The Columbian Voyages: The Columbian Exchange, and Their Historians
The 500th anniversary of the Columbian discovery of America is upon us, and with it the obligation to assess existing interpretations of the significance of the voyage and establishment of permanent links between the Old and New Worlds. The traditional, or bardic, version of the Columbian voyages and their consequences was the product of narrative historians who wrote about the American past in ways consonant both with the documentary record then available and with the ethnocentrism of their fellow white citizens of the New World. Though popular, it is deceptive because it takes a selective view of history, reinforces Euro-American ethnocentrism, and confirms premises and approaches clearly obsolete in the late 20th century. The analytic interpretation takes a more scientific, less romantic view of the voyages, their motives and consequences. These historians open themselves to geology, climatology, biology, epidemiology, and other fields. They are scientific in their research and in attempts to limit bias. Examples of historical interpretation from each school of thought are presented. The Columbian influence on the Old and New Worlds is assessed; and intellectual, economic, nutritional, and demographic effects are discussed. Finally, the legacy of the Columbian exchange is reviewed in terms of its effects on world population and ethnic composition. (GEA)
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
aboriginal Afro-Americans American Historical Association American history American plant Amerindian population areas Asia Atlantic Slave Trade Bancroft bardic historians Berkeley black Africans California Press Cardano cassava China Chinese colonies Columbian Exchange Columbian voyages Columbus Columbus's continents cross-cultural cultures decades demographic historians Discovery of America disease domesticated animals effects eighteenth century epidemics essays estimates Eurasia Europe Europe's European Discovery European imperialism explorers Girolamo Cardano global and comparative global history greatest human impact increase Indian Industrial Revolution interpretation Invasion of America islands Jennings labor land lived livestock maize Marc Bloch Mexico and Peru microlife millenia million metric tons Nahuatl Nathaniel Hawthorne North America ocean Old World percent Pierre Chaunu plantation plants and animals post-Columbian produced profit regions Saint-Domingue Samuel Eliot Morison scholars scholarship settlers Sherburne F sixteenth century smallpox societies South species studies sugar sweet potatoes tropical University Press Verlinden wealth western world history world market