The foundations of the modern world were laid in the period between the 14th and 16th centuries. The main activities attributed to this development include the Great Britain revolution, the growth of the cotton industry, and the emergent of the finance and banking industry. The transformations made in this period had an economic and social impact globally. For instance, a new social order was created after the dissolution of feuds, new nations with novel political systems and theories were also formed. The discoveries from the voyages’ exploration also changed the economy worldwide. This is because it led to the rise of colonization, the modern labor movement, the evolving status of slavery, and the Atlantic world. In addition, the era marked the onset of current skill, knowledge, science, and art (Huff & Toby, 64) This paper highlights the world’s history regarding global exchanges that influenced the emergent of the modern world.
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History of Global Exchanges
The expansion of the Ottoman Empire and Mongol empire dissolution in the 14th century led to the closure of trade routes towards the East. For this reason, Europe had to search for alternative paths, in the process they obtained new insights. For instance, their ambitions to exploit the global economy and the emergent of merchant capitalism were formed. Renowned seafarers such as Francisco de Coronado, Vasco de Balboa, Cabeza de Vaca, and Francisco Pizarro started exploring America late 15th and early 16th centuries. On the other hand, Henry the Navigator made visits to Africa. The findings from the voyages opened new trade paths. Notably, Trips to African Coast diffused the false beliefs that hindered Europe from visiting the region.
In the 16th century, European seafarers began to sail further west and east, their exploration led to the rise of the Transatlantic Slave Trade witnessed after Africa and America. Since then movement of goods across different nations has been established. In the past, regions, and states were linked through long-distance commerce only. However, a shift occurred in the 1750 century, which led to durable integration. Consequently, politics, culture, and society across continents became entangled.
The development of modern ship-building technology facilitated the discovery of the new world and maritime routes. It also led to transoceanic trade and the global movement of ideas, materials, and people. Nautical movements formed the foundation of the European empire between c.1600-1850. This period was regarded as the Age of Sail’, it was characterized by rapid change in the social world, technology, and politics. The era also had an impact on the emergence of contemporary political, and social organizations. This is because scientific ideas, legal institutions, economic structures, and geographical boundaries formed in this period are still in use today.
Revolutionary Changes and Ideological Confrontations
Sharing of ideas played a significant role in shaping the modern world. This is because it led to the emergent of enlightenment in many parts of the world. Changes attributed to this factor include a decline in church power and monarchy, the spread of useful concepts across Europe, and the Scientific Revolution. Key ideas currently used that emerged from enlightenment are beliefs in reasons rather than superstition, the importance of expressing oneself freely, the value of education and learning as evidenced by the development of academies and universities.
The renowned revolutionist like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, John Adams, and George Washington contributed significant ideas that led to independence. These leaders’ quest for changes resulted in social, political, and constitutional alteration. For example, power was separated, and the federal system emerged. Furthermore, the key ideas of democracy, liberalism, and republicanism were also developed. The American Revolution pushed for the Declaration of Independence in 1776, which allowed the creation of the bill of rights and the national constitution in the United State of America.
Europe’s interest was to acquire colonies in areas across the eastern side of North America, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic. British Empire obtained several overseas colonies in the Atlantic region between 1600 and 1850 period, it established military strongholds, and, trading posts in this region. Cultivation of sugar on a large scale in the colonial territory became a source of significant wealth for Britain in the eighteenth century. Cheap labor provided by slaves trafficked from the Atlantic regions enabled success in the farms. The Royal Navy protected enslaved people, ideas, and goods as they transported across the sea routes from pirates. These activities contributed to cultural and economic interchanges exhibited in Britain’s world.
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Mercantilism was an economic policy commonly practiced in the period between the 16 and 18th centuries, it was designed to minimize imports and maximize exports in an economy. This practice encouraged tariffs, imperialism, and subsidies on materials, it also augmented state powers at the expense of other rival nations. This strategy imposed high tariffs on manufactured goods to achieve its goal, it aimed at reducing deficits account by always having a surplus account. Monetary reserves were accumulated through a balancing of trade involving finished goods. The theory of mercantilism was characterized by frequent wars although it facilitated colonial expansion. This idea is practiced by several countries in the modern world as an economic intervention.
The Age of Imperialism
In the age of imperialism, which is between 1850 and 1914, colonial powers colonized vast portions of the world. The changes in consumer and industrialization economies in United State, Japan, and Europe were the major motives behind colonization. The conquered land’s geographical scope required the colonizers to enter the inland areas away from the coastal regions, this movement changed the believes and the way of life of millions of people in the territories. The education system, churches, and governance established in that era shaped the modern world because they are still in use.
The Rise of Globalization
Globalization is the process through which organizations and businesses start operating on an international level. It involves rapid exchange and movement of goods across different continents. The industrialization era was characterized by one transnational economy with a multilateral trade and worldwide division of labor. The trade networks in the 16-century stretched from sub-Saharan, Eurasia, China, America, Russia, India, Ottoman Empire, West Africa, and Europe. These countries exchanged languages, goods, cultures, and languages amongst themselves. Globalization forms a basis of trade in the contemporary world, it has been improved by the presence of better communication and transport systems.
New ideas and processes gained during the industrial revolution changed the economy of life. For instance, textile industry mechanization, mining development, and the rise of steel-based factories currently in use were started. In addition, new forms of communication and transport systems such as trains and canals came up. Ideas such as liberalism, capitalism, Chartism, laissez-faire, labor commodification, socialism, and protestant work ethics applied in the modern world emerged during the Industrial revolution.
Huff F, Toby E. The rise of early modern science: Islam, China, and the West. Cambridge University Press, 2017, p.64.