Italy without tomatoes? Ireland without potatoes? What do YOU know about the Columbia Exchange?

1. What is/was the “Columbian exchange?”

A. The currency exchange rate between the U.S. and Columbia.

B. Trading Columbian coffee for other commodities.

C. The transference of plants, animals, and diseases among the Americas, Eurasia, and Africa unleashed by Christopher Columbus’s geographical miscalculation.

D. The expressway bridge across the Columbia River that connects Portland, Oregon with Vancouver, Washington.


2. Europeans brought which of the following the New World?

A. White rice, wheat, barley, oats, and rye.

B. Turnips, onions, cabbage, and lettuce.

C. Cutting for fruit trees such as peaches, pears, and apples.

D. All of the above.


3. Indigenous peoples introduced which of the following to European immigrants?

A. Corn, pineapples, and sweet potatoes.

B. Peanuts, tomatoes, cocoa, and papaya.

C. Squash, pumpkins, white potatoes, and avocados.

D. All of the above.


4. Which of the following animals were brought to the Americas by Europeans?

A. Donkeys, goats, and sheep.

B. Chickens and horses.

C. Pigs & cattle.

D. A & C

E. All of the above.


5. Some of the animals brought to American had a negative effect. (TRUE/FALSE)


6. The Europeans also brought birds such as starlings, insects, black rats, and honeybees. (TRUE/FALSE)


7. Which of the following diseases were introduced to the Americas by European explorers?

A. Small pox and measles.

B. Malaria, cholera, and yellow fever.

C. Cholera, thyphus, and  bubonic plague.

D. All of the above.


8. Exportation of which of the following plants indigenous to America made colonization viable and profitable due to its popularity in Europe?

A. Potatoes

B. Tobacco

C. Corn

D. Cocoa


ANSWERS

1. What is/was the “Columbian exchange?”

ANSWER C: The transference of plants, animals, and diseases among the Americas, Eurasia, and Africa unleashed by Christopher Columbus’s geographical miscalculation.


2. Europeans brought which of the following the New World?

ANSWER D: All of the above

These items are included in American diets without thought to the fact they were no indigenous to this continent–early settlers brought them here. They brought that with which they were familiar to cultivate and maintain their previous food culture.


3. Indigenous peoples introduced which of the following to European immigrants?

ANSWER D: All of the above

Can you even imagine Italian food without tomatoes? The Swiss without cocoa? The Irish without potatoes? Halloween without pumpkins? Baseball without peanuts? These staples in European and modern American culture all originated on North American soil with Indigenous people.

Potatoes are the 5th most important crop worldwide, surpassed in harvest volume only by its fellow American veggie, corn or maize, then sugarcane, wheat, and rice.


4. Which of the following animals were brought to the Americas by Europeans?

ANSWER E: All of the above

Can you even imagine the Navajo (Diné) without sheep? The Native Americans of the Great Plains–the Lakota (Sioux), Comanche, Cheyenne, and Apache–without horses? The equestrian cultures of the Plains were, in fact, the direct result of the Columbian exchange.


5. Some animals brought to American had a negative effect. (TRUE/FALSE)

ANSWER TRUE: Hernando de Soto brought 13 pigs with him in 1539. Three years later, that number had grown to about 700, which was destabilizing and often destructive to native crops. Not only did they eat some of them, but trampled the rest.


6. The Europeans also brought birds such as starlings, insects, black rats, and honeybees. (TRUE/FALSE)

ANSWER TRUE

Bees may have been intentional, but it’s possible those others were stowaways of some sort on European ships. They certainly could have kept their starlings and black rats to say nothing of non-honey producing insects.


7. Which of the following diseases were introduced to the Americas by European explorers?

ANSWER D: All of the above.

Each of these diseases triggered what is known as a virgin soil epidemic where diseases were unleashed that had never been seen before and to which the Native peoples had no immunity. When smallpox was introduced to the mainland in 1519 it spread through the Mexica (the Mesoamerican people commonly referred to as Aztecs) quickly with devastating consequences.


8. Exportation of which of the following plants indigenous to America made colonization viable and profitable due to its popularity in Europe?

ANSWER B: Tobacco


SOURCE: “Native Peoples of North America”, The Great Courses, presented by Professor Daniel M. Cobb, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Image by Sabrina Ripke, Pixabay