The Europeans and Environmental Impacts (2)

The introduction of these animals disrupted the ecosystem and food chain of the new lands and they bred millions of them.

Some tribes were able to adapt to the new animals, but unfortunately, these animals tended to wipe out the animals which were already there, or move those animals to new areas.

These new animals just took over from other, smaller animals which were there already, or caused those animals - buffaloes or Bison to move far away to new areas of living, and those were the animals that the natives had always relied on, for meat, leather, skins and other products.

So the environmental effects of the arrival of the Europeans were mostly bad (as usual); flora and fauna died out or moved, diseases came and the new animal type displaced the existing ones.

But these effects were not all!

There were what we call 'political' effects too - but they are nothing to do with politicians as we know them now.

The arrival of the ships ‘Santa Maria’, ‘Nina’ and ‘Pinta’ motivated people from other European countries such as France, England, Portugal and Russia to explore these areas. 

So then, it wasn't just a few Europeans, but many that arrived.

It became more of an invasion than a 'visit' or an 'exploration' ....

Thus, the first permanent European colonies in the New World were established, and this marked the beginning of the full scale invasion of the new world by the old world. 

These countries were contributing to the rush for resources, such as slaves or mineral wealth.

The mineral wealth was much more profitable, of course. Not only gold, but precious stones, silver, tin, copper and others.

In those days, copper, although an alloy, was used to protect the bottoms of ships.

Tin was used for food storage (but not like the tin cans we have now), silver was precious as jewellery, and the precious stones of course were, well, precious.

Columbus himself was also a governor of those lands at the time.

However, he was an arbitrary person who did not make a good administrator: he took everything for himself and his family, trying his best to stop the first or original settlers from getting back their own land.

He was out only to make money and get wealth for himself and his family and was not good at actual fair governing.

However, the arrival of the Europeans brought democracy and capitalism to the patriarchal systems which existed (e.g. rulers descended from the male line of a family).

Whether or not those tings are good is debatable; democracy works for Europe most of the time but the natives already had their own system of government, head-people of villages, a good solid and working structure, where everyone knew their place.

Capitalism is rarely a good thing; it means usually that the poor get more poor and the rich get richer.

Those are really the short term economic impacts of the arrival of the Europeans. 

Along with the short term impacts, there were of course long term economic impacts of the arrival and establishment of the Europeans.

Those impacts were not all about the New World; they had effects back in Europe too.

Spain became wealthy as the money they earned through trade gave them the power to work for or against other countries. They then became a great power in Europe, like with all those battles and annoyances they had with Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon (Aragon's part of Spain).

The only reason they had power and wealth was because Columbus started bringing it back.

But then again, philosophy, medicine, science and other ideas also changed and improved the lives of many in the new world.

Philosophy is simply a way or method of thinking, finding out why something is as it is.

Medicines from Europe eventually helped the natives in the New World with illnesses - there were not many medicines like we know today but herbs which were found to be helpful in treating illness.

And science, of course; natives of the New World didn't use metals in the same way as the Europeans - the Europeans made things like telescopes, compasses ... even utensils with which we eat.

The natives tended to live what we call more 'basic' lives - things such as just using hands to eat anything, if they wanted to see something far away they used their own eyes or went nearer.

Even now, Columbus Day is a national holiday in the United States.

Children are taught about his amazing voyages, making the land of America known to the Europeans. They are not taught about the indigenous peoples and how they lived.

We know or are taught about the Aztecs, and the gory things such as human sacrifice, but generally even these days Europeans are not taught about the GOOD things the natives had.

Some places also celebrate this as a day for Italian Culture and heritage. Columbus is still widely credited and thought of as important because of how he brought the first intertwining of European and American cultures.

Which really is not a true thing ... because although he took great tings to the New World, he also took bad things and caused terrible things too.

Who knows or can guess which language is mostly spoken in South America?
Spanish. 69% of South American countries use Spanish as their official language. Even these days!

And that's all because Columbus took that language, and culture there.

Again - what religions do South Americans have?
They have Christianity and especially Roman Catholicism.

What about fighting? What happened after a warrior was caught and killed ...


If a warrior from another, warring tribe was caught, often his head would be cut off, brains eaten and the empty head SHRUNK!

They would eat the brains in the belief that the warrior's bravery and intelligence would become theirs.


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