The World That Trade Created. Grabbing the Globe 1450 CE-1750 CE. Transcontinental Routes. New inventions in navigation, map making, and shipbuilding allowed Europeans to trade and travel the world. What was traded?.
The World That Trade Created Grabbing the Globe 1450 CE-1750 CE
Transcontinental Routes • New inventions in navigation, map making, and shipbuilding allowed Europeans to trade and travel the world.
What was traded? • In the 300 years between Columbus’ landing in the Americas in 1492 and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s, three kinds of transcontinental (global) trade were established: • Slave • Gold & silver • “Drug foods”
Slavery • Slavery has existed since ancient times in many places including China, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome. • Slave trade expanded with the growth of empires such as Rome, Islam, and Ottoman.
Transcontinental Slave Trade • When Columbus first came into contact with the Americas the slave trade became global.
Why did slave trade become global? • As Europeans began to colonize the Americas they brought diseases which killed up to 90% of the natives in some places.
When Europeans began establishing plantations to grow sugar cane, tobacco and cotton so many of the natives had died that they could not find enough workers.
Since Africans had acquired immunity to some of European diseases that killed so many American natives they became the choice of plantation owners looking for help growing sugarcane, tobacco and cotton. Although Africans had enslaved each other before the arrival of the Europeans, the European need for slaves in the Americas led to increased violence and expansion of the slave trade in Africa. So, how did the Europeans find the workers they needed?
The transatlantic slave trade globalized the labor system of the Americas, and linked Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia in one single network.
Transcontinental Gold & Silver Trade • Before the 16th century, the world’s four main monetary substances were silver, gold, copper and various shells. • China’s demand for silver during the Ming dynasty, however created a global network of trade. • This increased demand for silver began when the Ming dynasty began paying salaries and collecting taxes in silver creating what some scholars call “the world’s silver sink.”
China’s demand created a ripple effect on world trade and drove up the value of silver. Silver was typically traded as ingots.
Meanwhile in Europe… • New ship designs and navigation techniques allowed Europeans to bypass the old overland routes (Silk Road). • European demand for Chinese goods such as porcelain, tea and silk was high. However, the Europeans had virtually nothing to trade that China wanted. • This created a huge trade deficit (importing more than a country is exporting) for the Europeans.
However, this trade deficit changed with the discovery of silver in the Americas. Fortunately for the Europeans, the Spanish controlled the richest silver mine in the history of the world at Potosi in Peru. 50,000 Indians were forced to labor in the silver mines at Potosi.
In addition, the Spanish had discovered how to sail from the Americas to China by 1565. This began the first continuous and substantial trade between the Americas, Asia, Europe and Africa.
There was huge profit to be made in taking silver from the Americas and trading for Chinese luxury goods and selling them in Europe and the Americas. • China’s demand for silver remained at the center of the world economic system until about 1750. • Finally, silver glutted the market and the value of silver fell.
Likewise, the profits from the circular movement of slaves, sugar, tobacco and gold across the Atlantic stimulated global economy. This movement became known as the “Triangular Trade.”
Transcontinental Drugs Trade Historically goods considered psychoactive drugs have been an important part of trade. What is a psychoactive drug? A drug that affects the mind or behavior What substances would be considered psychoactive drugs? Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, tobacco, opiates, cannabis, and some coca products.
What purpose did drugs serve? • Psychoactive drugs might first have been used as a substance of religious celebration, a token of community, or for medicinal purposes. • Over time, they were transformed into a commodity and exploited for profit.
What is a commodity? • A commodity is something that is produced for the purpose of being exchanged. This is different than something that is being produced for use or consumption without any thought of being exchanged. Can you think of any other examples?
Drugs become part of global trade • 17th century-coffee, tea, cocoa, tobacco, and sugar became the most valuable agricultural goods in world trade. • These drugs are often initially outlawed, then taxed. • They formed the basis of colonial empires—even today they are a source of revenues (tobacco, alcohol)!
Where did drugs come from and where did they go? • Liquor, wine, and opium originated in Asia and spread to the Americas. • Tobacco, coca, and cacao originated in the Americas and spread to Europe and Asia.
However… As some food drugs became popular their meanings, uses, and location of production often changed. Can you think of any examples?
For example, did you know… • Tea and coffee were popular in China and the Middle East because their caffeine helped one to stay awake during religious rites? • Cacao was combined with hot chili peppers for a drink that could only be drunk by the Aztec elites in Mexico?
Did you know…. • Coca was first used by the Incas in religious rites and for medicinal purposes? It could be chewed to alleviate hunger, thirst, and fatigue. • Tobacco was ingested or smoked as a religious drug by American natives?
Then when it was traded in Europe that changed… • Cacao was mixed with cinnamon and sugar and no longer restricted to just the elites. It became a commodity. • Tobacco was no longer used only for religious purposes. It became a cash crop and an addictive substance. It became a commodity.
