But scientific evidence tells a very different story: When Columbus stepped ashore in 1492, millions of people were already residing there. America was not just a New World, but a very old one whose populations had built a vast infrastructure of cities, orchards, canals and causeways.
The English brought honeybees to the Americas for honey, however, the bees pollinated orchards along the East Coast. Thanks to this feral honeybees, many of the crops that the Europeans brought, like apples and peaches, proliferated. Some 12,000 years ago, North American mammoths, ancient horses, and other large mammals disappeared. The first horses at America since the Pleistocene age came with Columbus in 1493.
Settlers in the Americas told of rivers that had more fish. The South American potato helped spark a population explosion in Europe. In 1491, the Americas had several domesticated animals, and utilized the llama because their beast of burden.
In 1491, more people lived in the Americas than in Europe. The initial conquistadors were adventurers. In 1492, the Americas were not a pristine wilderness but a crowded and managed landscape. The now barren Chaco Canyon was covered with plant. Along with plants like wheat, weeds such as dandelion were brought to America by Europeans.
It’s believed that the domestication of the turkey began in pre-Columbian Mexico, and didn’t exist in Europe in 1491. While beans, potatoes, and maize from the Americas became major plants in northeast Europe.