The Role of Spices on the Expansion of Europe Essay

The Role of Spices on the Expansion of Europe Essay

Length: 1692 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Within the development of Europe, one would think that religion and politics played the key roles in shaping the regions, in which they did, but many individuals don’t realize the true impact of the role spices played in the evolution of the economy and expansion of Europe. Food alone represented a vast field of human experience and shaped peoples’ beliefs and values, aesthetics and most importantly their social attitudes toward one another. Spices contributed to these attitudes, providing a potential window for the individual to change their understanding of the political and social life of certain cultures and nations. The main question that the author, Paul Freedman poses within the text is, why did the Europeans and the Romans before them, maintain such a high demand for spices for almost a millennium?
The first few chapters are devoted to the culinary side of the spices, particularly regarding the specific seasonings: pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and most importantly saffron. Spices were a common good used within households, being used in large amounts not just within food but even drinks; as Freedman put it, “thirteenth to fifteenth centuries, spices appear in 75 percent of the recipes.” . The types of spices used varied with each region; the English preferring cubeb while the French opted for long pepper. The cuisines of both regions in accordance to the wealthier classes both “represented the triumph of virtuosity over simplicity”. The primary sources researched by Freedman were immense, mainly from originating from cookbooks of that era efficiently providing a better understanding of the prominence of spices within dishes and the differing styles.
Although spices were very common, the amount consumed var...

... middle of paper ...

...ition of spices into the market during the Middle Ages not only created an economic boom but also led to the change in social, political, and religious outlooks of society. The vast importance of the spice trade opened the doors for nations to expand and create new relationships with neighboring regions, but most importantly it allowed individuals such as Columbus, Da Gama, Polo and other explorers to be able to discover new domains that eventually led to the colonization of the Americas today. Paul Freedman’s book does an excellent job in enlightening the reader of how meaningful spices were throughout the centuries and with the help of numerous primary sources, the message was clear just after reading the first chapter. The book allows us to have a better understanding of the fundamental importance spices played in shifting the medieval times into the modern era.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Globalization: The Expansion of Large Empires Essay examples

- Globalization is best defined as the global interaction of distant people influenced by cultural exchange. Globalization can be traced back to the early 500’s and is still dominant in today’s society. Early civilizations were never isolated from their neighbors, leaving a door open for cross-cultural exchanges. Through empire expansion, trade, revolutions, ideologies, and technology, globalization has played a major role in history and also in shaping the world today, making it one of history’s most significant phenomena....   [tags: cultural exchange, revolution, trade, economy]

Powerful Essays
1551 words (4.4 pages)

The Effect of Trade on Early Modern Europe Essay

- Before I discuss trade and Early Modern Europe, I think the connection to capitalism needs to be made. Economists stated it was the transformation of the European economy through investment in new, larger-scale processes of trade and production and termed this the rise of capitalism (Weisner-Hanks, 203).” It was viewed that trade was at the center of the development of the modern world. Adam Smith, in Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, identified the natural instinct of people to trade with each other....   [tags: economic history, capitalism]

Powerful Essays
1116 words (3.2 pages)

Change in DiapersTrade in the Far East Essay

- After Europeans arrived in East Asia via the Indian Ocean, trade in the Far East changed dramatically moving towards a globalized economy. Between 1450 (39 years before the arrival of Vasco Da Gama) until 1750, the levels of trade in Asia reached a new peak; initial changes came in the form of the addition of new goods; and the eventual addition of colonization into the Indian Ocean Trade Network ultimately turned traditional “trade” into imperial relations. However, the importance of raw materials and the main Asian groups involved in the Indian Ocean trade network largely remained constant after European exposure until the start of British Imperial rule of India....   [tags: Globalized Economy, Europe Asia]

Powerful Essays
1164 words (3.3 pages)

