The changes brought about
by European and African settlement of the Americas, called the Columbian
European powers for control of the islands. And until 1830s populations were greater in Latin America, than in Britain's thirteen colonies. Here too Bartholomew de Las Casas tells us, lies a cruel history involving the importation of African slaves, the twin origins of a lasting American dilemma where class differences fed ethnic discrimination and race prejudice. From these experiences the desire for emancipation, and questions of identity commingle only to emerge in a vibrant and new mixture of cultural traditions that Derek Walcott called "Fragments of Epic Memory."
" . . . the Columbian Exchange has created markets for Europe without which she would have been and would now be a very different and much poorer region of the earth, and poverty a palpably heavier burden on the connubial propensities of young adults."