Chapter 2: The Rise of the Atlantic World 1400-1625
On October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus reached San Salvador were he meet some Taino Indians whose island, Guanahani he claimed for Spain. Columbian exchange of human interactions, animals, plants, and germs.
A. African and European Peoples
In Africa a market economy was emerging due to long distance trading while in Europe the Renaissance and a religious Reformation where on their way. a.
In the Mediterranean Sea, African, Asian, and European peoples interacted. This sea was the major center for trading routes: African gold enriched Turkish sultans, European guns strengthened North African armies, Indian spices stimulated Italian plates. Before the 15th century intercontinental travel and trade were unknown on the Atlantic Ocean. •
Commerce was closely link to politics and religion. Islam spread to Southeast Asia, West Africa and much of Southern Europe during the 7th to the 14th century. Political and economic links began to forged between different people. •
People were not always divided by religion for example Christian and Muslim leaders signed treaties to secure trade, while Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived together in lands where they were in the minority. Morocco was a Muslim-dominated city but it welcomed and tolerated Jews as well as Christians. •
Muslims and Christians regarded one another as enemies. Christians conducted numerous Crusades while Muslims waged jihad (holy war) against Christians. Christian monarchies of Portugal, Castile, and Aragon undertook a “reconquest” of the Iberian Peninsula and expelled all non-Christians. By 1250 Portugal was entirely Christian and in 1492 Castile and Aragon drove the last Muslim rulers out and forced the remaining Jews to convert to Catholicism, Such Jews were called conversos. b. West Africa and Its Peoples
Trans –Saharan caravan trade stimulated the rise of grasslands kingdoms and empires the richest were in West Africa. During the 15th century the empire of Mali control West Africa and was known for trading salt, brasss, copper, cloth, spices, manufactured goods, and Arabian horses. •
Early in the 15th century Mali’s empire was weaken due to divisions within the royal family. The empire of Songhai then arose but by the 16th century Mali and Songhai had been absorbed by Morocco. •
In Senegambia several Islamic states took root and in Guinea even though the tsetse fly infected livestock many small states also arose. •
Four major kingdoms arose during the 15th century along the Congo River. Kongo was the most powerful kingdom. •
Africa’s Gold Coast gave rise to many new states after gold was made the standard in most European currencies. The Portuguese developed new maritime techniques that helped them in their search for gold and slaves. •
Most West Africans lived in clans and their kin group claimed his or her first loyalty. •
Marriage was viewed as a way for extended families to forge alliances for mutual benefit. A husband made a payment to his bride’s kin this was consider as posting bond for good behavior and acknowledging the prestige of his own and his bride’s kin. Children often traced descent through the mother’s not the father’s bloodline. •
Due to the region’s high mortality rate men tended to have more than one wife and women generally married soon after reaching puberty since children represented the labor force of the future. •
Both men and women farm and they maintain a high soil quality. West Africans grew such crops as yams, sugar cane, bananas, eggplant, and cotton. They also grew grains like millet, sorghum, and rice. •
The long distance trade inspired farmers to sell surplus crops, and artisans to make clothing and tools. Cowry shells served as the medium of exchange for most people. •
West Africa religious traditions emphasized the importance of continuous revelations as foundations for spiritual truth. Africans explained misfortunes in terms of...
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