The Atlantic world Essay
The Atlantic world, including America, Europe and Africa went through some changes and some continuities when they came in contact with among Europe from 1492-1750. Spanish and Portugal explorers brought new diseases the natives were not immune to when they arrived in the Americas resulting in serious population loss. The use of slaves was also a change among the natives and the Europeans. The Europeans started to trade with the Islam Empire, India, Africa, and now the Americas. During this time period, African Slave Trade prospered, as part of a larger economic transformation at this time called the Triangular Trade Network.
And as a result, the Atlantic World was not only influenced but also became dependent on other places around them. Although there were some changes, the concept of Europeans being superior to natives still remained within the Americas when the Europeans came to the Americas wanting to change the natives’ ways because they thought it was not good enough. Social transformations occurred in the Americas due to these interactions. When the Spanish came to the Americas, they brought many deadly diseases. Diseases from the Spanish were mainly brought by conquistadors during the Reconquista.
Humans infections were transmitted for the first time worldwide, from Africa and Eurasia to the Americas. The Natives had no immunity towards the diseases unlike the Europeans. They brought diseases such as chicken pox, measles, and small pox. The diseases were very fatal among Europeans but deadly towards those in the Americas. Before their arrival, there was an estimated population of fifty million but after a hundred years of their arrival, the population dropped to about eight million. With the loss of population also came a shortage of labor.
There were less people to work on the lands and as farmers which meant a shortage of crops and food decimated even more of the population. Economic changes were present as well. Another change brought by the Europeans was the use of slavery. Slaves were important to growing cash crops which were then exported to Europe. The slave trade was created which imported African Americans from ports in Africa as manual labor. The Atlantic economy was tied into the idea of mercantilism. English and Dutch merchants then formed two joint-stock companies which were the English East India Company and the United East India Company.
Soon, the Atlantic Slave Trade prospered into a bigger economic transformation being the Triangular Trade. The Triangular Trade involved the exchange of slaves, crops and manufactured goods between West Africa, the Caribbean and American colonies and colonial powers in Europe. A continuity that remained was the belief that Europeans were superior to natives. When Europeans arrived in Latin American and North America, they started to take over these areas, thinking that their political systems were not good enough.
Europeans tried to change the lifestyles of these places because they thought that their ways were better. This is a continuity because throughout times, Europeans always used people of color to perform the hard manual labor. They even started the slave trade to sell people of color as labor and they never had to work or become slaves. Europeans were also superior in their technology. They had many weapons people living in the Atlantic region had yet to develop and produce so the Europeans were able to establish power based on violence as well.