The discovery of the New World by Columbus began what became known as the Columbian Exchange.This was an exchange of people plants, animals and disease across the Atlantic Ocean. The Europeans were the main beneficiaries of this exchange. Europe received new crops of corn and potatoes which greatly improved European diets. It also received a whole new world full of opportunities. The Native Americans, however, suffered from the exchange of germs, to which they had never been exposed. As a result, it is estimated that as many as 90% of Native Americans died from small pox and other diseased brought by the Europeans.