The abundance of resources, especially salt, gold, and slaves in Africa, especially after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, was too much for Europe to ignore. Most European countries, Italy being a main component, used the Mediterranean to cross to Africa and did business in North African ports. Portugal, realizing the possibilities of Africa as a whole, began to advance its seafaring abilities. During the fifteenth century, Portugal invented the caravel; a ship which was more maneuverable and was able to sail the west coast of Africa. (McKay et al., 2009) This invention proved momentous. Portugal began to use ports in Southern Africa, created trade with African Muslims for gold, and eventually was able to create settlements on the African continent. (McKay et al., 2009) These advancements paved the road for the further expansion around the tip of Africa and then eventually the New World. The fall of the Ottoman Empire, which provided white slaves to Europe before, caused Europeans to find slaves elsewhere. African kings sold slaves to Europeans in the infancy of the slave market. (McKay et al., 2009) The Dutch East India Company was the first of companies which specialized in slave...
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... used silver from the Americas to buy silks in China. They shipped goods (everything from slaves, silver and gold, to horses, birds, and foods) from one region of the world to another, building a plethora of trade markets. (McKay et al., 2009) As other countries began to catch up to Portugal, as well as becoming more successful in the all important colonization of the colonies, trade, importation, and exportation became a major factor in international politics.
The world had now become one complete entity. People no longer wondered about others in far off lands. The spices and silks of China were no longer a majestic luxury obtainable only be the elite few. As the world expanded, it was also brought forcibly close together. The economies, trade markets, and the seafaring abilities and advancements, brought the entire world together for the first time in history.
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