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Early Modern Era (1450


Early Modern Era (1450 1750) Overview Periodization Begins with the fall of the Byzantine Empire. Rise of the Ottoman Empire. Western Expansion - Europe to ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Early Modern Era (1450

Early Modern Era (1450 1750)
  • Overview

  • Begins with the fall of the Byzantine Empire.
  • Rise of the Ottoman Empire.
  • Western Expansion - Europe to African coast and
    then to the Americas.
  • Increasing independence of Russia.
  • Period ends in 1750 - roughly coincides with the
    balance of power shifting to the West beginning
    of the industrial revolution.

  • Spread of world religions continues, Christianity
    has a major surge, but no longer the dominant
    trend as it had been in the post-classical era.
  • Christianity an element in European motivation to
    expand, but NOT a primary element.
  • Emergence of the world network continues, but is
    transformed by the inclusion of the Americas.

  • Rise of new Western power, but also the rise of
  • (by the 18th C. Russian power is important in
    Europe, East Asia and America).
  • Colombian Exchange crucial biological exchanges
    with the Americas.
  • Diseases (accidental).
  • Food exchanges (corn, beans, potato) more to
    Africa and Asia than Europe takes a couple of

  • Animal exchange (horses).
  • People exchange (immigration, but more
    importantly the slave trade). 
  • Effects of the Columbian Exchange
  • Greater diversity of foods prompted global
    population growth.
  • advantage of Europe and Asia.
  • Slavery affected birthrate in Africa so
    population stagnated.
  • Disease caused population decline in the Americas.

  • 3. Spread of gun powder empires.
  • The overseas commercial empires French, Dutch,
    British, Spanish. Outside of the Americas
    Europeans rarely penetrated the land.
  • established ports and took over islands
  • advantage in technology was naval.
  • 4. The land-based empires in Asia
  • Ottoman (Egypt, Syria, Anatolia, Iraq, Crimea,
    Hungary), Safavid (Persia), Mughal (Afghanistan,
    Kashmir, Bengal), Russia.

  • It will be several centuries before these empires
  • They did not decline all at the same time.
  • Mughal Empire in decline in 18th century.
  • Ottoman not doing well, but not in decline.
  • Russia not in decline at all.

  • 5. No global cultural pattern in Early Modern Era
    Western Europe does not impose its cultural
    influence globally.
  • 6. Not a period of global patterns in gender.
  • Increase in polygamy in Africa, because of lack
    of men.

  • 7. New World Economy replaces old World Network.
  • Global for the first time.
  • Amount of goods being traded is expanded and type
    of goods changed.
  • Drivers of world economy are European not Asian
    (although Asia is still doing it).
  • By the 16th century Europe is operating trade
    routes that dont pass through Europe at all.
  • Intensification of patterns of inequality in
    trade that have economic and social implications

World Economic Systems Theory
  • Immanuel Wallerstein, The Modern World System
    Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the
    European World Economy in the Sixteenth Century
    (New York Academic Press, 1974)

World Economic Systems Theory
  • The modern world system, essentially capitalist
    in nature, followed the crisis of the feudal
    system and understanding this system helps
    explain the rise of Western Europe to world
    supremacy between 1450 and 1670.

World Economic Systems Theory
  • In early modern period 4 relationships developed
  • Dominant (core)
  • Exploited (periphery) the declining core
  • Non-participant (external)

World Economic Systems Theory
  • Core Export processed goods and import cheap raw
  • run trade in own ships and commercial companies
  • draw most profit (they are rich) originally
    Spain and Portugal, but evolves to be France,
    Britain and Holland
  • strong states strong military high tax
  • rely on wage labor (allows for emphasis on

World Economic Systems Theory
  • Peripheral (mirror of core) Import expensive
    goods export cheap resources
  • built of activity by foreign merchants
  • weak states (no taxes) core states keep them
    weak so they can interfere in local politics
  • coerced labor loose money (individuals can make
    money though)
  • by 18th century includes Latin America,
    Caribbean, Southern colonies of America
    (Virginia) Poland West Africa was a
    peripheral region as it traded slaves (raw
    materials) for manufactured goods Asia by 19th

World Economic Systems Theory
  • External traded, but internal system not shaped
    by external trade
  • Russia
  • have own goods
  • a strong state to prevent interference.
  • Early modern era is beginning to generate winners
    and losers. Position in trade affects politics
    and social systems.
  • The positions carved out in early modern era
    stick v. difficult to get out of the periphery
    (no capital etc.). It is hard to fall out of the
    core (although Spain and Portugal did!).

Critique of the Theory
  • No social or cultural element to this theory
    purely economic so prone to over generalizations.
  • Theory predicts more uniform results than in
    history (does not allow for nuance).
  • Britain and France have strong economies, but
    British state is weaker than Frances.

Critique of the Theory
  • Theory does not help explain change.
  • Russia is not as uninvolved in world trade in the
    18th century as it was in the 17th century. It
    moves toward the periphery.
  • Wallerstein can recognize this but he cant
    explain it.

Which societies are the real winners in the new
world economy?
  • China and India they get the largest amount of
    silver. Europe is only a transmitter.
  • Asians can make a profit without being core.
  • China and India are very powerful in this period.
    Learn to profit from trade with Europe (key
    aspect of Early Modern Period).
  • Russia, as it westernizes, wants to remain
    external. Does not want a large merchant class
    (sees it as a disruption to society) Russia has
    always struggled for a different kind of economy.

  • In your own words explain the historical
    reasoning behind the change from the
    Post-Classical era to the Early Modern Era.
  • Historians see the early modern era as the
    foundation of economic relations today. How might
    Wallersteins theory help us explain todays
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