Columbian Exchange

The term “Columbian Exchange” was coined by US historian Alfred W. Crosby to describe the transformations set in motion by Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to the Americas in 1492. In his 1972 book by the same name, Crosby described the extensive exchange of humans, animals, plants, ideas, and diseases between Europe and the New World. In terms of biodiversity, landscape, nutrition, and population development, this exchange was one of the most significant processes in history.

Further Readings: 
  • Crosby, Alfred. Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
  • Crosby, Alfred. The Colombian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2003.
  • Nunn, Nathan, and Nancy Qian. "The Columbian Exchange: A History of Disease, Food, and Ideas." Journal of Economic Perspectives 24, Nr. 2 (Spring 2010): 163–188. View PDF