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HIS 131-E30 Exam 1 Because of the Columbian Exchange (Week 2:learningnc.

org Contact and Consequences) Europeans, Native Americans and Africans were brought together through many things like colonization, sickness, trade and slavery. While each group of people had many differences, each group was affected by the other. By the end of the 1700s these groups will come to form a cultural melting pot in America. The Spanish were the first explorers to combine Europeans, Native Americans and Africans. These factors- urbanization, world trade, the rise of the centralized national states, and advances in knowledge, technology, and firepower- combined with natural curiosity, greed, and religious zeal to create the outburst of energy that spurred the discovery and conquest of the New World. (Tindall and Shi, 19) These Spanish explorers were looking for quicker trade routes to Asia and the Indies as well as garner greater riches and richer commerce, and spread Christianity across the globe. (Tindall and Shi, 16) Other Europeans that were in America were the French who settled mostly in North America and present day Haiti, they traded furs with the natives and had the best relationships with the natives ,even married them; the Dutch who settled in North America and present day New York, traded with Indians, were involved in the fur trade and sold slaves to other colonies; and the British who settled in the Caribbean and North America and had a permanent colony in North America in 1607. (Week 2 lecture notes.) British colonists came to America to make money and to spread Christianity to the natives. The first colonists who settled in Virginia were either townsmen unfamiliar with farming or gentleman adventurers who scorned manual labor. (Tindall and Shi, 58-59) Because these first colonists were unprepared to work hard to support themselves, they had little success. However, these first British colonists, who unlike the Spanish colonists, settled along the Atlantic seaboard, had little trouble with the natives because the native populations on the Atlantic seaboard were sparse. (Tindall and Shi, 57) The British colonists, when they started their colonies had to establish their own communities in the midst of Native American villages. However, these colonists were migrants more than settlers (Tindall and Shi, 57-58) and continued to move up and down the Atlantic seaboard. In the colony of Jamestown, tobacco became a large source of income because of this increase in revenue, tobacco planters were able to purchase more indentured servants; this lead to a greater increase in population for the British in North America. (Tindall and Shi, 62) Indentured servants were colonists who exchanged their labor for the cost of passage to America. (Tindall and Shi, 62) These colonists were to be provided with food, clothing and shelter during their time of indentured servitude. However not all indentured servants were taken care of properly. Richard Frethorne, an indentured servant in Virginia, wrote home to England complaining of the conditions at the plantation he was working at. He complains of the food saying; A mouthful of bread for a penny loaf must serve for four men which is most pitiful. (Frethorne, An Indentured Servants Letter Home, 19) Frethorne continues to tell his family; And I have nothing to comfort me, nor there is nothing to be gotten here but sickness and death, except [in the event] that one had money to lay out in some things for profit. But I have nothing at all- no, not a shirt to my back (Frethorne, An Indentured Servants Letter Home, 20) While the European settlers had their trials and tribulations there were people in America before the Europeans started their exploration. The Native American culture in 1492 was very diverse with over three hundred different native languages spoken. Most of the Native Societies

relied on agriculture with the main crop being maize. The natives ran their lives differently than many Europeans. For an example, many natives had little personal items of value, women were farmers, and most tribes were matrilineal. (Week 1 lecture notes) The differences between the Europeans and the Natives lead to confusion and fighting. In his letter home Frethorne says, For we live in fear of the enemy [Powhatan Indians] every hour, yet we had a combat with them on the Sunday before Shrovetide, and we took two alive and made slaves of them. (Frethorne, An Indentured Servants Letter Home, 19-20) Other than fighting with Europeans over land space, the Native Americans were greatly affected by the diseases carried by the Europeans. Of all the kinds of life exchanged when the Old and New Worlds met, lowly germs had the greatest impact. Europeans and later Africans brought smallpox and a host of other diseases with them to America, where those diseases killed as much as 90 percent of the native population of two continents. Europeans came away lucky with only a few tropical diseases from Africa and, probably, syphilis from the New World. In America, disease destroyed civilizations. (Week 2: learningnc.org, 5.3 Disease and Catastrophe) Diseases were also brought to the Americas through livestock and the African slave trade. Europeans, first the Portuguese in the 1430s and later the Spanish, started going to Africa to purchase African slaves. The Portuguese wanted slaves for the cultivation of their sugar plantations and because of the outlawing of using natives as slaves, ordered by the Spanish King, by 1503 the Spanish colonizers began to transport Africans to work as slaves. (Tindall and Shi, 32-33) Like the Native American cultures, the African societies were often matrilineal. (Tindall and Shi, 121) Slaves in Africa did have certain rights. They could marry and have children. Their servitude was not always permanent, nor were children automatically slaves by virtue of their parentage, as would be the case in the Americas. (Tindall and Shi, 121) Once in America, Africans were thrown together indiscriminately and treated like animals before being herded in chains to auctions where they were sold. (Tindall and Shi, 122) Many African slaves rebelled against their new masters and many run away from their masters as well. Not all masters treated their slaves harshly, or so they thought. In Ads for Runaway Servants and Slaves, Thomas Ringgold writes, THAT this slave shoud run away and attempt getting his Liberty, is very alarming, as he has been always too kindly used (Ads for Runaway Servants and Slaves, 69) The Columbian Exchange affected the Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans in many different ways. Europeans were exposed to different food and cash crops that were introduced by the Indians. Native Americans were affected by the Europeans by being exposed to diseases they had no immunity to, being forced off their land and being forced into labor for a period of time. The Africans were also affected by the Native Americans and the Europeans. Africans were being bought and sold like cattle and oftentimes did not survive long due to diseases and since the enslavement or forced work from natives was outlawed, more and more Africans were being brought to the New World. Even though these three groups of people come from very different backgrounds, have different religious and government systems, they all came to form a cultural melting pot in America.

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