Columbian Exchange Benefits Both Sides
 
Hello, fellow Americans.  I’d like very much to thank you for this invitation to speak to you today.  Your social studies professor told me that you are studying the Columbian Exchange.  Here is what you need to know.  Too many people think that the meeting of the Europeans and Native Americans only hurt the Indians and only helped the Europeans.  I’m here to tell you that they are about as wrong as someone who thinks the cafeteria food at Persell is gourmet cooking.  Sure, Native Americans died in large numbers when Europeans brought diseases to the Americas.  It is also true that the Europeans took goods that did not belong to them.  However, I am here today to tell you in no uncertain terms that the Europeans and Native Americans both benefited from the Columbian Exchange.
 
You see, Europeans brought with them livestock that did not exist here.  Some of these animals included pigs (umm, bacon) and cattle (nice, juicy hamburgers). They also brought horses that provided Indians with a new source of transportation. Ask a Plains Indian if they’d prefer to hunt buffalo on foot or horseback and you’ll quickly see that animals brought by Europeans had a positive impact in North America.
 
In addition, Europeans brought grains such as wheat and barley to the Americas.  The U.S., now recognized around the globe as the breadbasket of the world, makes millions selling these products grown by our own farmers.  Had these grains not arrived here, how would generations of American farmers, the backbone of this country, support themselves.  Do you really want poor Jimmy Overalls, the Farmer, to starve ?
 
Finally, the death from disease of many Native Americans was inevitable.  They perished because they were not immune to diseases the rest of the world had.  While this is sad, as technology improved, this loss of life was going to happen no matter what.   In today’s high tech world, people think nothing of hopping on a plane and traveling around the globe to such far off locations as Djibouti (I just like saying Djibouti).  As new diseases continually pop up, epidemics occur for time to time.  In 1918, we saw the deaths of millions world wide in a flu epidemic.  In the 1980’s, disasters like mullets and AIDS raced across the globe.  In the late 1990s, we were witness to SARS and mad cow disease.  No one can stop sicknesses from happening, and to argue that we can is like playing basketball with spaghetti.  Disease and death is a fact of life, and blaming the Europeans for the deaths of the Native Americans is unfair.  Besides, it is not as if the Euros inflicted the Aztecs and their peers on purpose, now is it?
 
Both the Europeans and the Native Americans benefited from the interaction between the two cultures.  Thank you for listening.
 
 
The Columbian Exchange was Beneficial To Both Sides
Monday, September 25, 2006