The Atlantic World had many economic and social changes and continuities as a result of Western Europe, Africa, and the Americas interacting from 1492 through 1750. The connection between the Europeans, Africans and the newly discovered land of the Americas greatly affected the Atlantic World. A continuity involves the constant trading with the many parts of the world throughout this period. The arrival of the Europeans changed the Atlantic World such that there were massive trading routes being established from the Americas across the Atlantic World to the Europeans and the Africans.
Before 1492, Europe was in a state of desperate needs for power. However, the western Africans and the Americans had almost no part in global trading. The European??™s wealth had diminished due to the fact that the Asians wanted nothing from the Europeans and the Ottomans taxed Asian goods from the Silk Road, making it a bad bargain for the Europeans to trade for the Asian goods. This caused the Europeans to be forced to the west. Christopher Columbus led one of these expeditions to the west.
He sailed and reached the New World and reported back to the King and Queen of Spain. This news caused the Europeans to travel in great numbers to the newly discovered world and established colonies. The Portuguese, after sailing back from the Indian Ocean region, encountered the coast of western Africa and learned of their use of African slaves.
This sparked the beginning of the slave trade, also known as the Transatlantic Slave Trade, later developed into the Triangular Trade. The Europeans, after arriving to the Americas, found suitable areas where they can grow sugar, tobacco, and other cash crops. However, these crops required killing labor, which is a form of labor where the work to tend to these crops would be very harsh. Since no one wanted to work, the Europeans involved slavery. At first, they used Native Americans, but they soon learned that the natives were not well suited for the labor. Then they used Africans, who were used to the harsh labor and the climate.
The Europeans participated in the slave trade and soon, slaves were brought to the Americas and sold by the millions. The slaves worked the plantations and the crops were shipped to Western Europe. The Europeans would then create manufactured goods and transport it to the western coast of Africa where they would trade these goods for their slaves. These slaves would be shipped and sold in the Americas, therefore, creating the Triangular Trade. An economic continuity was the constant trading between Europe, Africa and the Americas. The Transatlantic Slave Trade lasted throughout the years between 1500s through 1750 in the Atlantic waters. Since the arrival of the Europeans, many social changes occurred as well.
Particularly, one of these was the Columbus Exchange. This exchange was not a trade, but a transportation of humans, crops, food, and diseases. When the Europeans arrived in the Americas, they settled in colonies and interacted with the natives. Little did they know, they were transferring diseases which they had grown immune to.
The diseases infected the natives and spread throughout all the parts of the Americas. Hernan Cortes also spread some of these diseases when he entered the Aztec Empire. When he was forced to leave and returned with an army, he found out that most of the Aztecs were dying.
Throughout the years, about 95% of the natives in the Americas died because of the diseases, the most deadly being smallpox. The Columbus Exchange included the forced migration of many African slaves from Africa and the transportation of many crops such as corn, potatoes, beans, and nuts from America to Europe. It also included the transportation of crops such as vines, wheat, oats, and animals such as pigs and cattle from Europe to the Americas. The introduction of the nutrient-rich foods such as potatoes and corn helped the Europeans to overcome the tragic event of the plague and increased the life expectancy of the average European. It also helped increase the world population drastically. Another social change included the establishment of the Spanish social caste. Since the Spanish dominated most of the southern Americas, they ruled most of the lands available there. They made a system where the peninsular were at the top and the Africans were at the bottom and the natives were second to the bottom.
Another change included the conversion of many of the natives to Christianity. The Spanish sent missionaries to the New World in search of new people to convert to Christianity. However, a social continuity includes the use of slavery and the steady social class of the Europeans in Europe. Africans were enslaved even before the Europeans had encountered them and globalized it. Also, the Europeans??™ social class did not change much. The kings still assumed absolute power and commanded the explorers and settlers that traveled to the Americas. The Atlantic World was greatly influenced by the western Europeans, the newly discovered Americas and the western Africans.
The Europeans interacted with the Africans and participated in the Transatlantic Slave Trade which soon helped to develop the Triangular Trade between these three regions. Another change included the conversion of many natives into Christians. However, the use of global trading and the use of slavery were present from the years 1500s through 1750. These changes and continuities helped shape the world to what it is today.