The Impact Of The Industrial Revolution On European History

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In the period characterized as modern, Europe underwent a series of influential changes which shaped this era of history spanning from the Middle Ages to the start of the Industrial Revolution. Certain key events provoked changes in social, political and economic areas that affected every member of the European society. Scientific and technological advancements, such as printing, along with the discovery of the New World and other lands coupled with the economic expansion of Europe are three of the most significant events that altered European history and still pose an importance today.
Technology and science have been a defining aspect of civilizations; particularly during the modern period these advances not only made life easier but also
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The Age of Exploration began with cartographers remaking maps into a more accurate version to facilitate trade. Hence Europe’s lack of valuable resources and spices, Prince Henry of Portugal sponsored explorations and voyages, like so many other rulers of European countries, to look for better trade routes. These rulers were looking for a way to monopolize certain goods to then make more profit and be richer than their neighboring countries. Following various expeditions to and from Africa by the Portuguese, Christopher Columbus decided that by sailing west he could reach the Indies to monopolize spices for Spain. When he arrived to the New World, mistakenly calling it the “Indies”, he opened up a global trade route. European rulers now wanted to colonize land in the Americas to exploit the resources of the land and they did this by importing thousands of Africans to the Americas and forcing them into slavery to mine and grow goods. After forcing the Natives to adopt European culture and converting them to their religions, which was a big deal for the Spanish, the Europeans attempted to use the Natives of the land as their labor force, but were unable to because European diseases nearly wiped out the Native population. The Age of Exploration not only connected the two halves of the world but paved the way for European countries …show more content…
With new trade routes being established all over the world European countries were able to start a variety of new businesses. The merchant class was one of the most significant social classes during this period because they dealt with trade and goods. However, the merchant class did not make up most of the population; instead most men were shopkeepers and artisans. With time the merchant class would soon evolve and rise in importance. After the Black Plague almost rid Europe of a third of its population, the demographics started to rapidly increase and this population increase allowed for more goods to be developed faster, thus permitting merchants to exchange large volumes of goods over large distances. These international finances and trade led to the development of organized money markets were merchants from every country in Europe would assemble to exchange money and speculate over currency rates. Pretty soon merchants became industrial capitalists. They took greater risks with their money to make a greater profit; merchants became so wealthy that Kings and nobles would often borrow money and later repay them. Likewise, the situation with the Journeymen starting labor unions against their Masters led to the development of wage workers. These wage

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