Columbian Exchange

Sean and Ashley

The Columbian Exchange

The Columbian Exchange was an extensive trade network stretching across the Atlantic and connecting Europe, the Americas, and Africa.

Sugar, Horses, Tobacco

Sugar was a desirable luxury. Sugar came from the Caribbean (Canary Islands) to Europe while the Portuguese began to produce sugar in Brazil. Horses were introduced to the Native American tribes and other people through theft and trade. Tobacco became a popular cash crop grown in the Americas.

Smallpox and other Diseases

Diseases such as smallpox and measles were introduced by the Europeans, and diseases like syphilis were brought back to Europe. These diseases ravaged both populations, even reducing the Native American population by around 90%.


The Columbian Exchange led to a broad mutual transfer of not only plants, animals, and religion but of diseases also. The diets of all the people involved became vastly enriched, and as a result, the population doubled in Europe. However, in the Americas, diseases such as smallpox caused immense casualties. This network furthered communication amongst the two parties, leading to the merging of both cultures.