The effects of
exploration on our world today can be seen from many sides. On one hand,
products and ideas from different parts of the world have been passed on to
others. Gun powder, maize (corn) and silk are all examples of goods that
were unique to a particular area until exploration brought them global
recognition. The customs and values of different cultures have increased
our perception of diversity as well.
Unfortunately, there are also many
negative aspects of exploration. For example, explorers often traveled to
places where people had been living for centuries. Frequently, these
cultures were very different, and consequently, the new comers misunderstood
their lifestyles and beliefs. Most aboriginal cultures were viewed by the
new comers as inferior. Sometimes, the Native inhabitants helped the
explorers by providing food, water, shelter and information. However, more
commonly, fights broke out between the two cultures. The explorers brought
new diseases to which the Native people were not resistant.
The history of
European exploration is filled with many great feats. Unfortunately, it is
also filled with a strong disregard for Native cultures, belief systems, land
claims and lifestyle. Disease, physical violence and political policies
have all taken their toll on many of today's surviving Aboriginal groups.