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Age of Exploration: The New World

During the Age of Exploration, one of the most important lands discovered was the New World, or modern-day North America. It was not as simple as Christopher Columbus sailing there and claiming the whole territory, though.

During the Age of Exploration, Christopher Columbus accidentally discovered the Americas (aka New World) when searching for an alternative route to China. Beginning from the 16th century, when Europeans first discovered the New World, trade developed with Native Americans and permanent colonies that would eventually establish the Atlantic Slave Trade. Within this trade, many things were exchanged, ranging from humans to tomatoes. From numerous trips back and forth between the Europe, Africa, and the New World, diseases, wealth, and culture had varying effects on each area.

Many diseases from Europe affected the Native American population and other aspects of their way of life. The scientific reason for their deaths from diseases is because they were exposed to bacteria that their bodies had not built an immunization to, therefore, having the bacteria multiply, strengthen, and eventually kill the victim. These millions of deaths would affect their society by reducing the population, therefore decreasing their power. This would result in them giving in to the Europeans who were taking over their land and property. Also, because of the diseases, Europeans would often not trade with Native Americans in fear of the stronger strands of the disease that evolved from previous, weaker diseases, and as a result, lowering the Indians trade profits. Diseases carried over from Europe and Africa would severely affect the Native Americans negatively, through death and trade. The trade involved in the Atlantic Slave Trade would exchange foreign goods never introduced to the continents before.

The basic layout of the Atlantic Slave Trade involved Africa sending slaves to the Americas, the Americas sending raw materials to Europe, and Europe sending manufactured goods to Africa and the Americas. The process began with Europe sending copper, cloth, trinkets, slave beads, guns, and ammunition to Africa. Africa would pack a ship with hundreds of slaves, which would be shipped to the New World. The living slaves would be auctioned off, often providing a hefty profit. The final leg of the journey was from the New World to Europe where sugar, rum, molasses, tobacco, and hemp (marijuana) were carried. With all of the trade, competition, rivalries, and other relationships would develop between the European countries. The relationship of European countries would adjust to the competition, according to who was competing with who. With groups of countries bonding, they formed many different companies, including the Dutch East India Company, Danish East India Company, English East India Company, and French East India Company. The French East India Company failed to succeed in all areas except India for a short period of time. The Danish East India Company of Denmark succeeded in India until they lost naval power, and Britain bought them out in the mid-1800.

Thriving in the entire Indian Ocean was the Dutch East India Company, making it one of the most powerful companies. Finally, the English East India Company was the final, important company that excelled in trade in India and Japan. These competing trade ships would often cross paths, and the ships would sometimes end up bloody and wrecked. Throughout the 16th century, diseases, relationships, and trade were altered and affected many areas throughout the world as a result of the Age of Exploration. Diseases given and taken from the Native Americans would kill several hundred thousand Europeans and millions of Native Americans. As a result of trade between countries, and everyone seeking a larger profit, competition formed and relationships between the countries would rot in some places and be nourished in others. Finally, trade would result in introduction of new materials in Europe and Africa as a result of trading between Europe, Africa, and the New World. It is known that the Native Americans were developing advanced technology before the Europeans arrived in America, and imagine if the Europeans had not discovered the New World, allowing the Natives to thrive and perfect their numerous inventions.

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