The interconnection of the Eastern and Western hemispheres made possible by transoceanic voyaging marked a key transformation of this period. Technological innovations helped to make transoceanic connections possible. Changing patterns of long-distance trade included the global circulation of some commodities and the formation of new regional markets and financial centers. Increased trans-regional and global trade networks facilitated the spread of religion and other elements of culture as well as the migration of large numbers of people. Germs carried to the Americas ravaged the indigenous peoples, while the global exchange of crops and animals altered agriculture, diets, and populations around the planet.
I. Existing regional patterns of trade intensified in the context of the new global circulation of goods.
II. European technological developments in cartography and navigation built on previous knowledge developed in the Classical, Islamic, and Asian worlds.
IV. The new global circulation of goods was facilitated by royal chartered European monopoly companies and the flow of silver from the Spanish colonies in the Amerias to purchase Asian goods for the Atlantic markets. Regional markets continued to flourish in Afro-Eurasia by using established commercial practices and new transoceanic shipping services developed by European Merchants.
V. The new connections between the Eastern and Western hemispheres resulted in the Columbian Exchange.
VI. The increase in interactions between newly connected hemispheres and intensification of connections within hemispheres expanded the spread and reform of existing religions and contributed to both religious conflicts and the creation of syncretic belief systems and practices.
VII. As merchants' profits increased and governments collected more taxes, funding for the visual and performing arts, even for popular audiences, increased along with an expansion of literacy and increased focus on innovation and scientific inquiry.
Although the world’s productive systems continued to be heavily centered on agricultural production throughout this period, major changes occurred in agricultural labor, the systems and locations of manufacturing, gender and social structures, and environmental processes. A surge in agricultural productivity resulted from new methods in crop and field rotation and the introduction of new crops. Economic growth also depended on new forms of manufacturing and new commercial patterns, especially in long-distance trade. Political and economic centers within regions shifted, and merchants’ social status tended to rise in various states. Demographic growth — even in areas such as the Americas, where disease had ravaged the population — was restored by the eighteenth century and surged in many regions, especially with the introduction of American food crops throughout the Eastern Hemisphere. The Columbian Exchange led to new ways of humans interacting with their environments. New forms of coerced and semi-coerced labor emerged in Europe, Africa, and the Americas, and affected ethnic and racial classifications and gender roles.
I. Beginning in the 14th Century, there was a decrease in mean temperatures, often referred to as the Little Ice Age, around the world that lasted until the 19th century, contributing to changes in agricultural practices and the contraction of settlement in parts of the Northern Hemisphere.
II. Traditional peasant agriculture increased and changed, plantations expanded, and demand for labor increased. These changes both fed and responded to growing global demand for raw materials and finished products.
B. Slavery in Africa continued both the traditional incorporation of mainly female slaves into households AND the export of slaves to the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean.
C. The growth of the plantation economy increased the demand for slaves in the Americas.
D. Colonial economies in the Americas depended on a range of coerced labor.
III. As new social and political elites changed, they also restructured new ethnic, racial, and gender hierarchies.
Empires expanded and conquered new peoples around the world, but they often had difficulties incorporating culturally, ethnically, and religiously diverse subjects, and administrating widely dispersed territories. Agents of the European powers moved into existing trade networks around the world. In Africa and the greater Indian Ocean, nascent European empires consisted mainly of interconnected trading posts and enclaves. In the Americas, European empires moved more quickly to settlement and territorial control, responding to local demographic and commercial conditions. Moreover, the creation of European empires in the Americas quickly fostered a new Atlantic trade system that included the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Around the world, empires and states of varying sizes pursued strategies of centralization, including more efficient taxation systems that placed strains on peasant producers, sometimes prompting local rebellions. Rulers used public displays of art and architecture to legitimize state power. African states shared certain characteristics with larger Eurasian empires. Changes in African and global trading patterns strengthened some West and Central African states — especially on the coast; this led to the rise of new states and contributed to the decline of states on both the coast and in the interior.
I. Rulers used a variety of methods to legitimize and consolidate their power
A. Rules continued to use religious ideas, art, and monumental architecture to legitimize their rule:
B. Many states adopted practices to accommodate the different ethnic and religious diversity of their subjects or to utilize the economic, political and military contributions of different ethnic or religious groups.
II. Imperial expansion relied on the increased use of gunpowder, cannons, and armed trade to establish large empires in both hemispheres.
- GUTENBERG BIBLE, 1450, Johannes Gutenberg (GERMANY)
- EPIC OF SUNDIATA, c. 1450 (MALI)
- 95 THESES, 1517, Martin Luther (GERMANY)
- A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE DESTRUCTION OF THE WEST INDIES, 1542, Bartolome de las Casas (SPANISH AMERICA)
- SLAVE TRADER, 1700, WILLIAM BOSMAN (AFRICAN COAST)
STARTING WITH PRINCE HENRY, EUROPEANS ARE GOING TO TRAVEL THE WORLD AND BE IN EVERYBODY's BUSINESS.
THIS IS GOING TO MAKE THEM INCREDIBLY WEALTHY AND BUILD THEM HUGE EMPIRES.
ALONG WITH THIS, COMES DISEASE, SLAVERY, and HORRIBLE CONDITIONS FOR NATIVE AMERICANS.
THERE ARE ALSO HUGE LAND EMPIRES FROM THE OTTOMANS AND RUSSIANS OVER TO THE CHINESE.
THE COLOMBIAN EXCHANGE IS ARGUABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER. THE AP LOVES IT. THEY ASK ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME. THERE WILL BE SOMETHING ON THE COLUMBIAN EXCHANGE ON THE AP TEST... I GUARANTEE IT.