One of the early advantages of the Spanish over the Mexican Aztecs, for instance, was that the Spanish had the horse. As stated earlier one of the strengths of the book is the fact that Crosby freely admits when he makes an argument that cannot be conclusively proven or disproved. The author made outstanding job to light out the consequences of Columbus discover, which remained unnoticed before. At first, the term exchange presupposes the balance of two parts. The influx of Old World flora and fauna into the new, as the Spanish tried to bring civilization as they understood it and replicate what they were familiar with changed the very landscape of the New World. As the foreword indicates, The Columbian Exchange remains a vital book, a small work that contains within the inspiration for future examinations into what happens when two peoples, separated by time and space, finally meet.

The plants and food did not influence the Indians diet but he did make great use of the new livestock 6. Starvation and having your entire way of life crushed are enough to explain decreased resistance to infectious diseases. Crosby wrote a book called The Columbian Exchange. However, there is one critical view about read plot. Being Peruvian I grew up hearing the stories of the Spanish conquest of Peru and the racist undertones it carried regarding the ability of the native peoples to defend themselves. All of this is valid but focusing on this skews the context and the ripples of its effects. Contact with the New World changed it yes, but it perhaps changed the Old World much more.

the columbian exchange alfred crosby thesis

It is a great read, you will learn a lot about the early history of America and the results of contact with the rest of the world. Columbiam found it very much unneeded information, and something that would have been better placed in a book about diseases, and not in this book itself.

Uncovering the New World Columbus Created with much bigger volume that i think it will be a more detailed info.

Alfred W. Crosby on the Columbian Exchange | History | Smithsonian

Crosby shows how the disease exchange not only affected the Indians by decimating their population, but also how it changed the rest of the world as syphilis would evolve from a deadly sexually transmitted disease to a milder sexually transmitted disease that is still around today. Unfortunately, the new edition has been modified for the sake of political correctness columbkan condemn the “Evil” white men who have ruined the whole world.


Today, The Columbian Exchange is considered a founding text in the field of environmental history. This unifying idea is really an expansion of the idea of the Columbian exchange that took place when the oceans became highways connecting the continents.

the columbian exchange alfred crosby thesis

So, you think you have the idea of the book all packaged up in that neat little title that not only sums the book up so well, but has become a buzzword itself to explain the whole process.

Jul 22, Marla McMackin added it Shelves: There are excellent English translations dating back for generations.

The Columbian exchange by Alfred W. Crosby |

The thesis is that the most important consequence was biological decimation of a people, introduction of new plant and animal life including Africans and Europeans to America.

Since, contemporary thseis does not know opposing approaches to the issue of agricultural thesiss domestic animals exchange, facts placed in the work of famous scholar cannot be refuted. That 10 minute video pretty much covers th If you have somehow made it through school without having been exposed to the concept of the Columbian exchange, I would recommend this book. The Columbian Exchange or ? A great deal of the economic, social, political history of the world is involved in the exchange of living organisms between the two worlds.

The first one devoted to evidences presented by the author. As the foreword indicates, The Columbian Exchange remains a vital book, exdhange small work that contains within the inspiration for future examinations into what happens when two peoples, separated by time and space, finally meet.

Biological and Cultural Consequences of The final chapter is interesting in that in the last page or so the book takes a decidedly negative turn: McNiell’s foreword highlights the ubiquity of the very phrase, “Columbian hte within the common parlance of the contemporary historical discourse of imperialism in the so-called “New World” xii.

Alfred W. Crosby on the Columbian Exchange

So practically any crop you name was exclusive to one side of the ocean and carried across. The invaders had more pulling power—not only horses but also oxen and donkeys.

I wonder how much money they have made off taking a chance on this book thesid in the 70s. When you consider the great buildings of the Old World, starting with the Egyptians and running up through the ages, people in almost all cases had access to thousands of very strong animals to help them.


the columbian exchange alfred crosby thesis

For example, he argues that the “Indians” died before they could be oppressed by the Europeans, but then tells how the Spaniards were enslaving natives right away and that the big epidemics didn’t come till a generation later. His conclusion is that this Columbian exchange has left us with not a richer but a more impoverished genetic pool B. There was very little sharing of the main characters in our two New World and Old World systems of agriculture.

No trivia or quizzes yet. This book was published in the early s, and some of Crosby’s ideas have been accepted as common sense while some of the premises he rests his ideas on have since come into question.

The Columbian exchange by Alfred W. Crosby

He positions his “reappraisal” of the genealogy of syphilis between a discourse of Euro-genesis and one of American-genesis. This is a good example of crlsby history, and of the ways in which biology, environment, food shape history.

Columbus and the Europeans and Africans brought many new plant and animal species to America, including pigs, horses, cattle, and oxen.

Though the thesis of this book as well as many of the arguments supporting it are just theories, which are impossible to definitively prove or disproved, Crosby uses historical and scientific fact to make those arguments. New plants also supported life. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. The general concept that, after thousands of years of natural selection, Old Worlders were genetically immune “carriers” of awful diseases is just plain silly on the face of it, since small pox, measles and all the other plagues mentioned were killing people left and right in the Old World both before and after