Contact, Commerce and Colonisation: Worlds Together, Worlds Apart | Summary

Summary of Chapter 12 from Worlds Together, Worlds Apart

The New World (Mesoamerica)

  1. Columbus found America by looking for a shorter way to Japan and China.

    1. Began: 1492, arrived 12 October on San Salvador, Bahamas.

    2. Goal was to generate revenue for the conquest of Granada and to save souls. Killed Tainos on arrival.

    3. Spanish experimented with Colonialism on Hispaniola.

      1. Encomenderos and the crown benefitted.

  2. War in the New World was ceremonial and designed to make enemies tributary subjects. They fought to capture not to kill.

  3. The defeat of the Incas and the Aztecs meant that Europe had 

    1. Their way with the human and material wealth of America

    2. Gave Europe a market for their own products

    3. New places to colonize fruitful areas 

    4. New scale of imperial expansion

  4. Spain had a tributary empire

  5. Mexico comes out of Tenochtitlán

Afro-European and American exchange

  1. In the Afro-European circuit, before American inclusion, the industry recovered from the black death

  2. Mughals (India), Ming (China), Safavids (Iran), Ottomans (w Asia and e Med.) profit from new trade with the new world

  3. Colonies began in the form of forced sugarcane work by Portugal and Spain

  4. Portuguese Beginnings

    1. Vasco de Gama first to the East for Portugal, arriving in 1498.

      1. The Portuguese showed force at Aden (Red Sea), Hormuz (Persian Gulf) and Melaka (Malay Peninsula)

      2. They introduced a pass system (cartazes) which Indian Ocean merchants got for free and others had to pay.

      3. No interference between Asia and Africa but intermediary

European Empires

  1. Critical that Europe found the new world first

    1. Overseas empire and new resources

    2. Conflict inside Europe due to split in the Roman Catholic Church

  2. Exploration started by the Spanish (West) and Portuguese 

    1. Portuguese on the Atlantic Coast of Africa

      1. Advancements: caravels, gun powder and cannons. Better with compass and astrolabe

  3. Common for forced religious conversion

  4. War changed to lengthy inconclusive struggles — this favoured large states.

16th Century Trade

  1. China Revival

    1. Ming focussed on internal economy: Nanjing to Beijing and Grand Canal reconstruction

    2. Kept many goods but traded silks and porcelain in Afro-Eurasia

    3. Lack of silver meant importing from New World through Manila

  2. Indian Ocean revival

    1. Merchants seeking China meant that ports in East Africa and the Red Sea were linked to India, South Asia and the Malay Peninsula

    2. India was the geographic and economic hub; trading spice, cotton and rice for silver.

    3. Melaka was the most important point at the choke point between the Indian Ocean and the South China sea.

  3. Aleppo in Syria important entrepôt for caravan routes

The Aztecs

  1. Aztecs centred at Tenochtitlán (Lake Texcoco) in concentric circles

    1. They were united by the belief of repeating disaster ending in death

    2. They had harsh practices and oppression; human sacrifice common

    3. Moctezuma II emporer in 1502 — enemies with Tlaxcalans and more

      1. The Spanish used these enemies to lead to the demise of the Aztec empire.

        1. Moctezuma was killed by fellow ‘Indians’ and after Cortés decided to eliminate the Aztecs.

          1. New leader, Cuautémoc, defeated with all other Aztecs. Cortés now ruler of Mexica.

  2. Natives die due to a lack of immunity — Mexico: Aztecs, Peru: Incas.

    1. Due to this, there was a lack of labour introducing African slaves.

  3. Hernán Cortés the model conquistador — was encomendero in Hispaniola

    1. Doña Marina symbol for mestizos and lover for Cortés

    2. Justified his actions by saying that he came to spread Christianity, save people, take their property and stop cannibalism.

