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AP World History

Unit 4: c. 1450-1750

Transoceanic Interconnections

Main Ideas of the Unit:

  • Europeans started to explore the world, creating global trading post empires, fostering the growth of certain economic partners, challenging the power of existing elites, and colonizing new lands

  • Europeans established the triangular trade to supply the agricultural economy of the Americas with a fresh supply of African slaves, which led to lots of social, political, economic, cultural, and demographic changes

Content Overview

  • Causes of Exploration

  • Treaty of Tordesillas (1494)

  • List of Explorers by Country

  • Conquest of Aztecs & Incas

  • Labor Systems: Encomienda, Hacienda, Mit'a, Slavery

  • Casta System

  • Triangular Trade

Main Ideas of the Topic

  • The causes of exploration:

    • Maritime Tech​

    • Increased Environmental Knowledge

    • State Sponsorship of Journeys

    • Desire to Spread Christianity

    • Desire for Gold 

    • Desire for Glory

    • Desire to Trade Directly with Asia

  • Portuguese exploration → Creation of a trading post empire with Africa & Asia

  • Spanish transoceanic exploration → Increased European interest in travel to the Americas

  • English, French, & Dutch did North Atlantic crossings to find the Northwest Passage (a sea route from Europe to China)

Main Ideas of the Topic

  • Disease: Europeans unintentionally brought deadly diseases to Americas → Killed many Native Americans

  • Plants: American food crops became staples in Afro-Eurasia → Increased Afro-Eurasian population

  • Animals: Europeans brought domesticated animals (horses, pigs, cattle) to Americas → Horses made transportation easier

  • People: Lots of Europeans (& Africans) migrated to Americas → Allowed Europeans to dominate Americas

Main Ideas of the Topic

  • Europeans developed trading-post empires, which used mercantilist principles & were run by joint-stock companies, facilitated by the global circulation of silver

  • Colonial economy was based on agriculture, which relied on the use of various labor systems, mostly African slaves; This also led to cultural and religious synthesis

  • Europeans partnered with some African kingdoms to get slaves (triangular trade), which made some kingdoms very powerful at the expense of others; Also led to widespread use of polygyny (man with multiple wives)

Main Ideas of the Topic

  • State Expansion & consolidation of state power → Resistance by many different group on a local level  

  • African slaves (in the Americas) challenged slavery with organized resistance

Main Ideas of the Topic

  • Many diverse kingdoms adopted policies to utilize the different contributions of each ethnic/religious group, while others suppressed the actions of certain groups

  • More imperial conquests → Power of existing elites fluctuated → Creation of new elites & hierarchies

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