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Discuss the powerful movements that transformed european society during the early modern era

In the Western Hemisphere, the demographic collapse among Native Americans was catastrophic in places that had large populations on the eve of European contact. These places included the Caribbean islands, central Mexico, the Mayan highlands of southern Mexico and central America, and the Andes Mountains. The Great Dying involved multiple infectious diseases and ferocious pandemics that followed one after another for more than a century and a half. It began when new disease pathogens were inadvertently introduced to American Indian populations by early Spanish and Portuguese invaders.

Owing to the long separation between the western and eastern hemispheres, the populations of the Americas had not evolved significant natural immunities to Afroeurasian infections, which included measles, smallpox, influenza, typhus, and tuberculosis. Therefore they had no inherited defenses against them. In this perspective, the epidemic diseases can be seen as part of the Columbian Exchange of numerous organisms, including plants and animals.

The Great Dying caused massive social, economic, and cultural upheaval in numerous Amerindian societies. This was probably the major factor in the disintegration of the Aztec and Inca empires. The calamity also had a major impact on the development of the new Spanish empire in the Americas. The population loss meant that the Spanish faced severe shortages of labor and rapidly shrinking taxes.

They therefore had to create an administrative system that gave priority to the mining industry and ensured the continued export of silver.

  1. In the long run, it seems clear that Europeans benefited the most from this development. The Great Dying caused massive social, economic, and cultural upheaval in numerous Amerindian societies.
  2. In this race for revenue only the fiscally fit survived.
  3. Important developments included larger and more efficient bureaucratic states, as well as more complex systems of communication and economic exchange. Printing stimulated literacy among middle- and upper-class Europeans, a growing market for ideas, including new conceptions of nature, the cosmos, and human society.
  4. They focused on what today we would call gender. This was especially the case for married women who were completely under the guardianship of their husbands.

Another consequence was the creation of social and legal institutions to force surviving Indian men and women to work for Europeans in mines and commercial agriculture. The Great Dying, however, was just one aspect of the many ecological transformations that resulted from the Great Global Convergence.

The arrival of Europeans in the Americas transformed the natural environment because the newcomers brought with them new organisms of all types, including many new food plants, several domestic animals of which Native Americans had fewand numerous species of weeds.

In 1500, for example, wheat was unknown to peoples of North America. The same was true for the populations of the southern cone of South America. Handler and Michael L.

  • Far-reaching changes in maritime ship-building and navigation greatly speeded global exchange in Big Era Six;
  • Far-reaching changes in maritime ship-building and navigation greatly speeded global exchange in Big Era Six;
  • It is a this juncture that women, who had always participated actively in subsistence riots, who, without abandoning their participation in direct action against scarcity or lack of food, began also to demand the recognition of their political rights, as their peers had been doing;
  • Bourgeois feminists thought of access to work as a liberating force, in clear opposition to Marxist thought which spoke of work as alienating.

A Visual Record, University of Virginia http: The Great Dying also set in motion another process: This was because in order to keep the mines, plantations, and haciendas producing for the European market, European mine and estate owners had to find more labor. Because of the Great Dying, European entrepreneurs were frequently unable to find the local Indian labor they wanted, while free Europeans were unwilling to cross the Atlantic in large numbers to take up back-breaking jobs and expose themselves to tropical diseases.

In order to continue making handsome profits from production and sale of sugar, silver, and other commodities, they brought in African slaves. Between 1450 and 1810, perhaps 11 million enslaved Africans arrived in the Americas.

Big Era Six

European sea merchants contracted with African rulers and traders to sell them captured Africans who had been enslaved by fellow Africans in their homelands. Historians have estimated that 42 percent of these enslaved men and women were sent to the Caribbean, 38 percent to Brazil, and only 5 percent to North America.

  • The slave trade was disastrous for tropical Africa as a whole;
  • By the later eighteenth century, the balance of military power in the world was shifting to the European side;
  • Martin Luther 1483-1546 , a German Christian monk, challenged the Roman Catholic Church to make numerous reforms in doctrine and leadership.

The slave trade was disastrous for tropical Africa as a whole. African slave traders aimed to capture and sell mainly young women and men because they were the age group best fit to work and reproduce. The trade therefore drained African societies of their most productive people.

The population of sub-Saharan Africa in 1900 was about 95 million. If the trade had not occurred, it would likely have been much higher. Between 1500 and 1800 the proportion of men and women of African origin in the Americas steadily grew.

Between 1500 and 1800 about 2 million Europeans traveled to the Western Hemisphere. Europeans, however, still constituted a minority of the population in most parts of the Americas as late as 1800.

Big Era Six witnessed a sharp increase in world deforestation, notably in Europe, the Americas, and Japan, an exploitation that also involved erosion, flooding, and climate change. The chief cause was the expansion of mining worldwide. This industry required vast quantities of wood, both fuel for smelters and timbers for mine shafts. This led to the deforestation of entire regions around the major mining sites. Mining also significantly decreased forest cover in England, northern France, and central Europe.

The energy demands of the sugar industry in Brazil and the Caribbean, where biomass wood energy was needed to fire sugar boilers, produced extensive deforestation. Naval construction, which boomed during this period, was another major source of deforestation. Western Europe and Japan underwent profound energy crises in the seventeenth century due to deforestation. In Europe, the shortage of wood energy occasioned a search for alternative sources, provoking the shift to fossil fuels, initially coal.

In Japan, by contrast, the wood crisis led to an ambitious reforestation project. This said, we must note that most of the switch from biomass to fossil fuels occurred in the subsequent Big Era.

Humans and Other Humans The most important change affecting the relationships of humans with one another in this period was the transformation in social organization.

