European exploration voyages led to interaction between peoples in the Atlantic world. A triangle of interaction formed between Western Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Between 1492 and 1750, new contacts among Western Europe, Africa, and the Americas brought about economic changes such as new trading partners and new foreign foods, but social aspects such as the role of women remained the same.
Before 1492, the Eastern and Western Hemispheres remained isolated from one another. In 1492 Christopher Columbus set out on a voyage in search of an alternate sea route to Eastern Asia and India, but unexpectedly landed in the Americas. When the Europeans came to Africa and the Americas, they established new sea trade routes. Triangle trade benefitted the economies of all three regions. Crops, weapons, tools, and slaves were among the items traded. These things were new to each region they entered and they made a positive impact on the region's economy.
New crops and domesticated animals were introduced through trade between the regions. Corn, potatoes, cassava, and sweet potatoes were brought to Europe and Africa. Wheat, cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, and horses were introduced to the Americas. This changed dramatically the way in which the inhabitants of these regions used their limited resources to survive. Because of these new crops and domestic animals, many people lived better.
A social continuity during this time is the role of women. The cultures that interacted during the Columbian exchange did not influence each other's perspective on women. Women were still expected to cook and raise children in every region while men were farmers and provided food for the family. The role of women remained the same from 1492 to 1750.
In conclusion, economic changes in trade and the use of new resources came from the interaction between Western Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Socially, however, the role of women remained the same throughout the period 1492 to 1750.
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