America before Columbus

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America before Columbus

Several books which explain the traditions and the state of America have proven that the country was close to a jungle or a wilderness before Columbus visited in the year 1492. Scientific history on the other hand gives a different story about ancient America. It claims that the inhabitants of the land had transformed it into old cities, which were all surrounded by canals, causeways, rivers and beautiful orchards (Richardson, 31). According to the documentary, the English brought a new form of lifestyle in the area, where they slowly shifted the American way of life into a more urbanized form of living. This paper discusses some of the cultures and traditions which were introduced in the Columbus era, which affected north, central and southern American in their ways of living and economic activities.

Cultural Shifts made by English to Americans

The Europeans came with an interest to transform the economic activities of the American people. Their old ways of trading as seen in the documentary were turned into other productive activities such as farming and livestock keeping. Christopher Columbus, with the help of English men introduced some activities such as bee keeping and horse rearing where plants like apples and other fruits were now being cultivated in the soils of America (Mann, Rebecca, 67). Such activities came in hand with severe effects. Some of the impacts which happened as a result of colonialism were environmental degradation, where land was being transformed to what the Europeans thought was good for Americans.

Cultural Shifts made by Colonies on Central America

Colonialism on Central America was introduced by the Spanish, with a little influence by the Portuguese and the French. The rule was controlled by the general of Guatemala, being characterized by war, decimation of population and diseases. In Central America, the inhabitants were forced to give free labor to the Europeans, where they later shifted their interests on African cheap and free labor. Demise of indigenous groups was evident in the colonial period, where the colonies introduced a different sense of linguistics, ethnicity and economic diversity. Africans who were brought to central parts of America such as Guatemala, Ecuador or Mexico transformed several cultures which were originally in the area, including accent, religion and economic activities (Spinden, 178). Central Americans are widely known for using Spanish in communication, bearing in mind that English is the official language in the area. All these changes were brought by the Spanish rule, where the inhabitants choose to copy their way of living.

Effects and Cultural Shifts made by Colonies on the Caribbean

Slave trade was the main activity that took place on these islands. The Europeans conquered the islands and introduced slavery with them (Major, 42). Trade was also evident in the region where the enslaved people helped the English men to manufacture goods like sugar to help them trade. All Africans who were captured from central Africa were brought to America through the Caribbean, old ports and the Atlantic islands. Spread of diseases such as small pox was also an effect of colonialism on Caribbean, a problem which increased the enemity between the colonies, inhabitants and slaves.

Effects and cultural Shifts made by colonies on Southern America.

Rich forests were burnt down into farms, such activities weakening the economic activities which were originally taking place. In some parts of Brazil and Colombia, the activities introduced by the Europeans weakened the economic stability of the country as the inhabitants were now fully dependant on the new activities which took some time to be productive. Colonialism was mainly categorized by excessive violation of human rights as the Americans were forced to work on the newly developed programs until they got their freedom. Continuous mistreatment brought more rivalry hence political instability (Spinden, 177). South America was turned in to a rich agricultural area, where slaves were forced to work on the farms to help in production of goods and services.

Lastly, although colonial era in America was characterized by suffering and oppression, the results made the current America. Every change done on America in closely linked to Christopher Columbus, where he is praised for his efforts in transforming the country.

Works cited

Major, Richard Henry. The Voyages of the Venetian Brothers, Nicolò and Antonio Zeno, to the Northern Seas in the XIVth Century: Comprising the latest known Accounts of the Lost Colony of Greenland; and of the Northmen in America before Columbus. Hakluyt Society, 2017.

Mann, Charles C., and Rebecca Stefoff. Before Columbus: The Americas of 1491. Simon and Schuster, 2009.

Richardson, William AR. “South America on Maps before Columbus? Martellus’s ‘Dragon’s Tail’Peninsula.” Imago Mundi 55.1 (2003): 25-37.

Spinden, H. J “America before Columbus.” The Scientific Monthly 42.2 (1936): 176-178.