A Changing World Final Paper
‘The discovery of America and that of the passage to the East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope, are the two (2) greatest events recorded in the history of [human] kind” – Adam Smith, in the Wealth of Nations,1776. Think about why he and many other notables supported this statement, especially the discovery of America. What was so important about this New World across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe? How did it change globalization in terms of trade, culture, societies, innovations, new and old world exchanges, and in other ways?
You have already developed a thesis statement and developed an outline in which you identify three (3) main points relevant to your topic. Now you will develop the final paper in which you explore your main points in detail.
Write a three to five (3-5) page paper in which you:
- Introduce your paper with your previously crafted thesis statement.
- Identify three (3) major aspects that demonstrate old and new world exchanges. Explain your responses with specific examples and details.
- Identify three (3) specific groups that were affected by this global event and provide two (2) examples for each group describing how the group was affected.
- Summarize how this discovery affected the life of the average working American during the colonial period. Use specific examples and details.
- Use at least three (3) academic references besides or in addition to the textbook. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not qualify as academic resources
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:
- Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA style or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
- Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student's name, the professor's name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
- Recognize the main factors that led to America’s early development.
- Use technology and information resources to research issues in American History to 1865.
- Write clearly and concisely about American History to 1865 using proper writing mechanics.
Aspects of American History and Development and Its Global Effects
Centuries ago, the discovery of the New World proved to be a blessing in disguise, bringing with it devastating effects to various groups of people, but at the same time opening up a whole new world of unknown wealth and treasures. In 1776, economist Adam Smith reiterated that, the benefits that arose from this important discovery were far-reaching, not only impacting Europe but also bringing the rest of the world together on a global scale (Barzilai F., 2008).Unknown to many, America was endowed with a huge reserve of natural resources, such as precious metals, agriculturalproducts, and a variety of animals. Once this truthwasrevealed, the world was changed completely. New trade routes and commodities emerged, coupled with cultural interactions and brand new innovations.
The discovery of raw materials was a major aspect that demonstrated exchange between the new world and the old world. As a result of this, new trade partnerships were formed, consequently leading to a high demand in the market for these materials and products. This came to be known as the Columbian exchange. For example, the Spanish discovered a huge reserve of silver in one of the mountains in South America known as Potosì. This consequently led to the development of a huge commercial area in the region that attracted business people from around the world. This silver eventually made its way to China, revolutionizing the country’s economy. During that time, the Ming dynasty was in control. They incorporated silver as part of their currency, making coins that were used in operation of businesses and exchange of goods. As a result, a high demand of the precious metal ensued.
The Spanish alsoobtained Chinese goods such as porcelain and silk in exchange for silver. These new trade partnerships grew, slowly giving rise to globalization(Grolle, 2013). Additionally, new crops such as corn, sweet potatoes, tobacco, rubber, cotton, and potatoes were introduced in Europe and China, influencing the way of life of their people a great deal. The Chinese began cultivating sweet potatoes and corn which proved to grow well in infertile soils. This consequently led to a huge population increase in the region (Grolle, 2013). Likewise, Europeans incorporated potatoes and corn into their diets, and eventually, these crops became a staple food for its people. Europeans introduced crops such as wheat in the Americas, and a variety of animals such as horses, chicken and cows. Animals such as Alpacas and Llamas that solely existed in America eventually became known to the Europeans. All these exchanges were beneficial, transforming the economy and culture of the countries involved.
Another aspect that demonstrated the exchange between these two different worlds wasthe Trans-Atlantic slave trade that unleashed pain, anguish, and oppression on the innocent Africans that were captured.African slaves were sold to various parts of America and were forced to work on plantations and cotton fields. Theirs was a tale of horror, as they were subjected to cruel and harsh living conditions. Europeans acquired this free labor and used it to their advantage, producing a lot of harvest that was used to manufacture a range of commodities, and having a lead in the world trade market.
Death due to infectious diseases was rampant during that particular period, and was another major aspect that demonstrated old and new world exchanges. Europeans introduced deadly illnesses such as Chickenpox, Measles, and Yellow fever that had disastrous effects on the American natives. The natives lacking immunity to these diseases were wiped out in large numbers. Close to 8 million native Americans died as a result of these diseases, and this reduced their numbers greatly. The Spanish were able to effectively colonize them and as a result, many of the native inhabitants were forced into slavery as well. African slaves introduced thedeadly disease known as Malariato Europeans and Americans, leaving a trail of death and destruction in its wake. The Africans were later discovered to possess a certain degree of immunity to this particular disease and were therefore not affected as much.
A number of groups were affected as a result of these events. The first group that was impacted greatly was the Native Americans. They experienced mass genocide due to the diseases that were brought across the Atlantic such as Smallpox, Measles and Yellow fever. Those who were infected died rapidly, and within no time, their numbers diminished. The native Americans were also exploited and forced into slavery,with their land being taken away by the Spanish. They lost resources, wealth and freedom.
The second group that felt this impact was the Africans. They experienced negative effects such as slavery and brutality. They lost their homes and were transported across the Atlantic to Europe and America to work under harsh and extreme environments. They were beaten, treated like animals and were stripped off of their dignity. The African slaves were forced to work in plantations and homesteads so as to amass numerous wealth for their colonial masters.
The third group that was affected by this global event was the European colonialists. They were able to benefit positively from this oppressive system by exploiting the natural resources in the Americas. They obtained minerals such as gold and silver, and gained new agricultural products such as potatoes, cotton, tobacco, and rubber. They also obtained free labor from the African slaves and the Native Americans. Through trade, the Europeans were able to acquire a lot of wealth and assets that propelled them to power.
These events influenced the life of the average American in a variety of ways. For instance,they adopted a new diet in their way of life. The new crops and animals brought by the Europeans such as wheat and chicken were incorporated into their daily lives.. There was also a change in power whereby the Spanish took over the country displacing the former local leaders. African slaves were forced to adopt the new language and culture of the Americans, with numerous interactions taking place among different tribes and groups. As a result, there was a lot of cultural exchange.
The discovery of the new world proved to be a very significant event in historythat revolutionized the way of life for numerous people. It brought with it both positive and negative effects, and left devastating results for some groups of people. All in all, the lives lost and the suffering endured by those who lived before us is what helped build the America we live in today. The world now has become more globalized, with technological advancements opening new possibilities and people having access to countless resources.
Forman Barzilai, F. (2008) Adam Smith as a Globalization Theorist. Critical Review 14(4) 391-419
Grolle, J. (2013) The “Columbian Exchange”:How discovering the Americas transformed the world. Der Spiegel International. Retrieved fom: http://www.spiegel.de/international /world/a-923220.hmtl
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