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Atlantic World Social and Economic Changes (1492 – 1750)

A change and continuities over time essay based on how the Atlantic World has changed economically and socially from 1492 – 1750.

The Atlantic World has been known as the source for many significant historical events in which have set their stage for further historical events. One of the most acknowledgeable periods of the Atlantic World’s history begins in 1492 and ends around 1750. During this period of time, many social and economic transformations took place as a result of new contacts being integrated into the worldwide communication and trade network. These contacts include: Western Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Economic change includes the transition from the Columbian Exchange to strictly the Slave Trade. Social transformation includes numerous aspects each of which are based off Europe, Africa, or the Americas.

            One of the most significant types of transformations that occurred between the years of 1492 and 1750 is economic change. The most recognizable of these changes is the versions of trade that have occurred. The two trades that were transitioned from one to the next were the Columbian Exchange and the Atlantic Slave Trade. The Columbian Exchange began in the year of 1492. The Columbian Exchange was a tremendous event in history in which many aspects of Europe and the Americas were exchanged. These aspects include: food, plants, animals, technologies, and even diseases. This major trade that occurred had a major impact on the global economy because it provided each new region with a variety of new foods and crops used for wealth benefits. However, the diseases brought from Europe and Africa to the Americas really put a break in how the economy of the Atlantic World developed because there was grand population loss as people were being killed off in clumps. The Columbian Exchange also involved the trading of slaves in which carried over to the next great trade in Atlantic World history, which is the Atlantic Slave Trade. Even though the Atlantic Slave Trade began a few decades before the Columbian Exchange, as time passed, the Atlantic Slave Trade expanded its popularity towards other regions of the world and soon became one of the greatest and wealthiest periods of economical growth history. By 1750 the Atlantic Slave Trade was still occurring and between the time it began to 1750, over twelve million slaves were shipped off. These slaves were primarily taken away from their homes in Africa and forced into slaveries in Europe and the Americas but mainly the Americas because of the need for much labor. Much labor was needed for two reasons. Reason number one is because of the huge population decimation that occurred between the Spanish conquistadors and the diseases brought over by the Columbian Exchange. Reason number two is because of the amount of industries the Americas were developing at the time which include harvesting various crops and mining, which became very popular. In essence, Western Europe, Africa, and the Americas all provided some type of way in which the world economy has developed tremendously from 1492 to 1750.

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