Economy during the 1450-1750 In the previous era (600-1450 C.E.), sometimes called the post-classical period, we explored the rise of new civilizations in both hemispheres, the spread of major religions that created cultural areas for analysis, and an expansion of long-distance trade to include European and African kingdoms.
Europeans and Asian Commerce: First goal of Europeans = gain access to tropical spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, cloves, and pepper
Other products of interest = Chinese silk, Indian cotton, rhubarb, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires
Controlling trade would allow national monarchies to gain greater access to capital for empire building at home and overseas
The East India Companies
The British and Dutch both entered the Indian Ocean in the early 17th century
Both organized joint-stock trading companies
Corporations or partnerships involving two or more people.
Stocks are issued by the company in return for financial contributions
Shareholders are free to transfer their ownership by selling their stockholding to others.
Benefit: offers the protection of limited liability against the company's debt
Portuguese Commerce: The Portuguese, led by Vasco da Gama, were the first Europeans to reach the Indian Ocean
They joined a vast, diverse, and somewhat disorganized trade network
They had a hard time trading because no one wanted their crude European items…
…Until they learned that most Indian Ocean vessels were not well armed
No regional power controlled trade there
Portugal's Goal: The Portuguese, led by Vasco da Gama, were the first Europeans to reach the Indian Ocean. They joined a vast, diverse, and somewhat disorganized trade network.
Trade Overall in the 1450-1750: The world economy grew and became genuinely global. The Atlantic and the western Pacific were the two main trade centers. Silver from the Americas and slaves from Africa played major roles in the global economy. Western Europeans controlled trade networks, but Chinaz was still at the center of the world trade.