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Socio-Economic Ccot Essay

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From 1492 to 1750 immense social and economic transformations shook the world. These huge changes occurred as a result of new contacts among the Americas, Africa, and Western Europe.

Starting in 1492, with the discovery of the "new world" by Christopher Columbus, the Americas began the process of immense social and economic transformations. One of the most extreme and disturbing differences was from the introduction of European disease, and the lust for gold and other precious metals. These two factors led to the decimation of the native populations, for not only had they never been exposed to these European diseases, but they were also greatly overpowered and easily killed with the more advanced European technology. This decimation of native population led to another drastic social change: the enslavement of some eleven to twenty million Africans and their subsequent transport to the Americas. The introduction of this new labor force also forced the creation of a new social class, which was unfortunately at the bottom. Along with these extensive social transformations there were also equally extensive economic transformations. With the introduction of these new "cash crops" many European countries were flocking to the new world to establish colonies and gather raw materials and grow these crops for profit. There was also the introduction of various beasts of burden and other animals. Horses and cattle allowed for faster travel and easier, more efficient farming; pigs, chickens, sheep, and other food animals were also introduced.

The Americas were not alone in these monumental transformations Africa was also heavily affected. Socially many of the changes were quite negative and forever changed the African continent. Through the Atlantic slave trade the population ratios were thrown completely off. Because of the fact that young men were much more desirable as workers than women there were many more women left in Africa than there were men, and it also led to an increase in polygamist relationships because of the lack of men. Not only was the population ratio thrown off, but there was also a dramatic increase in violence from the artificial wars created to capture slaves. The Atlantic slave trade was also responsible for many of the economic changes that occurred in Africa during this time as well. In order to obtain slaves Europeans would trade guns and other various manufactured goods. While most of these goods were good for the economy the guns only served to help increase the amount of slaves available and led to an economy which was based almost entirely around the trading of slaves.

Western Europe was also a part of these vast social and economic transformations. In fact Western Europe was the catalyst for many of these changes, starting it all with the discovery of the "new world". The new world was also one of the largest sources of economic change for Western Europe. It was a source



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