In a review of a later edition, Frederick H. In his new foreword 30 years after the original publication, he does critique his own shortcomings in this chapter, but he pays surprisingly little attention to the act of sex itself. Feb 19, Greg rated it really liked it. Kiers of the University of California credits Crosby with putting ecological history on the map, adding that the pioneering text not only awakened, inspired and challenged a generation of readers, but should also prove more relevant as the pace of global exchange continues to increase. Greenwood Publishing Company,

America had a number of crops that could grow easily in almost any soil. Yet Crosby is pointing us to look in the right direction in foregrounding the vulnerability of biological encounters, and how those encounters facilitated the transformation of power and the control over the continent. Crosby, the single most important factor in facilitating the European conquest of the Americas may be found, surprisingly, in a realm beyond simple human control: Crosby also points out positives though – Native Americans in central North America and parts of South America adopted the horse really fast, and this allowed them to resist Europeans for many generations. This 30th anniversary edition of The Columbian Exchange includes a new preface from the author, reflecting on the book and its creation, and a new foreword by J. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. The introduction of old world plants and animals Old World influences New World 1.

Teh the more obvious a thing is the more difficult it is to see it. The main strength of this book is that every word of every sentence of this book is clearly linked to arguments that support his thesis. You go back and read the records and you discover that the army and, just generally speaking, the people of the Indian empires were just decimated by such diseases as smallpox, malaria, all kinds of infectious diseases.

Nov 10, Adam Orford rated it really liked it. The Columbian Exchange by Alfred W.

the columbian exchange alfred crosby thesis

This claim is based on numerous historical researches, which were used by the writer as supportive evidences. My favorite in this book was “Tiny minds get half the story”, cryptically added to the bottom of the page. One critique I do have is why, in crosvy chapter about syphilis, he gives so little attention to the sexual relations between sailors, animals, and indigenous peoples as facilitating the exchange of the disease.


the columbian exchange alfred crosby thesis

Considering the age of this book, I still think it offered some basic important information. 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. America had a number of crops that could grow easily in almost any soil.

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. The introduction of old world akfred and animals Old World influences New World 1.

Maize, which pairs so well with wheat in crop rotation, enabled Romania to become one of Europe’s breadbaskets. Nov 09, YHC rated it really liked it.

Besides diseases, Corn, pumpkin, beans, peanuts, pineapple, potato, tomato, sweet potato, pepper, cacao are the gifts from America.

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

You talk about the tge being an advantage in war. Enter your email address. It was very out of place. He argues that much of the world’s current population explosion can be traced to the addition of highly nutritious and easily grown American domesticated plants into world food production.

Green ants build their grand nests out of leaves, which they pull and join together with silk. And, manioc is a staple crop tue the tropics all around the earth often in places where nothing else will grow.

Still, the question is not necessarily a groundbreaking one, for again, tge was one that Crosby was subject to before. It is also in this chapter that the mix of historical records, scientific studies, and primary sources is used to great effect.

One wonders how a few hundred Spaniards managed to conquer these giant Indian empires.

The Columbian exchange by Alfred W. Crosby

The fact that Crosbyy bluegrass, daisies, and dandelions, to name only three out sxchange hundreds, are Old World in origin gives one a hint of the magnitude of the change that began in and continues in the twentieth century. For example, he argues that the “Indians” died before they could be fxchange by the Europeans, but then tells how the Spaniards were enslaving natives right away and that the big epidemics didn’t come ti I have never read a book with so much “if, must have, probably, one must question, guesswork” phraseology.


This is an important topic. Crosby goes on illustrate a plague that crossed the New World, shaping it to the wants and needs of the Europeans, with the importation of Old World plants and animals. It gave readers the look at the second side of the same coin, which was not widely researched before.

Following the disease eastward across the Old World by virtue of how it was named–the “French Disease” in Germany, the “German Disease” in Poland, the “Polish Disease” in Tue, and so on –was an exceptionally clever bit of historical detective work that we might backtrack to points of disembarkation from ships in from the colonies.

I omit the subpolar peoples, such as the Inuit, from this analysis because they never stopped passing back and forth across the Bering Strait. Oct 08, David rated it it was amazing. Very eye-opening information on the power of the European colonizers of the New World. But, today Russia is the largest producer of potatoes in the world. As rhesis 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.

This quote was put to show the general nature of microorganisms Columbian theiss after