The impact of the European Atlantic voyages became known as the “Columbian Exchange”, referring to the many connections across the Atlantic that interconnected the people of Africa, America and Europe. (Do you remember discussing cultural exchange earlier?) • This was not just European conquest…but global consequences!
Globalization • What is globalization? Globalization is… • Increasing world wide interconnections and development of the environment, politics, culture and economy. These interconnections have been aided by advances in transportation and communications.
Globalization in History • Has globalization happened in the past? • http://youthink.worldbank.org/multimedia/gallery/globalization/slideshow_globalization2007.php
Globalization of Food • Drugs/foods that were important commodities during this period include: • Sugar • Tea • Coffee • Tobacco • Chocolate • Opium • http://www.learner.org/vod_window.html?pid=2159
Sugar • Although originating in New Guinea, sugar became popular and also very expensive in the Arab world. Sugar sold for high prices as a rare spice or medicine. • The growing demand for sugar led Europeans to establish cane sugar plantations in the Americas. • Sugar cultivation required large investments of capital and a steady supply of labor.
Plantation slavery became the dominant mode of production in the tropics and was particularly intense in Haiti which imported twice as many slaves as the United States. The popularity of drinks such as tea and coffee among Europeans greatly increased the market for sugar, and consequently the need for more slaves. Sugar was also used to make rum and to sweeten chewing tobacco and chocolate.
Tea • The cultivation of tea probably started in China and became one of China’s most valuable exports by the 18th century. • Many Chinese considered it a “divine herb” which purified the spirit. • Unlike the other “drug foods”, tea production remained an Asian crop for 400 years.
It became the national drink of England, an industrial and colonial superpower at this time.
Coffee • Coffea arabica, a native plant in Ethiopia, was made into a beverage around 1400 in the Yemeni city of Mocca. • Muslims adopted it in their worship and spread the beverage throughout the Islamic world. • The café, or coffeehouse, became popular secular meeting places in Muslim lands.
Coffee did not become popular in Europe until the later part of the 18th century. Why? • Associated with Islam. • As consumed by the Turks, it was very thick, hot, black and unsweetened. • Very expensive
When Viennese refined Turkish coffee, adding honey and milk, they made it more attractive to Europeans. • However, the coffee bean was first traded as a medicinal drug that could cure sore eyes, dropsy, gout, and scurvy.
As in the Muslim world, coffeehouses also became popular meeting places in Europe to discuss business and politics, catch up on news, and as meeting places for men’s clubs. Many rulers were concerned about the political discussions that took place there and often attempted to restrict coffeehouses.
Indian and Arab merchants controlled the trade of coffee from Yemen, but lost control when the coffee tree diffused to Europe and then finally to Latin America. • Coffee was cultivated first on Haitian plantations and, along with sugar, became part of the triangular trade. • After the Haitian Revolution, much coffee production went to Brazil.
Tobacco • Europeans were first introduced to tobacco when they came in to contact with natives smoking it in the Americas. • Sailors eventually tried it and took it back to Europe.
At first the nonmedical use of tobacco was controversial. But even public executions of smokers failed to stop its use. By the end of the 17th century prohibition had given way to regulation and taxation. The Spanish began supplying tobacco and had a monopoly on the product until colonists in Virginia began cultivating the plant. By 1619 Virginia’s tobacco sales equaled Spanish sales in London.
Chocolate • Christopher Columbus was also the first European to encounter the cacao bean when he met a Maya trading party in 1502. • The Olmecs first used cacao and in turn passed on the custom to the Maya. • It was prized for its medicinal value as well as its taste. • It was considered a stimulant, intoxicant, and hallucinogen as well as a cure for anxiety, fever, and coughs.
It was used by warriors to help prepare them for battle. • Usually made into a beverage by adding water and chile peppers and lime water. Maize was used to thicken it. • It was so valuable it was used as money and even sometimes counterfeited!
Spanish priests first introduced cocoa beans to Europe as a spiritual drink but soon became the aristocracy’s drink of leisure, luxury, and distinction. • Cacao trees were introduced to plantation agriculture in Venezuela and Central America and then transplanted to the Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil, and finally Africa.
In early 16th century Spain, chocolate was mixed with water, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Two centuries later it was finally made with milk and this is the product that we recognize as chocolate today!
Opium • Europe continued to demand Asian products, but exported very little to Asia. • Europe’s conquest of the New World provided a temporary solution as New World gold and silver were shipped to Asia. • By 1700s Europe’s demand for Asian goods was even higher but New World mines were yielding less gold and silver.
So, how was Europe going to pay? • The British East India Company turned to opium which could be produced in its Indian colony. • If they could trade opium to the Chinese then the British could reduce their trade deficit. • Opium had been used in China as a medicine, but rarely as a narcotic.
Initially a luxury, the use of opium grew twenty-fold between 1729 and 1800. Opium use was a problem but not catastrophic.
However, a cheaper, more potent blend was developed in 1818 greatly increasing the number of opium addicts in China.