weapon capabilities, and architectural ingenuity. The establishment of new farming tools, such as the plow, was highly valuable because it created a surplus of food by cultivating large areas of land. Without the Columbian Exchange, the access to new goods and ideas would not have been present.
The Columbian Exchange certainly had positive outcomes, however, the network of exchange had its negative features as well. For example: The transmission of diseases. Polio, Yellow Fever, and Smallpox were just a few of the diseases that were transmitted to the Native Americans by the Europeans, and vice versa. Since the Natives had no prior exposure to the diseases, they had extreme susceptibility to these foreign diseases. As for the Europeans, they had already built up some resistance and immunity towards diseases, such as Smallpox, unlike the Natives’ unprepared immune systems.
Being able to spread by air and touch, these diseases became fairly easy to receive. The term “The Great Dying” is used to describe the devastating impact of European-borne diseases on The Americas. Smallpox was considered perhaps the most deadliest, in regard to the Native Americans, killing tens of thousands of them in the New World. This population decrease caused a drastic labor shortage, which led to the establishment of African Slavery in The Americas. This negative aspect of the Columbian Exchange had “a profound effect on the world”, (public.gettysburg.edu).