Nerd out with me a bit while I’m writing Three Star Island’s sequel, set in Spanish-held Florida, 1724.
Major plants brought to the Old World from the New by Spain: corn, potatoes, tobacco, tomatoes, cassava, chocolate.
Major plants and animals brought to the New World from the Old: sugarcane, horses, cows, pigs, goats, bananas.
Mestizos were the mixed-race offspring of Spaniards and Native Americans, usually with a Spanish father and Native American mother. The Spanish authorities devised a hierarchical system known as the casta, which graded the entire population according to the amount of Native American blood they possessed, and contained over 120 different grades.
At the very top of the casta system were the peninsulares and the criollos, These were both groups who claimed to be purely European. The penisulares were those who were born in the Iberian peninsula—hence peninsulares. The criollos, from which we get the word creole, were born to European-descended parents in the New World.