Globalizing Trade

  • Global circulation of good brought prosperity and disruption to merchants and governments of the Indian Ocean, Trans-Sahara, and overland Eurasian routes. 
  • European developments on Islamic and Asian knowledge and tools made transoceanic travel possible
    • Caravel, maps, compass, sails, rudder
    • New knowledge of global wind and current patterns 
  • Columbus, de Gama, Zheng He (How was China different?)
  • Portuguese School for Navigation increases trade with West Africa and starts trading post empires.
  • North Atlantic crossings in search of fisheries and settlements 

    • Jacques Cartier and Canada (Post-Classical discovery by vikings) 

Royal chartered European monopoly companies

  • Global circulation of silver

Silver Trade

  • Mercantilism, joint-stock companies

Trade Companies

  • Atlantic system

    Triangular Trade

Columbian Exchange

  • Intensification of cultural traditions and syncretism

  • Spread of diseases

  • Foods, cash crops, coerced labor

  • Domesticated animals

  • Okra and rice brought by Africans

  • Nutritional benefits


    Deforestation and soil depletion

Spread of Religions and Creation of Syncretic Belief Systems
  • Spread of Islam ― Sikhism
  • Christianity ― Reformation
  • Buddhism
  • Vodun in the Caribbean

Exam Prep

The Columbian Exchange is always on the AP exam. Make sure you know the animals, plants, diseases, migrations, religions, and precious metals that were transferred.   


  • Innovations in visual and performing arts
  • Shakespeare

Demand for Labor Increases

  • Peasant labor and silk textile production in China
  • Slavery in Africa (households, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean)
  • Plantation economy and slavery in Americas
  • Coerced labor --> encomienda and hacienda systems