The world as we know it would not be what it is had it not been for the evolution of trade and globalization in years gone by. Alfred Crosby’s informative novel Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900 focuses on the ecological side of European expansion. Through his work, the author attempts to demonstrate how the European people were successful in gaining possession of the temperate lands mainly due to expansion of plants, animals and even pathogens which they housed.
An intriguing and informative record, Ecological Imperialism enriches the reader with numerous arguments which are explored and explained. To develop his arguments, Crosby “builds on his earlier [book] Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 and William H. McNeill’s Plagues and Peoples”In doing so, the main argument developed is that of the Europeans’ domination of the temperate zones being successful due mainly in part to biological factors. This argument is appropriately summarized on page 63 of the text, wherein Crosby writes, Westerners throughout history who have gone to the eastern Mediterranean to fight wars have believed their chief problems to be military, logistical, and diplomatic, and possibly theological, but the truth is that their primary and immediate difficulties Further development dwells on a vast majority of convincingly accurate information from many years passed.
An in depth discussion on sea faring and trade including a fascinating chapter used to describe the use of winds and other environmental factors creates such an illusion in one’s mind that at times it seems as if you could find yourself inhabiting the world of the Norse raids, crusades, and eventually the “Neo-Europes”.
Contrary to popular belief of European military superiority being a determining factor in the success, Crosby recounts the effect of pathogens, weeds and anim…