Summary: Curricular Trade

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As well as having a positive social impact on Europe, triangular trade had a positive economic effect on Europe, for many empires were able to establish sea-based empires which led to the rise of the merchant class and their wealth. In the time of the Columbian Exchange the Americas offered new crops that grew well in the European climates, such as tomatoes, potatoes, corn, squash, and strawberries (“Columbian Exchange” 2014). The mother countries in Europe used their colonies in the Americas for cash crops, this increased the availability of raw materials to produce into manufactured goods which provided the conditions for economic growth. Due to the fact that raw materials became cheaper, merchants were able to sell their products at a lower…show more content…
In the Spanish colonies, silver was bountiful and was able to be accessed easily through mining. In the time period from 1500 to 1800 C.E., Mexico and Peru produced about 85 percent of the world’s silver and about 40% of it was traded with China for other goods in return (Pomeranz & Wong, 2004). Since silver did not naturally occur in China, they needed to trade goods, such as porcelain, silk, and tea, with the Spanish Empire in order to receive silver for their currency. The demand for silver in China was extremely high and the bulk of the supply was from the Spanish, however the Spanish Empire did not wish to trade much of its silver to China but they still wanted to profit from that trade relationship. To solve this predicament, they started selling the Chinese an addictive drug, opium. The silver trade united the world so that regions from all over the world were involved in a trading relationship. The first link was from Africa to the Americas, in which slaves were brought over to mine the silver, next the silver was brought to Europe to use as currency, and then the third link was from Europe to Asia in which the silver was monetized in…show more content…
Columbus’ discovery of the Americas led to the first lasting connection between the Old World and the New World, however this link came with the near destruction of the native population. Since the indigenous people of the Americas were never exposed to the diseases of the Eastern Hemisphere, they did not carry any type of immunity which led to their rapid decimation. When the Europeans arrived in the Americas, they needed a workforce to cultivate their crops and maintain their plantations, so they forced the native Americans into slavery. Perhaps this was due to the fact that Europeans saw themselves as superior to the natives, this may have been caused by the raising spirit of nationalism in Europe, which is the belief that one’s nation is of a higher rank than another or to be patriotic. This may have also been the reason for the creation of the castas system, in which native Americans, forced to work on the plantations, were positioned at the bottom of the pyramid. The castas system was largely based on race and partly nationality. The Spanish and Portuguese who were born on the Iberian Peninsula, peninsulares, were at the top of the pyramid, the people of Spanish and Portuguese descent who were born in the Americas, creoles, were next in line, then came the mestizos who were born of Spanish and native

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