Chapter 13 Worlds Entangled, 1600–1750
From 1600 to 1750, trade continued to expand, tying all areas of the globe together. Demands for silver, sugar, spices, silks, cotton, and porcelain drove trade so that products from each major global region could be found virtually everywhere else. Silver allowed economies to become commercialized and began to strengthen the hand of European trade. Europeans began moving, and forcibly moving Africans, into new places while Europeans expanded their colonial reach. Competition led to bitter conflicts, challenging the preeminence of Afro-Eurasia’s great centralized empires. Economic and Political Effects of Global Commerce
Rising economic integration had far-reaching impact on rulers and common people alike. Shortages or surpluses of key goods greatly affected prices across the globe, which could affect fortunes. Tremendous fortunes, in turn, provided funding for larger armies and ambitious ventures, but they could also divide merchant interests from those of their monarchs. Some states—England, France, Holland, Japan—became stronger because of trade. Others—the Mughals, the Ming, the Ottomans, the Safavids—became increasingly destabilized by it. EXTRACTING WEALTH: MERCANTILISM
Gold and silver production in Spanish and Portuguese colonies stimulated other European powers to seek colonies of their own. Few found gold, but many found wealth in the New World’s fertile lands by building plantations or harvesting furs. Sugar production soared, transforming European diets and economies. Viewing the world through mercantilist eyes, Europeans saw colonies strictly as sources of revenue and competed with one another for control. Charter companies represented the close ties between merchants and governments, as economics and politics became closely intertwined. New Colonies in the Americas
England, France, and Holland all began to establish colonies in the Americas, competing with each other and with Spain and...
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