Ch 13 Strayer 2e Nave Lecture

Topics: Islam, Ottoman Empire, Colonialism Pages: 28 (2407 words) Published: March 22, 2015
Robert W. Strayer

Ways of the World: A Brief Global
History with Sources
Second Edition
Chapter 13
Political Transformations: Empires and Encounters,
1450–1750

Copyright © 2013 by Bedford/St. Martin’s

I. European Empires in the Americas
A. The European Advantage
1. Geography and winds: Europe had a decided advantage for access to the Americas as it was a short trip across the Atlantic and the winds were steady and favorable, unlike the shifting monsoon winds of the Indian Ocean.

2. European marginality, land-hunger, and social drives: European weaknesses, such as being on the margins of the trade networks, being relatively poor, and needing more land to feed the population recovering from the Black Death all served as push factors to drive Europeans overseas and toward the Americas. Almost all social groups had some reason to favor expansion: The poor and the elites wanted to gain land wealth, merchants wanted markets and imports, the church wanted to spread the faith, knights wanted glory, and everyone wanted gold. 3. Organization and technology: The near-constant, interstate rivalry manifested itself in competition on the seas. These conflicts ensured that the states and trading companies had the organization to take on the project of overseas expansion. Europeans built upon technology gained from contact with the Muslim world to create an increasingly efficient fleet of ships.

4. Local allies: Europeans also found local allies, such as the Aztecs and the Inca, who were eager to fight against empires.
5. Germs: The single greatest advantage was one the Europeans did not understand but carried with them wherever they went: a whole host of infectious diseases.

I. European Empires in the Americas
B. The Great Dying
1. 60–80 million people without immunities: Estimates are that the New World had a population of between 60 and 80 million people. As they had been isolated from the diseased, rich Old World for thousands of years, they had not developed immunities to both serious epidemic diseases and what were common endemic illness in AfroEurasia. 2. Old-World diseases: Illnesses such as smallpox, measles, typhus, influenza, malaria, and yellow fever wreaked havoc in the Americas, exacting a terrible toll. 3. Demographic collapse: In some places, 90 percent of the population died. Central Mexico went from a population of 10 to 20 million to 1 million in 150 years. It was not until the late seventeenth century that the population began to recover but in only some places. This mass death open up the continents for European conquerors and their African slaves.

I. European Empires in the Americas
C. The Columbian Exchange
1. People brought germs, plants, and animals: The Europeans who came to the Americas not only brought themselves and their germs but also their animals (be they domesticated or pests such as rats) and their plants (again both domesticated plants and weeds). Horses and pigs played an important role in the post-Columbian development of the Americas.

2. Corn and potatoes to Europe, Africa, and Asia: The two most significant food crops to come from the Americas were corn (maize) and potatoes. Corn became a common staple throughout the Old World, but especially Africa. Potatoes, likewise, had their greatest impact in Europe (especially Ireland) but the sweet potato was also very popular in China. Indeed, American crops such as potatoes, corn, and peanuts spread throughout China and made up 20 percent of their agricultural produce by the early twentieth century.

3. American tobacco and chocolate, Chinese tea, and Arab coffee: As a truly global exchange developed, people began to consume a variety of stimulants from around the world. Tobacco, for example, became popular in Europe and China.

4. Silver, slaves, and sugar: Global networks transported commodities such as silver from the Potosí mine in the Andes, human beings from Africa, and sugar increasingly from the Caribbean....
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