In what means did the arrival of europe to America bring around unforeseen and unintended consequences for the people and environments that both the new World and the Old?


The Columbian Exchange — the interchange that plants, animals, disease, and modern technology sparked by Columbus’s trips to the new World — marked a an essential point in history. It allowed ecologies and cultures that had previously to be separated by oceans to mix in brand-new and unpredictable ways. It to be an interconnected web of occasions with immediate and extended after-effects that might neither be predicted nor controlled.



Charles C. Mann, 1493: Uncovering the new World Columbus Created

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Text Complexity

Grade 9–10 intricacy band.

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In the Text analysis section, Tier 2 vocabulary indigenous are defined in pop-ups, and Tier 3 native are explained in brackets.

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Common core State Standards

ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.1 (cite proof to analysis specifically and by inference)ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.2 (determine a main idea and its development)

Advanced Placement us History

Key ide 1.2 (IIA) (introduction the crops and also animals not found in the Americas)

Teacher’s Note

In this lesson students will explore a description of the Columbian Exchange composed by Charles C. Mann as component of the advent to his book, 1493: Uncovering the brand-new World Columbus Created. In three excerpts students will examine aspects of the Exchange — one overview, a details biological instance of unintentional consequences, and finally an instance of unintentional human prices of the Columbian Exchange. Each excerpt is add by near reading inquiries for students come complete. The text analysis is accompanied by three interactive exercises to help in college student understanding. The very first interactive enables students to explore vocabulary in context; the 2nd encourages student to testimonial the textual analysis; and the third explores the usage of diction, simile, and appeal come authority.

This lesson concentrates upon the Columbian Exchange as an interwoven procedure with unexpected consequences. Charles Mann increases upon the previously theories of Alfred W. Crosby, that explored the idea the the Columbian Exchange in 1972 (for a basic essay top top the Columbian Exchange composed by Crosby, including suggestions for course discussions, click here). Return Mann details the results of tobacco, the potato, corn, malaria, yellow fever, the rubber industry, and other facets of the Exchange in both the Eastern and also Western hemispheres totally in 1493, this lesson focuses specifically upon some results of the Exchange in Hispaniola. The follow-up assignment permits students to extend the effects of the Exchange into the African slave trade. The author uses Colon, the Spanish spelling because that Columbus, throughout, and also that spelling has actually been kept in the excerpts because that this lesson.

This class is separated into two parts, both easily accessible below. The teacher’s guide contains a lift note, the text analysis with responses come the close reading questions, access to the interaction exercises, and also a follow-up assignment. The student’s version, an interaction worksheet that deserve to be e-mailed, contains every one of the over except the responses come the close analysis questions, and the follow-up assignment.

Teacher’s guide (continues below)Background noteText evaluation and near reading inquiries with prize keyInteractive exercisesFollow-up assignmentStudent version (click come open)Interactive PDFBackground noteText analysis and close analysis questionsInteractive exercises

Background QuestionsWhat kind of text are we handle with?When to be it written?Who composed it?For what audience to be it intended?For what objective was the written?

When Columbus landed on the island that Hispaniola (the island including the modern countries the Haiti and also the Dominican Republic) throughout his an initial voyage in 1492, he and his men did not realize the lasting effects their voyage would have actually on both the brand-new World and the Old at that time and also in the years to come. The Columbian Exchange is the term given to the deliver of plants, animals, disease, and modern technology between the Old human being from which Columbus came and the brand-new World which he found. Some exchanges were purposeful — the explorers intentionally carried animals and also food — but others to be accidental. In this lesson you will read around this Exchange from a description written through Charles C. Mann, a writer specializing in clinical topics. This lesson offers excerpts from a publication entitled 1493: Uncovering the brand-new World Columbus Created in which Mann describes the effects, both intended and also unintended, of the Columbian Exchange. Mann wrote 1493 to check out the Columbian Exchange as a procedure which is quiet going top top today.

This lesson draws native the arrival in Mann’s book. There space three excerpts, each with close reading questions. The first excerpt is a general overview that the Exchange — while the does not incorporate all components of the Exchange, you will see examples of how animals and also plants native one component of the civilization replaced those in another component of the world. In excerpt two you will explore a particular example of unintended after-effects of the Columbian Exchange, once settlers assumed they were just bringing in an exciting food, yet they wound up with an invasive pest. Finally, in excerpt three you can see the damaging effects of the Columbian Exchange ~ above the Taino Indians, the residents of Hispaniola prior to Columbus arrived. In some of the excerpts girlfriend will see Columbus spelled together Colon — this is the Spanish spelling and is supplied by the author.

