How Did Latin America Change Over Time

Decent Essays
Latin America trading status around the world changed towards the end of the 16th and at the start of the 17th centuries as the region imported more African slaves from the West Coast of Africa. The Latin American and Caribbean region were seen as the slave trading hub of the world. Exports of cash crops also grew as a result of the larger population of slaves, however, Spain continued to supply most of Latin America’s processed goods. Conquistadors sent from Spain, such as Cortez, continued to exterminate the native civilizations in Latin America and mine valuable mineral deposits which left usable land for plantation production of cash crops for export as a result. Cash crops such as tobacco and sugar were grown by the African slaves and largely transported to Europe. Cash crops became Latin America’s and the Caribbean's largest export. With growth in this valuable farming business came a larger demand for more slaves to labor the expanding agricultural exports. Latin America’s largest import remained finished products such as weapons, textiles and fabric, and metals and metal items; most of these products came from Spain. The expanded importation of African slaves to Latin America and the Caribbean contributed to an extensive change in inter-regional trade and was caused by a heightened European demand for cash crops supplied by plantations that needed more labor. The increase of African slaves being imported to Latin America had the opposite effect on the areas in Africa where the slaves were taken. The populations decreased extremely and many tribes in Africa were taken advantage of by the European traders when trading for slaves.

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