In in to apprehend a golden opportunity.


In the period 1450-1750, the
Americas were transformed by contact with the Old World.  Develop an
argument that evaluates the cultural and/or social effects of this contact.


A new beginning, the establishment
of a complete, and globally connected world. Prior to Europe’s advancements
around the 1450s the world had managed to sustain itself within an unfinished
trade network, which excluded the Americas. As innovations diffused from the
Middle East and China into Europe, such as the compass, improved maps, and the
caravel, further exploration was made possible. China, the predominant empire,
withdrew from the rest world and gave way for Europe, which stepped in to
apprehend a golden opportunity. Spain and Portugal were first in connecting the
isolated continent, with Columbus discovering the Americas, and establishing
the Columbian exchange, which became the foremost trading network in the world,
introducing the transfer of diseases, crops, and mainly slaves, which gave birth
to new labor systems in Latin America, who were utilized to mine silver and
work on sugar plantations, and completely redefined the social structures which
had existed in Aztec and Inca empires which defined the American continent, and
afterwards the English and Dutch whom mostly dealt with maritime trade and
largely established the triangle trade, as well as mercantilism.

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Many explorers have longed to
conquer empires, and the discovery of the Americas made that possible, causing
major social transformations. First of which, were Spanish conquistador Cortez,
who conquered the Aztecs, as well as conquistador Pizzaro, who similarly
conquered the Incas upon arrival to the Americas. Although the Aztecs and Incas
were relatively secure empires, with the aid of the of weapons, and rampant
diseases, both empires fell to the Spanish, however both explorers had
different viewpoints on ways of rule, as Cortez allowed some mixing of culture
and non-violent treatment, whereas Pizzaro dealt with more so confrontational
methods. The Encomeinda, as well as the Mita labor systems were put in place as
mandatory public service in society, and the entire social hierarchy was
shifted in order of highest power personnel to lowest as the penninsulares,
creoles, mestizos, indeginous peoples, and finally slaves.


The shift caused by the discovery
of the Americas extensively benefited the world, and gave way to trade on a
newly global scale, but also indefinitely changed the foremost social, as well
as cultural aspects of the Americas.