Text Analysis

Excerpt 1
Activity: VocabularyLearn meanings by exploring how indigenous are supplied in context.

1. Why perform you believe Columbus lugged cattle, lamb or horses with him?They were part of the europe culture. They would help in agriculture (cattle and also sheep) and communication, transportation, and also war (horses). The Spanish to plan to start a colony and would need the animals.

2. What would certainly the Taino society have been like without livestock or horses?There would have been communication only by human being messenger and also fields planted through hand. There would have been no quick interaction (by horse) or plowed fields or pastures (no cattle, for this reason they to be not feasible or necessary) and only a few, little paths, no actual roads (the just transportation to be by foot).

3. What is the thesis declare of paragraph 1? just how does Mann build that thesis? point out evidence from the text.The thesis is “Colon and also his crew walk not trip alone.” Mann develops that thesis by giving examples to prove his point, including earthworms, cockroaches, african Grasses, rats, and also other animals and plants.

4. Just how did the arrival of cattle and sheep influence plant life top top Hispaniola?New grasses because that grazing choked out native species.

5. Why is it necessary that alien grasses, trees, and other tree choked out indigenous vegetation in Hispaniola?Choking out aboriginal grasses lessened the biodiversity (the variety of distinct life forms) the Hispaniola. Ecosystems that are an ext biodiverse (they have an ext distinct life forms) are much more productive and are much more resistant come diseases.

6. What deserve to be the result of introducing a brand-new predator right into an environment, such together the Indian mongoose in Hispaniola? provide an example.It can render another types extinct, which might itself have unintended consequences. For instance, the food source for the Dominican line may have actually increased in populace which may have actually led to other effects.

7. Exactly how does Mann display that the Columbian Exchange is tho ongoing?He relates how, in 2004, the orange groves have end up being prey the the lime swallowtail butterflies.

8. In the second paragraph of this excerpt, Mann indicates his thesis but does not actually state it. What is the implied thesis of i 2? just how does he suggest the thesis?Mann suggests that the Columbian Exchange have the right to have an adverse results. He offers examples, citing grasses that were choked out, trees the were changed with other species of trees, and animals driven toward extinction.
In this excerpt, Mann offers an overview of the Columbian Exchange with examples.

…Colon and also his crew go not voyage alone. They to be accompanied through a menagerie that insects, plants, mammals, and microorganisms. Start with La Isabela , europe expeditions lugged cattle, sheep, and horses, in addition to crops favor sugar cane (originally from new Guinea), wheat (from the middle East), bananas (from Africa), and coffee (also indigenous Africa). Same important, creatures the homesteaders knew nothing about hitchhiked along for the ride. Earthworms, mosquitoes, and also cockroaches; honeybees, dandelions, and African grasses; rats of every description — every one of them poured indigenous the hulls the Colon’s vessels and also those the followed, rushing like eager tourists right into lands that had actually never seen their choose before.

Movqvites (Mosquito), “Histoire Naturelledes Indes,” ca. 1586

Cattle and sheep soil the American vegetation in between their level teeth, staying clear of the regrowth of native shrubs and also trees. Beneath your hooves would certainly sprout grasses native Africa, possibly presented from slave ship bedding; splay-leaved and dense on the ground, castle choked out native vegetation. (Alien grasses can withstand grazing much better than Caribbean groundcover plants because grasses grow from the basic of the leaf, unlike most other species, which grow from the tip. Grazing spend the growth zones the the latter but has little impact top top those in the former.) over the years forests of Caribbean palm, mahogany, and also ceiba ended up being forest of Australian acacia , Ethiopian shrubs, and also the central American logwood. Scurrying below, mongooses indigenous India eagerly journey Dominican snakes toward extinction. The alters continue come this day. Orange groves, introduced to Hispaniola native Spain, have recently started to autumn to the depredation that lime swallowtail butterflies, a citrus pest from south east Asia that more than likely came over in 2004. This day Hispaniola has actually only little fragments that its initial forest.
Activity: Diction, Simile and also Appeal to AuthorityExamine three language devices Mann offers to make a complicated subject easily understood.

9. Follow to the author and his sources, what unintentional import come in come Hispaniola with plantains?With the plantains came range insects.

10. Exactly how does the author define scale insects?They are little creatures with tough, waxy coats the suck the juices from plant roots and also stems.

11. Specify “ecological release.”Ecological relax is as soon as an invasive types is introduced into an atmosphere with no natural predators and subsequently the populace explodes.