The Incas (Andes, Cuzco), Quechua speaking

  1. Internal turmoil

    1. Issues around Huayna Capac’s successor (died prematurely). 

      1. Huascar (official son) took Cuzco

      2. Atahualpa (favoured son) governed Ecuador

        1. A fought H and won

  2. Francisco Pizarro led the Spanish campaign 

    1. Conferred with A at Cajamarca where a trap awaited him

    2. The Spanish then took the new capital of Lima

      1. They staked their own claims for encomiendas and we’re soon at war with each other. 

        1. Pizarro assassinated through this

          1. Laws were then made to prevent ecomiendas from being heritable. 

            1. This act wanted to solve: the establishment of a powerful aristocracy, prevent a civil war and to reinforce loyalty to Madrid. 

The Columbian Exchange

  1. Spanish gained the knowledge and seeds of a new variety of staple foods that found their way all around the world. 

  2. The term refers to the movements between Afro-Eurasia and the Americas of previously unknown plants, animals, people and other products. 

  3. The Indians were brought wheat, grapevines and sugarcane but most destructively disease. Livestock such as cattle, swine and horses were brought as well. 

    1. Small pox - measles - pneumonic plague and influenza 


  1. Silver was a measure of success

Coastal Enclaves

  1. Portuguese created enclaves along the coast. 

  2. Work was hard to find as there was no centralized government

    1. Africans were brought in to work on the sugar cane plantations

Sugar plantations

  1. Cultivation started in India, spread to the Med then reached the coastal islands of West Africa. Then to Brazil. 

  2. Sugar became the most valuable export from the New World in the 18th Century 

  3. There were more African slaves in Muslim control than in the Atlantic slave trade at a point 

  4. Three cornered Atlantic system 

    1. Africa providing labour

    2. America the Land and Minerals 

    3. Europeans the technology and military power

Transformation of Europe

  1. Split in Welfare of the ever wealthier Spanish Empire added to the Habsburg dynasty’s power. 

  2. Split within the Roman Catholic Church

The Habsburg and the Quest for Universal Empire in Europe

  1. Habsburg dynasty’s were heirs to the eastern half of Charlemagne’s empire

    1. Holy Roman Empire was here

    2. Charles V controlled Spain and its territories as well as Habsburg at a stage 

    3. Divided between Ferdinand (brother) and Philip (son)

      1. Philip: Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, southern Italy and New World. Philip inherited the Portuguese throne from his mother

      2. Ferdinand: Austrian, German, Central Europe

Conflict in Europe and the Demise of the Universal Empire

  1. French, English and Dutch were jealous 

    1. Money came from pirates and privateers 

    2. Most famous raider was Sir Francis Drake 

  2. Spanish and English had a war at sea — Spanish won 

  3. Europe ended themselves ended the dream of an empire 

The Reformation 

  1. Protestant Reformation focused on returning Europe to ancient sources 

  2. Martin Luther sand his followers ended Christendom through translations of the Bible

    1. He originally wanted to persuade church leaders 

    2. Reform founded on three principles

      1. Belief that faith alone saves

      2. Belief that scriptures alone hold the key to Christian truth

      3. Belief in the priesthood of all believers 

  3. A counter reform occurred within the church to deal with the uprising of new translations of Christianity 

  4. Religious warfare ensued in Europe to benefit the English, Dutch and French. Spain’s demise was due to overwhelming debts coming from the wars.

Mughal India and Commerce

  1. Strength rested on their military power. Babur the founder, Akbar the son. 

  2. Primary religion is Islam but tolerated other beliefs 

  3. No ocean navy — trade was directed over overland routes and rivers

  4. Portuguese present but only in Goa and Bombay

  5. In 1580/90 the Mughals ended the Portuguese monopoly on trade by allowing Dutch and English merchantmen to dock in Indian ports.

  6. Until 1560 the empire relied on decentralised tribute collectors.

Prosperity in Ming China

  1. Cotton boom and population surge were things that catalysed growth

Asian relations with Europe

  1. Spain had a lot of power due to the silver monopoly of the New World

  2. 1571: Spain opened a trade circuit that made good on Magellan’s earlier achievement.

    1. The world became commercially connected