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A Free Reading Passage on Pigs in the New World for AP U.S. History

Cate O'Donnell

2 min read

May 9

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The effect of pigs in the New World is a referenced topic in the Columbian Exchange, Spanish Exploration, and Conquest topic in Period 1 of AP U.S. History. You could reference this example on your AP U.S. History test.



pigs in the New World passage
2193037801/public domain


When Christopher Columbus embarked on his second voyage to the New World in 1493, he brought along various livestock, including pigs, to ensure a sustainable food source for the colonists. The introduction of pigs to the Americas marked the beginning of significant changes in the landscape, culture, and economies of the New World.


Pigs proved to be an invaluable asset due to their resilience, rapid reproduction rate, and minimal husbandry needs. As Spanish explorers and conquistadors expanded their territories, pigs were carried throughout the continents, quickly adapting to various environments and often becoming feral. Hernando de Soto, for instance, brought pigs to Florida in 1539, from where they spread throughout the southeastern United States.


The ecological impact of pigs in the New World was profound. Being omnivorous and naturally inclined to root in the ground for food, pigs significantly altered the landscapes they inhabited. This behavior led to the destruction of native vegetation and soil structures, disrupting local ecosystems and the survival of indigenous plant species.


Moreover, pigs became a cornerstone of agricultural development for European settlers. They were easier to raise than cattle, required less supervision, and could forage for their own food, which allowed settlers to focus on other tasks. This contributed greatly to the sustainability and growth of European colonies. Pigs became a staple in the colonial markets. They were traded extensively and helped sustain many settlements, becoming an integral part of the diet and economy in the colonies.


However, the introduction of pigs also brought about negative consequences, particularly for indigenous populations. The free-roaming pigs often destroyed the crops that native peoples depended on, leading to food shortages and contributing to the decline of some communities. Furthermore, the pigs carried diseases to which the native populations had no immunity, exacerbating the impact on indigenous peoples.



PRINTABLE READING PASSAGE ON PIGS IN THE NEW WORLD

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Pigs in the New World FREE Reading Passage


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Columbian Exchange, Spanish Exploration, and Conquest



Period 1



AP U.S. History





Pigs in the New World



#pigs

Cate O'Donnell

2 min read

May 9

5

0

0

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