12. Utilizing the example of scale insects as evidence, why are herbal predators crucial to one ecosystem?They assist to manage the population of a species and save an ecosystem in balance.

13. What was the unintended result of this import, scale insects, follow to Wilson? Why did they have actually this effect?The scale insects suck juices native plants and also stems. They had actually no organic enemies, so your populations prospered greatly. The range insects became a food resource for fire ants. Through a virtually countless food source, the fire ant populace grew greatly. The fire ants attacked settlers’ homes. This proved to it is in dangerous come the settlers.

14. Mann starts the 2nd paragraph in this excerpt with “So far this is informed speculation.” What effect does this admission have on ours perception of Mann as an author?It reminds the reader that Mann is pull close his topic indigenous a clinical perspective, being mindful to alert readers to what is proven and also what is not. This helps to develop him together a writer we can trust.

15. What file from the 1500s seems to check this unintended effect?Bartolome de ras Casas composed of a sudden infestation the fire ants in 1518 and 1519.

16. What was the unintended impact to inhabitants of the advent of plantains to Hispaniola?Although they had plantains to eat, they additionally had to resolve fire ants. As a result, lock abandoned your homes.

17. Just how does Mann incorporate 16th and 20th century evidence?He supplies 20th century scientific research to define a 16th century eye-witness account.
Here Mann gives a certain example of unintended consequences.

Natives and also newcomers communicated in unforeseen ways, creating organic bedlam. Once Spanish colonists imported african plantains in 1516, the Harvard entomologist Edward O. Wilson has actually proposed, they likewise imported scale insects, little creatures v tough, waxy coats that suck the juices from plant roots and also stems. Around a dozen banana-infesting range insects are well-known in Africa. In Hispaniola, Wilson argued, this insects had no natural enemies. In consequence, their numbers must have exploded — a phenomenon well-known to science as “ecological release.” This spread out of range insects would have actually dismayed the island’s europe banana farmers however delighted one of its native species: the tropic fire ant Solenopsis geminata. S. Geminata is fond of dining on scale insects’ sugary excrement; to ensure the flow, the ants will attack anything the disturbs them. A huge increase in scale insects would have led come a huge increase in fire ants.

So much this is educated speculation. What taken place in 1518 and also 1519 is not. In those years, follow to Bartolome de ras Casas, a missionary priest that lived through the incident, Spanish orange, pomegranate, and cassia plantations were damaged “from the root up.” thousands of acres that orchards were “all scorched and also dried out, as though flames had fallen from the sky and burned them.” The yes, really culprit, Wilson argued, to be the sap-sucking scale insects. However what the Spaniards saw to be S. Geminata — “an infinite number of ants,” ras Casas reported, your stings bring about “greater pains than wasps the bite and hurt men.” The hordes of ants swarmed with houses, blackening roofs “as if they had actually been sprayed through charcoal dust,” extending floors in together numbers that colonists could sleep only by put the foot of their beds in bowls that water. They “could not be stopped in any means nor by any human means.”… Overwhelmed and also terrified, Spaniards exit their dwellings to the insects….
Close analysis Questions18. What is the thesis that this excerpt?Mann asserts that “the most dramatic influence of the Columbian Exchange was on humanity itself.”

19. What evidence does Mann use to develop this thesis?He uses Columbus’s original account, 16th century main Spanish documents, and also estimates by contemporary historians.

20. Why walk the Spanish conduct a census that the ind on Hispaniola in 1514? What did the census find concerning the Taino population?The Spanish performed a census in bespeak to count the Taino so that they might be assigned come Spanish inhabitants as laborers. This was part of the encomienda system, by which a Spanish settler was provided a plantation and the labor of every the Indians who lived on that plantation. The census-takers found that there were few Taino left, perhaps only around 26,000.

21. According to the author, what two components caused this change in population? Which reason was the most influential?The two reasons were Spanish cruelty and the development of illness by the Columbian Exchange. The most influential was the introduction of disease.

22. The third sentence in i 2 of this excerpt uses a rhetorical maker called asyndeton. Asyndeton is a list of items through conjunctions omitted and also can be offered to suggest that over there are much more items that might be added to the list. What varieties of items go the author list utilizing asyndeton? What is the effect?The writer lists diseases, both viruses and also bacteria. The effect is a “piling up”, implying that much more diseases were brought to Hispaniola as well, but the writer may not have the an are in the sentence to perform them. In fact, other conditions were introduced by the Columbian Exchange, including malaria, yellow fever, whooping cough, chicken pox, the bubonic plague, and also leprosy.

