This video explores the Columbian Exchange, which involved the interchanging of plants, animals, and diseases between the Old World and the Americas following Columbus' arrival in the Caribbean in 1492. What would a national exchange look like today? Hopefully we would avoid smallpox now—although the Native Americans of the 1490s weren’t that lucky.
Unfortunately, diseases were also exchanged. And the Native peoples of the Americas were
killed en masse and had their resources raided by Europeans.
Ever since the Columbian Exchange, the world has grown "smaller" as it becomes easier
and easier to interact with different cultures. Today, with fast modes of transportation,
the internet, and other modern technology... ...we really do have the whole world in our
hands. If you could do your own "Columbian Exchange"
with any culture, which culture would you choose?
Think of it as your personal exchange. If your name is George, for example, you could
call it the Georgian exchange.
Do you want to exchange knowledge, resources,
and ideas with a culture you already know?
Or maybe somewhere you don't know much about at all...
...so you could learn things that are completely new to you.
Let's take France for example... You might learn the secrets for cooking what
many people consider to be the world's greatest cuisine...
Sometimes exchanges can have unwanted side effects, though.
Remember the smallpox thing with the Columbian Exchange...
We wonder what the problems with a French exchange would look like.
Please don't poison our wine.
So, who would you make your exchange with and why?
What would you expect that each side would gain from it?
Shmoop amongst yourselves and let us know.