Social And Economic Changes In The Atlantic World From 1492 To 1750

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As a result of new contacts among Western Europe, Africa, and the Americas, social and economic transformations occurred in the Atlantic world from 1492 to 1750. Many social changes occurred in these regions as a result of new contacts. Economic changes had great effects on West Europe, Africa, and the Americas during the time period, 1492-1750.
The social and economic transformations that occurred were created by the initiation of European expeditions by Spain and Portugal. In the early 15th century, King John I of Portugal initiated a crusade in order to conquer Muslim land in Northern Africa for spiritual and economic reasons. His third son, Prince Henry the Navigator also wanted to defeat the Muslims by flanking them from Southern Africa.
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Portuguese rulers saw Atlantic exploration as a way to expand and to learn about the world, but the Spanish used Atlantic exploration for economic reasons and to gain power. Columbus’ voyages showed opportunities from Spain to gain resources and convert people to Christianity. Years later the Spanish began to colonize Northern and Latin America and Mesoamerica. In 1519, Hernán Cortés, 600 Spaniards and thousands of Native Americans overthrew the Aztec empire and in 1533 Francisco Pizarro and his men conquered the Incan empire. Later the Spanish began to conquer all of the natives’ land due to the Spaniards’ advanced technology and organization. Since the Native American were divided and were composed in tribes compared a single unit, it made it harder for Native Americans to defeat the Europeans. The Native Americans were never exposed to European diseases, such as smallpox, so they were not immune to these new diseases and as a result many Native Americans were killed. In order to support their new land the Spanish used the encomienda system which forced the former Natives to become enslaved, but the rapid decrease in the population of the natives forced the end of the encomienda system. The repartimiento and mita systems followed and forced the natives to work for limited to no pay. Spanish owned haciendas appeared and produced many of the colonists’ …show more content…
Africa was essential in the Columbian exchange because they provided many slaves and luxuries for the Americas and Europe. Since the Native American and Caribbean population decreased due to diseases, the colonists needed more slaves to replace the natives. The process of trading slaves was not new, Africa traded slaves to the Roman empire. Slavery helped the economic of some African empires and sometimes represents wealth for some empires. African empires also needed slaves in addition to Europeans, slavery was the key to increase wealth in Africa.To the Europeans slaves were a form of cheap labor that allowed them to run plantations and work in America. The number of African slaves traded was approximately 1000 from 1451 to 1475 when the Portuguese started to trade for slaves and led to an overall amount of 10 million slaves traded from Africa to the Western hemisphere. African rulers tried to limit the amount of slaves traded, but the pursuit of profit drove both African and European traders. The African slaves extremely benefited the European economic and help expands colonies in the New World and the introduction of corn, manioc, and cassava led to population growth and important crops. On the other hand, slavery was extremely detrimental to Africa because of the lack of progress and development due to the significant loss of

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