History: How the Discovery of the New World Affected Europe

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The discovery of the new world created a significant effect on the Americas, however many people overlook the effects that it had on Europe. This new discovery marked a time where European nations were taking control of sea routes and spreading their culture around the world as well as creating global markets of trade. Discovery of the new world also brought about many economic and social changes too.

With the increase of gold and silver being brought back into Europe the economy was thrown in turmoil. The basis of wealth in medieval Europe had been land, and the owners of land lived quite well by renting their lands out and requiring their renters to provide them with service and a share of their crops. Suddenly gold and silver, which had been in short supply, began flooding from the New World back into Europe with the result that prices began to soar, this is called today the Price Revolution (Nelson). It also happened that countries like Spain and Portugal did not have much manufacturing so they needed trading goods and supplies for their colonies. England, France and the Netherlands had the capacity for this manufacturing and became the center of manufacturing and financial power in Europe.

A major social and economic change was brought about by the plants that were brought back from the new world. Most of Europe had survived on wheat and grain, meat was scarce and was eaten rarely by most families. Most families would produce just enough grain and wheat to survive because a good percentage of the harvest would go towards taxes, some would be taken by the landowner as payment for rent and then a certain amount would have to be kept as seed for next years planting. Most Europeans went to bed hungry because of this lack of food available to eat. This also meant that if it was a bad growing season then there would be no excess to live off of and the family would most likely starve. This problem was solved with the discovery of maize, we know it as corn....
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