New World: Maritime Empires, Cultural Diffusion and Trade Expansion

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Beginning with the voyages of Columbus and other explorers, the encounter of the Americas would soon lead to the start of increased trade between Africa, Europe, and the Americas. This immense trade changed the Atlantic Ocean from a predominantly unclaimed vast ocean into part of the growing maritime empires, booming with trade. As the region progressed, economic, political, and social changes occurred rapidly due to the emergence of the Triangular Trade Route and the Trans- Atlantic Slave Trade. By the late 1600s, the increased participation in these trade routes allowed a multitude of commodities to reach the Atlantic World, permitting Europeans to construct big maritime empires and constantly serve as the dominant countries in trade and land. As the values and institutions of European lifestyles became planted firmly in the colonization of the Americas and the slave trade thrived, a new multicultural social system emerged based on race and origin. The Pre- Columbian Era consisted of scarce interaction between the Old World and the Americas, who were relatively isolated from the “global trade”. A series of thriving trading empires, such as Ghana, Mali, and Songhai created thriving cities in Northern and Central Africa. Africa, composed mainly of a tribe system was under the influence of animistic practices. The general essence of Africa was relatively calm, compared to what later decisions would create. In the Americas, Native Americans taking residence there had a set polytheistic religion and system that held rulers and priests at a high social status and farmers and slaves at the lowest. The incredible domains of the Inca and Aztec showed great feats of engineering and technology, including Tenochtitlan, chinampas, and a road system, much like the road system the earlier Persians used. With many regional tribes located there, the Americas were content in their own sphere of unknown exploration. Across the Atlantic were Africa and a very motivated Europe....
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