The time period of 1492 to 1750 was a time of global transformation as well as continuity in the social and economical aspects. Regions such as Africa, Western Europe, and the Americas changed because of the many affects the Colombian Trade. Different imports and exports that each region had drastically changed much of the economic and social aspects of the time. These regions followed a path of continuity in many things and because of the ever-expanding communication going on, social structures were produced and flawed. 492 marked the beginning of the Colombian Exchange, unifying the Eastern and Western hemispheres across the Atlantic, socially and economically. Europe and the Americas exchanged crops, food, technologies and diseases. The Americas suffered the most from the diseases given to them, like typhus and small pox, which created a population loss. The exchange of livestock had brought the horse to the Americas, which transformed the lifestyle of the nomadic Plains Indians.
At this time trans-Saharan slave trade was already in existence and soon after the Western Hemisphere had their share of African slaves, this is known as the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Because European diseases had killed off many Native Americans, African slaves were sought out. Slaves fueled the Americas’ economy and they soon entered the global economy. At this point Europe and the Americas had started taking away Africans from their homes and forcing them into slavery.
This mostly occurred in the Americas because of the need for labor. The need for labor came from the huge decrease of population because of the Spanish conquistadors and the diseases brought over by the Colombian Exchange. Plantation slaves in North America blended their culture with that of the Western Hemisphere. In the Americas, social hierarchy was taking place because of the miscegenation of races. Towards the end of this period, the powerful economy of Europe was growing rapidly and a middle class had started to form.
Because of these new global contacts, Western Europe remained unchanged socially but this wasn’t clearly the same for Africa. Even though it seems there was a surplus of slaves in the Americas and Europe, there was a continuous high demand for slaves in Africa. Socially, Africa was ruined and many societies began to fight for their share of slaves in hopes of having powerful economies like that of Western Europe.
Interaction between Western Europe, Africa, and the Americas resulted in change and continuity during 1492 to 1750. At the beginning, Columbus had united the New and Old worlds that created interconnectedness that to this day hasn’t been broken. The slave trade brought many social changes in all three of these regions as well as destroyed or powered their economies. The continuous contact between these regions changed what was known to them in previous years and periods of time.
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