23. Why was the arrival of these illness so terrible for the Taino and not the Spanish explorers?The Taino had actually never been exposed to these illness before and therefore had no organic immunity to prevent or manage the spread of the disease. The Spanish did have actually some herbal immunity, due to the fact that the conditions were current in Europe at the time.

24. What is the effect of Mann consisting of the information about the very first recorded epidemic, which developed within one year that Columbus’s arrival?He reminds the reader that the damaging effects the diseases carried by the Exchange happened almost immediately for the Taino. This conveys the seriousness the the Exchange and the power of the conditions in a population with no organic immunity.

Activity: ReviewReview the central points of the textual analysis.
Mann explains the most “dramatic influence of the Columbian Exchange.”

From the human being perspective, the most dramatic affect of the Columbian Exchange was on mankind itself. Spanish accounts indicate that Hispaniola had a large native population: Colón, for instance, casually defined the Taino as “innumerable, for I believe there to it is in millions upon millions of them.” las Casas declared the populace to it is in “more than 3 million.” modern researchers have not nailed down the number; estimates selection from 60,000 to nearly 8,000,000. A mindful study in 2003 argued that the true figure was “a few hundred thousand.” No matter what the initial number, though, the European affect was horrific. In 1514, twenty-two year after Colon’s first voyage, the Spanish government counted increase the indians on Hispaniola because that the function of allocating them amongst colonists together laborers. Census agents fans the across the island however found just 26,000 Taino. Thirty-four year later, follow to one scholarly Spanish resident, fewer than 500 Taino were alive….

Spanish cruelty played its component in the calamity, however its larger cause was the Columbian Exchange. Before Colon no one of the epidemic diseases common in Europe and Asia exist in the Americas. The viruses that cause smallpox, influenza, hepatitis, measles, encephalitis, and viral pneumonia; the bacteria that reason tuberculosis, diphtheria, cholera, typhus, scarlet fever, and bacterial meningitis — by a quirk of evolutionary history, all were unknown in the west Hemisphere. Shipped throughout the s from Europe this maladies consumed Hispaniola’s native populace with stunning rapacity. The first recorded epidemic, perhaps because of swine flu, remained in 1493….

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Joan Vinckeboons, “Map that the islands of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico,” 1639(?)

Follow-Up Assignment

Mann explains in excerpt three a significant change in Taino population on Hispaniola and the results of this adjust on the Taino population and the Spanish. But an additional group to be also impacted — enslaved Africans. The Spanish provided the encomienda mechanism in Hispaniola, through which conquistadors to be given huge plantations and also the Indian slave labor that all that lived on the plantation. V this mechanism the Spanish moved conveniently to enslave Indians, also though the main mission that the Spanish to be to Christianize them. In response to press from the Catholic Church, in 1542 King Carlos V banned Indian slavery, opened the way for african slaves. Mann writes,

By 1501, 7 years after ~ La Isabella’s founding, so numerous Africans had come to Hispaniola that the alarmed Spanish king and queen instructed the island’s governor not to permit any much more to soil …the homesteaders saw the the Africans appeared immune to disease, didn’t have local social networks the would help them escape, and possessed useful skills — countless African societies were well known for their ironworking and horsemanship. Servant ships bellied as much as the docks the Santo Domingo in ever-greater numbers. The servants were not as easily regulated as the homesteaders had hoped …. No longer were afri slipped right into the americas by the handful. The rise of sugar production in Mexico and also the concurrent climb in Brazil opened the floodgates. Between 1550 and also 1650…slave ships ferried across about 650,000 Africans, through the full split much more or much less equally between Spanish and Portuguese America…. Soon they were more ubiquitous in the Americas 보다 Europeans, with outcomes the last never expected. (Mann, p.387–388)

What carry out you believe might have actually been some of the “results the latter never ever expected”? In what means can brand-new World enslavement be said to be related to the Columbian Exchange? discuss the possible unintended results with her classmates. Use details examples as evidence.

Vocabulary Pop-Ups

menagerie: arsenal of wild or inexplicable animalsalien: foreign, hostiledepredation: ravagesbedlam: wild confusionentomologist: insect expertphenomenon: observable occasion or factdismayed: alarmedspeculation: thoughtful opinionculprit: villainhorrific: leading to horrorfanned: spread out outcalamity: an excellent disasterquirk: strange actionmaladies: chronic diseasesrapacity: fierce hunger


Charles C. Mann, 1493: Uncovering the brand-new World Columbus Created (New York: Vintage Books, 2012).