Essay about International Trade in the New World

- With nearly wiping out the Amerindians the call for men to work the hard demanding labor raised. Two major themes stuck out towards me during my read, but after giving more thought the more I realized what had the most impact. The demand of slavery rose due to the high demands of the colonies in the New World. The Incas and Aztecs were conquered and nearly wiped of the earth due to many different complications, so the need for slave trade came to South America. In Africa slavery was part of everyday life, slave trade brought a lot of economic fortune that would eventually led to an economic decline....   [tags: Slave Labor, Europe]

Powerful Essays
863 words (2.5 pages)

Spices and Condiments Germplasm Acquisition in India: An Outlook Scenario

- India is known as the “The home of spices”. There is no other country in the world that produces as many kinds of spices as India. India is the largest producer, consumer and exporter of spices. The climate of the country is suitable for almost all spices because of diverse agro-climatic regions comprising tropical, sub tropical and temperate regions, where we can grow various kinds of spices. Among the 109 spices listed by International Organization for Standardization, India grows about 60 and Indian spices flavor foods in over 130 countries (Nirmal babu et al., 2013) Spices constitute an important group of agricultural commodities and have played a major role in human life and history bec...   [tags: spices, flavor foods, seed spices]

Powerful Essays
1629 words (4.7 pages)

Imperialism During The 19th Century Essay

- A common phrase people say is “learn from your mistakes” but it seems throughout history we never have. We often see similar actions recur throughout history, including the rise of Imperialism, Revolutions, and advancement in technology for warfare. The motives of Imperialism are obvious. To grow a country 's Industries, land, and the economy. These factors caused the idea of Imperialism to spread from world power to world power. Imperialism first showed started in the Modern World in the Mongol Empire....   [tags: World War II, Europe, French Revolution]

Powerful Essays
2126 words (6.1 pages)

Europe And Its Expansion Process Literature Essay

- or much of written history about Europe and its expansion process literature has seemed to always capture the beginning as hostile. There is no argument that Europe has had a plethora of malicious takeovers but the dynamics of colonialism have transitioned to a less aggressive imperialistic influence and have little need to colonialize any longer but to integrate. Starting with the colonization of countries in Africa it is a well-known fact that resistance most often lead to wars. What past literature have failed to analyze and bring forth in knowledge are those lands that not merely welcomed colonization but also had a less defiant attitude towards the movement....   [tags: Colonialism, Europe, Imperialism, United States]

Powerful Essays
1298 words (3.7 pages)

Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe Essay

- Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900, by ecological historian Alfred W. Crosby explores how “portmanteau biota”, helped Europeans to eradicate whole societies in the Neo-Europes (xv, 89). Crosby believes that temperate zones, climates similar to that of Europe, allowed European biota to thrive, which allowed for European expansion. Crosby discusses the Norse invasions and the Crusades as examples of how Europeans were not able to expand. Crosby claims that climate was crucial to European expansion because it allowed portmanteau biota to thrive....   [tags: Alfred W. Crosby]

Powerful Essays
844 words (2.4 pages)

Expansion of western europe Essay

- The expansion of Western Europe started with the Iberian phase. Spain and Portugal, the two countries of the Iberian Peninsula, had a short-lived yet important role in European expansion. European expansion then turned to Western Europe. Western Europe consists of the Dutch, French, and British. While Western Europe was exploring new worlds overseas, the Russians were expanding westward across all of Eurasia. Religion played a major role in expansion for both the Portuguese and the Spanish due to their extensive anti-Muslim crusade....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
1089 words (3.1 pages)

Lessons Learned in Kate O’Brien’s Land of Spices Essay

- Lessons Learned in Kate O’Brien’s Land of Spices Kate O’Brien’s Land of Spices is a good read especially if the bookworm is from a catholic school upbringing. The story’s contents complete with the antics of the girls and the lack of patience in the sisters is recognizable from memories drawn on similar events. The nuns’ softer emotions were hidden away from the students and only their hard-heartedness evident in the school’s classrooms. In sixth grade during the fall of 1963 after President Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas, a Dominican sister was seen at school with tears in her eyes....   [tags: Land Spices]

Powerful Essays
2254 words (6.4 pages)