Important developments included larger and more efficient bureaucratic states, as well as more complex systems of communication and economic exchange. Changes in the scale and complexity of human interactions greatly favored elites, that is people with wealth and power, because they were able to control and manage the new forms of organization and technology. Ordinary people, however, could also use new types of communication to promote social, religious, or political reform.

  1. Certainly these demands started with the discourse which fed the bourgeois revolutions which put an end to the Ancien Regime, but politics continued to be reserved for men.
  2. Certainly one can read texts from about 1870 which demand full political equality, but it was not until the Second Republic and the debate on the Constitution of 1931 that the demand for suffrage becomes important.
  3. European merchants, soldiers, and missionaries also took Christianity, both Catholic and Protestant, around the world, leading to its rapid spread, especially in the Americas. Changes in the scale and complexity of human interactions greatly favored elites, that is people with wealth and power, because they were able to control and manage the new forms of organization and technology.

Far-reaching changes in maritime ship-building and navigation greatly speeded global exchange in Big Era Six. New maritime technology, plus the European innovation of mounting cannons on shipboard, supported the rise of the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, British, and French maritime empires.

These empires were larger and more diverse than earlier ones. New firearms technology also contributed to the expansion of Afroeurasian land empires that were better organized for controlling their subjects and collecting taxes than were earlier empires. Even so, had there been no gunpowder the Spanish conquests in the Americas would almost certainly have taken longer.

Then a shift westward toward Europe began to occur, though not until the later eighteenth century. How did this come about, and what were the main consequences? The linking of Afroeurasia with the Americas was the most important factor. The sudden arrival in the sixteenth century of vast quantities of silver on world markets led to a rapid increase in commercial exchanges of all kinds.

This was as true for Asia, where the economies of both China and India were based on silver coinage, as it was for Europe. And America was supplying increasing amounts of precious metals to the world market.

In the long run, it seems clear that Europeans benefited the most from this development. But this was not apparent in the sixteenth century. Europeans did not produce any commodities or finished goods that Asians wanted to buy.

American silver, which Native Americans and African slaves extracted from the earth, provided a solution for European entrepreneurs. They could purchase Asian commodities pepper, spices, coffee, tea, porcelain, carpets, silk, and cotton cloth with American silver and, to some extent, gold. The trade boom in maritime Asia soared to new heights between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. But this boom greatly benefited European states and merchants as well as Asian ones.

Changing conditions of production, consumption, and labor around the world greatly affected the lives of ordinary women and men. These transformations took place in work habits, incomes, diet, family structure, and in discuss the powerful movements that transformed european society during the early modern era places even the ratio of women to men.

For example, in parts of tropical Africa, the slave trade removed so many young males from society that women came significantly to outnumber men. By contrast, in the densest plantation societies in the Caribbean and Brazil, enslaved men of African descent greatly outnumbered enslaved women.

Sugar, an Afroeurasian crop cultivated in the Americas, and the seeds of the cacao, an American plant introduced to Afroeurasia, are the key ingredients of chocolate. The sugar boom brought riches to some Europeans and Africans but a death sentence to many others.

The swelling consumption of sugar, coffee, tea, and cacao transformed the diets and daily habits of ordinary Europeans and linked them by invisible economic threads to enslaved Caribbean and Brazilian workers. The silver mines and sugar plantations did much to create a new international division of labor in which Africans, Native Americans, and Asians increasingly supplied labor and raw materials, while Europeans made finished goods using complex technologies.

Revolution in military power and finance. A primary reason for the rise of European power was the military and fiscal revolution. In the military sphere, Europeans adopted gunpowder weaponry, which had originally been pioneered in China.

This soon discuss the powerful movements that transformed european society during the early modern era to advances in strategy, tactics, fort-building, and discipline. Warfare became the business of professional soldiers and sailors. Europeans fought many wars during this Big Era. Military innovations, however, did not serve all European states equally because some states augmented their power at the expense of others. By 1800, Britain had virtually eliminated France, its principal rival for global domination, from North America, the Caribbean, and South Asia.

Its tube weighs 40 tons. It was intended for defense of the Kremlin in Moscow, but it was never fired. Photo by Ross Dunn The military revolution was also fiscal because it required deep changes in state bureaucracy, taxation, and accounting to pay for increasingly expensive wars. In this race for revenue only the fiscally fit survived. The power of states unable to finance costly artillery and other weapons was gradually reduced by their more successful rivals.

In Asia, imperial states like the Ottomans, Mughals, and Ming Chinese adopted gunpowder weapons and expanded their territories. They did not, however, accept the full package of military and fiscal reforms that Europeans did. By the later eighteenth century, the balance of military power in the world was shifting to the European side.

Before the nineteenth century, European states did not have a significant military advantage over Asian or African rivals. For example, at the start of the era, the Austrian Hapsburg empire the largest in Europe could not defeat the Ottoman Turkish empire, its principal rival. The Portuguese, Dutch, and English traded for slaves in West Africa but seized little territory because regional African states, which were increasingly armed with guns, had sufficient power to defend themselves.

The tropical disease environment in West Africa was also deadly to Europeans. It was not until the nineteenth century that Europeans began to have adequate military and medical technology to readily defeat Asian or African armies. At the start of Big Era Seven, for example, both Austrian and Russian forces deploying massed field artillery and other lethal weapons were able to defeat the Ottomans more and more often. As we have suggested in the discussion for the previous Big Eras, between the eighth and fourteenth centuries, a new synthesis of Arab, Persian, Mesopotamian, Greek, and Indian knowledge about nature, society, and the cosmos gradually appeared.

Beginning in the twelfth century, Europeans gradually adopted this synthesis of learning and increasingly contributed to it.