Columbus’s Time and Columbian Exchange in Mann’s novel “1493”

Updated October 7, 2021

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Columbus’s Time and Columbian Exchange in Mann’s novel “1493” essay

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In Charles C. Mann’s novel, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created is a novel that goes in depth about how Columbus contributed to establishing the New World. 1493 is a very persuasive novel because it mentions the remarkable historical finding of America. Mann broadens readers perspective by mentioning cultural, biological and political aspects of the Old world in addition to the New World. (Add two more sentences)

The biological and ecological perspective that Charles Mann examines throughout his 1493 novel, helps readers to really come in contact with what he is writing. It helps better the picture and broadens his discussion. It personally places an image in the reader’s mind of what he describes during the time periods he mentions. Mann is very descriptive with his details that it paints a clear and better image for those who read his writing. The way Mann describes certain things changed how people see not only the world but America in general some good and some bad. For example, Mann mentions a lot about the incursion of new diseases and how they spread throughout all of America. Mann says. “. . . The viruses that cause smallpox, influenza, hepatitis, measles, encephalitis, and vials pneumonia. . . by a quirk of evolutionary history, all were unknown in the Western Hemisphere” (Mann, 1493, pg 14). Mann explains further in his readings on how the diseases spread from place to place wiping out nearly three-quarters of the people in the hemisphere.

The thing that struck my attention in the ecological perspective was how money was such a big deal. Mann says. “China was the world biggest economy. It’s “silverization” mean that tens of millions of Chinese suddenly needed chunks of silver for such basic tasks as paying taxes or running a business” (Mann 1493, 178). With this being said how the Chinese did this was they would Trade silk for silver and this how the money industry changed. It also grew over time and became a source of imperial wealth and power. American silver helped pay for military, buildings and helped China expand. Eventually, over time, they hit a revenue shortfall. The silver had to constantly be replenished from being passed from hand to hand. Both of these factors have to do with the Columbian Exchange.

Some of the most important and salient points that Mann makes in his 1493 book are the Columbian Exchange and the Homogenocene. Mann mentions heavily on the Columbian Exchange, in fact, it seems like most of what he writes was taken place because of the Columbian exchange or had something to do with it. Mann writes, “The Columbian Exchange had such far-reaching effects that some biologists now say that Colón’s voyages marked the beginning of a new biological era: the Homogenocene. The term refers to homogenizing: mixing unlike substances to create a uniform blend. With the Columbian Exchange, places that were once ecologically distinct have become more alike. In this sense, the world has become one. . .” (Mann 1493, pg 23). The Columbian exchange is thought as of as the extensive transfer of, culture, vegetation, living organisms, human populations, technology, and ideas between the Americas, West Africa, and the Old World.

The way that the Homogenocene is tied together within the Columbian exchange is how all the things that happened in the Columbian exchange how it all came to be. The role Homogenocene is connected is that it introduced places to places people to people. What Mann says about the Homogenocene is, “The Homogenocene? A new epoch in the history of life, brought into being by the abrupt creation of the world-spanning economic system?. . . a world bound together by hoops of Spanish silver” (1493 Mann, pg 32).

The whole book mentions how different ecosystems and different ideas that are different but yet similar have all been taken and placed together into the world that we live in today. Mann also states, “Mexico City’s multitude of poorly defined ethnic groups from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas made it the world’s first truly global city. . . the Homogenocene for Homo sapiens. In a sense, one can think of the Homogenocene as the beginning of the world. Without the Homogenocene, I don’t think America and the United States would be where we are now. The power that we have now is all thanks to the Homogenocene. Without it, I don’t believe America would be thriving as much economically, diversely and…

I believe that Mann’s novel and the idea of the Columbian exchange along with the Homogenocene can lead to the growth and power of the United States. American Exceptionalism says that the United States is unique among all other nations in positive or negative connotations. With this being said, many other countries around the world can learn and gather ideas from America and from America’s history. In the article The Origins and Character of American Exceptionalism written by James W. Ceaser. He mentions a lot about American Exceptionalism and how America is not like any other countries. Caesar states, Exceptionalism may refer to the idea that there is (a) something different about America or (b) something special about America. “Different” is the predominant meaning embarrassed by descriptive social science” (Caesar, pg 8).

America does have its own uniqueness about it and we tend to get away with some things that other nations may not be able to. America is different when compared to other representative governments. A few of the differences that America inquires is that America does not have the foundation of Feudalism nor does America have hundreds of years of traditions that are seen in other parts of the world. America is not just one ethnic group. Ever since immigrants started arriving in America that is when America became not just one ethnic group but many.

America is not perfect and is actually way far from being perfect but America is a Nation that future generations and learn from and help grow to become a better nation itself beginning all the way from Columbus’s time really helps gather information of what America was in 1493 and what it has become today in 2018.

Columbus’s Time and Columbian Exchange in Mann’s novel “1493” essay

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Columbus’s Time and Columbian Exchange in Mann’s novel “1493”. (2021, Oct 07). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/columbuss-time-and-columbian-exchange-in-manns-novel-1493/


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