Individual Rights And Economic Gain

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Economic Gain and Individual Rights Essay Mason Cooley said, “Money: power at its most liquid.” This statement holds much truth, especially regarding the period leading to the 18th century. In this time, countries searched for wealth and economic gain in order to become the most powerful. Impacting countries such as France, Spain and England, the desire for economic gain and increased rights greatly changed the world. As these nations searched for an alternate trade route that would allow them to reach Asia and its wealth, the New World was discovered. The New World boasted an abundance of possible riches, and in turn allowed countries to do whatever was necessary to secure them. This hunger for the wealth in the Americas did lead to some …show more content…
This has been seen throughout history, especially around the time of the Columbian Exchange. After discovering the New World and the native inhabitants, the Europeans immediately demanded the Native Americans to take them to the alleged ‘gold,’ and later forced these people into slavery. Columbus describes some of his first interactions with the natives, “ As soon as I arrived in the Indies… I took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts.” This shows a complete disregard for the individual rights of the Natives because of the possible economic gain for Columbus. However, the Natives did not remain enslaved for long. After the Native Americans were infected and killed by European diseases, Europeans had to look elsewhere for slave labor. They soon discovered the idea of Africans as slaves. Africans had an immunity to diseases that the Native Americans lacked, and also had a greater knowledge of farming and crop cultivation. This allowed for a more efficient production of crops such as sugar, and yielded the highest profit. However, slavery in the New World lacked many similarities to the previous form that existed in Europe and Africa. Slavery in the New World was purely based on the desire for money and economic gain which in turn, greatly contributed to the increase in mistreatment of the slaves. Describing the differences between Old World and New World slavery systems, it is written, “ It was only in the New World that slavery provided the labor force for high-pressure profit making capitalist system of plantation agriculture,” This shows how the desire for economic gain completely changed the existing system, creating one that instead led to hundreds of deaths and an absence of individual

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