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Chapter 14: New Encounters: The Creation of a World Market
Transcript of Chapter 14: New Encounters: The Creation of a World Market
The 16th century saw many radical changes that dramatically altered centuries long existing world patterns setting the stage for the development of modern world.
The Portuguese decided to break the Islamic trade monopoly in the region and establish their own, the city of Malacca was the key to this plan.
By early 16th century, the Portuguese were the dominant traders in the East.
Why? Their ships were lighter, quicker, and more heavily armed.
In the early 15th century, Portugal began exploring the African coast.
Shortly thereafter the first intercontinental slave trade began.
The first of many, the Portuguese built forts on the coast.
In the late 15th century, the Portuguese rounded the Cape of Good Hope and opened a new trade route to India from Europe.
Chapter 14: New Encounters: The Creation of a World Market
A. Islam and the Spice Trade
Before the Arrival of the Europeans, the Indian Ocean was an active trade route.
The majority of the shipping was in Islamic hands.
Islam gradually spread throughout Southeast Asia.
The principle state of the region was the Sultanate of Malacca, an important commercial entrepot.
Malacca was well connected with both the Islamic and the Chinese worlds.
The kingdom was the principal vehicle of Islamic expansion in the region.
C. A New Player: Europe
Europe had been an isolated backwater for 1000 years with few connections to the outside world.
During this period and immediately previous to it there was a growing attraction to the East, due to such accounts as those of Marco Polo.
The destruction of trade routes to the east meant that Europeans began to search for new seaborn patterns.
Economically, they were most interested in obtaining minerals such as gold and silver or spices such as pepper.
Likewise Religion was important. They felt a duty to spread the faith. Their motives could be summed up as "God, glory and gold."
Newly centralized 15th -16th century European governments sponsered overseas expansion.
The development of significant new technological advancements also led to increased exploration.
An Age of Exploration and Expansion
B. The Spread of Islam in West Africa
There was a continuance of the pre- 1500 expansion of Islam south of the Sahara Desert.
The former kingdom of Mali had declined and fallen to be replaced by the new state of Songhai.
The rulers of Songhai relied on Islam as a means to centralize their territory as well as to increase their authority.
the "New World"
While the Portuguese went east, the Spanish largely went west.
The four initial voyages of Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas for the Europeans and were sponsered by the Spanish crown.
During his life he never believed he arrived anywhere other than Asia.
Shortly afterwards English and Portuguese exploreres made signficant finds as well.
Approved by the Papacy the Treaty of Tordesillas divided the new discoveries between the Portuguese and the Spanish.
The conquistadors were the primary instrument that the Spanish used to assert control in the Americas though they were privately sponsered rather than backed by the government.
In Mexico, Hernan Cortes conquered the Aztec Empire over the course of three years, 1519-1521, with roughly 500 men.
In the Andes, Francisco Pizarro conquered the Incan Empire with roughly 200 men over the course of five years, 1531-1536.
Why was the conquest so rapidly successful?
Superior Weaponry, confusion on the part of the Aztecs and Incans, Indigenous assistance, and most notably disease.
The Spanish would assert their control with the encomienda system which instituted virtual slavery for the native inhabitants of the conquered territories.
Famed priest Bartolome de las Casas would argue against this exploitation and eventually cause its overthrow.
Administratively, the conquests were organized into viceroyalities, and quickly all the major trappings of European civilization would be implanted throughout the region.
Nonetheless Hybridity will be the term that will most aptly describe Latin America in the centuries to come.
3. The Impact of
Very quickly the impact of conquest led to increased sentiments of European supremacy.
Tremendous quantities of gold and silver were taken during the period and other materials also traversed the Atlantic such as potatoes, cacao, corn, tobacco, etc.
These developments are cited by many as one of the principal causes of the creation of commercial capitalism.
Eventually Portugal was overcome by a number of rivals.
The Spanish were amonst the first competitors, they circumnavigated the globe and conquered the Phillipines.
The English and the Dutch also entered the equation with their forays into the East under their respective East Indian Companies.
Also during this period, the Portuguese settled Brazil and started the first sugar plantations there.
Likewise other European nations settled in the Americas with the English, Dutch, and French largely in North America and the Caribbean.
What is the Columbian Exchange?
4. Africa in Transition
As the Portuguese move into Africa they seize some coastal territories but are unable to advance far into the interior.
Later the Dutch will begin to settle the Cape of Good Hope, now South Africa, laying the basis for the Afrikaaner culture and language.
As Europeans made inroads into Africa, the transatlantic slave trade begins in earnest.
Slavery had long existed almost everywhere worldwide.
Ultimately the combination of the discovery of the Americas and the advent of the plantation system developed for sugar radically change traditional patterns of this institution.
Over the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, slavery grows dramatically. 275,000 to 1,000,000 to 6,000,000.
Total numbers suggest roughly ten million enslaved and brought to the Americas and then an additional two million sent to other locations.
The slave trade is known for its supremely high death rates due to affairs such as the Middle Passage.
Typically slaves were obtained as captives in intertribal conflicts. For the local tribes this was seen as a lucritive business.
Justifications given for the slave trade included the following: The centuries long history of the institution, exposure to Christianity, African involvement in the trade, and better to use African slave labor than Indian slave labor.
Ultimately, other than this European impact in the region was limited prior to 1800.
5. Southeast Asia in
Era of the Spice Trade
The Dutch were the first to establish formal colonies in the Spice Islands.
Similarly to Africa though, European penetration into the region was limited during this period.
Gradually Buddhism and Islam became firmly established in the region with some new competition from Christianity.
States here largely focused on agriculture though cash crops began to increasingly develop.
People here were poor but not hungry due to low population and frequent harvests.
This region continued being one of the most socially equal areas on the planet.