Intercontinental Trade in the Atlantic

Topics: Caribbean, Slavery, Atlantic slave trade Pages: 3 (1125 words) Published: January 7, 2013
The Atlantic, what had previously been a predominately dormant ocean, erupted with a flurry of activity during the latter portion of the 15th century C.E. with the first voyages of Christopher Columbus. With these came an onslaught of intercontinental trade, beginning, obviously, with the Columbian exchange in the early 1500’s C.E. The expanse of time between 1492-1750 C.E. brought to all Atlantic shores, what is debatably the greatest transformation ever undergone by these constituencies. In addition to the original bout of explosive growth felt by Africa, Western Europe, and the Americas, the socio-economic ramifications of such were soon mutually experienced on all sides, if not in different ways. As the practice of cash-cropping on a large scale took root, the need for slave labor increased significantly all around the board, this seamlessly segueing into a mix of cultures, never before seen in the Americas. With this particular period of time, the enumerable cultures of the African, European, and American peoples desperately clung to their own cultural ideals and practices, even in the instance of African enslavement. This, to me, brings up one of the most interesting ways in which multiple social continuities have transpired throughout a period of history, while all the while being morphed and shaped by the customs of the society into which they went forth (or were brought into by force, presumably as the case would have been for coerced laborers from Africa after being shipped to the Americas to work as slaves). Without the Columbian Exchange, it is very doubtful that much change at all would have occurred in the regions bordering the Atlantic during this time period, given that it allowed for, and was originally, the sole source of transoceanic collateral dispersal. This economized redistribution of goods and wealth throughout the West gave rise to copious alterations throughout Europe, Africa, and the budding Americas. Many of these changes (especially...
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