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HIST102: Early Globalizations - East Meets West (1200s-1600s)

Unit 6: A Changing World Balance   By 1400, a fundamental shift was occurring among the world’s civilizations.  Chinese and Middle Eastern empires had been at the forefront of civilization for hundreds of years; sophisticated methods of governance, trade systems, and technology allowed them to exert near-global influence.  But Mongol invaders from the East undermined the preeminent role of the Islamic and Chinese empires.  For a time, the Ming dynasty of China attempted to fill the power vacuum that appeared when the Mongols conquered eastern Europe and Asia Minor.  Meanwhile, internal and dynastic struggles continued to upset affairs in western Europe, where some states and kingdoms nevertheless experienced a rise in political and commercial power.

In this unit, we will examine world civilizations in a comparative light to see how and why western European society eclipsed other powerful civilizations in Asia.  We will first examine the transition from an Asian-dominated world economy to a European-dominated one.  We will then consider the two emerging European empires—Spain and Portugal—who spearheaded trade and conquest in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and the New World.  Finally, we will study the Age of Discovery and its impact on native peoples, Europe, and the balance of world trade.

Unit 6 Time Advisory
This unit will take you 6.5 hours to complete.
 
☐    Subunit 6.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 6.2: .5 hours

☐    Subunit 6.3: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 6.4: 2 hours

Unit6 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Identify some of the general factors and arguments used to explain the changing patterns of world trade over the early modern era.
  • Compare and contrast the rise of the Spanish and Portuguese Empires.
  • Assess the causes and consequences of Dutch and English advances into Asia and the Western Hemisphere along with the types of products that were included in the exchange   of goods between Europe and the Americas.

6.1 The Changing World Balance   6.1.1 The Asian-Based World Economy   - Reading: Hartford Web Publishing: Andre Gunder Frank’s “Asian-based World Economy 1400-1800: A Horizontally Integrative Macrohistory” Link: Hartford Web Publishing: Andre Gunder Frank’s “Asian-based World Economy 1400-1800: A Horizontally Integrative Macrohistory” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this entire article and consider the arguments given by the author concerning the prominence of Asia in the world economy during the period 1400-1800 and the manner in which he believes this subject has been obscured by subsequent historians.  The author provides critical reflections here on the sources of economic wealth and power in the early modern era and the way in which European states and traders ultimately succeeded in obtaining a larger measure of both.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.1.2 Rise of the European Economy   - Reading: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s “Summary of Wallerstein on World System Theory” Link: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s “Summary of Wallerstein on World System Theory” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Instructions: Please read the entirety of this selection to get a sense of Immanuel Wallerstein’s world system theory.  Give particular thought to how his arguments compare and contrast with those of Andre Gunder Frank above.  Finally, which of the events and developments featured thus far in our course loom particularly large in Wallerstein’s explanation of Asia’s downfall and the subsequent rise of Europe?
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2 The Age of Discovery   - Reading: Concepcion Saenz-Camba’s “The Atlantic World, 1492-1600” Link: Concepcion Saenz-Camba’s “The Atlantic World, 1492-1600” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please read the sections titled “Introduction” and
“The First Atlantic Encounters” in their entirety.  These readings
will help you gain an understanding of the circumstances that led to
one of the momentous times in history, the opening of the Atlantic
World, and the subsequent discovery of the New World.    

 Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the
kind permission of Concepcion Saenz-Camba.  Please note that this
material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity
without explicit permission from the copyright holder.

6.2.1 Reasons and Motivations   - Reading: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Early Modern European History: “The Age of Discovery” Link: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: “The Age of Discovery” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of the webpage in order to get a sense of why European explorers took to the high seas in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
 
Note on the Text: This online text was developed by Dr. Steven Kreis as an open educational resource for use in undergraduate history courses.  Dr. Steven Kreis teaches history at American Public University.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.2 Portuguese Traders and Explorers   - Reading: University of Calgary: Applied History Research Group: The European Voyages of Exploration: “Portugal” Link: University of Calgary: Applied History Research Group: The European Voyages of Exploration: “Portugal” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Portugal was one of the major powers in the European Age of Discovery.  Please read this page, which describes the state of kingdom at the beginning of this period.  At the bottom of the page, use the “proceed with tutorial” link to read the sections on “Prince Henry the Navigator,” “Prince Henry the Navigator: The Lure of Trade,” and “Prince Henry the Navigator: An Assessment.”  We will return to the subject of Portuguese exploration and empire-building in section 8.2 of the course when we deal with the colonization of Brazil.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.3 The Spanish   - Reading: University of Calgary: Applied History Project: The European Voyages of Exploration: “Spain” Link: University of Calgary: Applied History Project: The European Voyages of Exploration: “Spain” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this text, which describes the political situation in Spain during the first stages of the “Age of Discovery” and, specifically, the unification of Aragon and Castile. Use the “proceed with the tutorial” link at the bottom of the page to read about early Spanish exploration in the Western Hemisphere (do not continue beyond this page).  We will return to this subject in section 8.1 when dealing with the rise of the Spanish empire in the Americas.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: Laurence Bergreen’s “Magellan: Missing in Action” Link: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: Laurence Bergreen’s “Magellan: Missing in Action” (HTML)
     
    Instructions:  Read this article, which describes the exploits of Ferdinand Magellan - a native of Portugal whose voyages were nevertheless sponsored by the Spanish monarchy. In addition to providing some basic facts about Magellan’s aims and experiences, the author offers further reflection on the factors that have affected the way he has been treated in history.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.4 The English in the New World   - Reading: Connexions: James Ross-Nazzal’s “Ch. 3 British Colonial America (1588 – 1701)” Link: Connexions: James Ross-Nazzal’s “Ch. 3 British Colonial America (1588 – 1701)” (PDF)

 Instructions: This article concerns the establishment of the first
English colonies in North America in the early 17<sup>th</sup>
century.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution 3.0 Unported
license](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). It is
attributed to James Ross-Nazzal and the original version can be
found [here](http://cnx.org/content/m35277/latest/). 
  • Reading: Concepcion Saenz-Camba’s “The Atlantic World, 1492-1600” Link: Concepcion Saenz-Camba’s “The Atlantic World, 1492-1600” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please read the section titled “The English in North America” in its entirety.  This reading will offer you an overview of the early English exploration and their “fledging settlements” in North America.

    Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the kind permission of Concepcion Saenz-Camba.  Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder.

6.2.5 The Dutch in the New World   - Reading: Boundless: “The Dutch Empire” Link: Boundless: “The Dutch Empire” (PDF)

 Instruction: This article examines the establishment of Dutch
colonies in North America.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/). It is
attributed to Boundless and the original version can be found
[here](https://www.boundless.com/history/expansion-and-crises-colonies-1650-1750/empires-in-conflict/dutch-empire/).

6.2.6 Native Americans and Europeans   - Reading: Boundless: “Englishmen and Native Americans” Link: Boundless: “Englishmen and Native Americans” (PDF)

 Instructions: The European exploration and settlement of North
America devastated the Native American population. This article
examines the impact of English colonization on the Native Americans
living along the Atlantic seaboard in North America.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/). It is
attributed to Boundless and the original version can be found
[here](https://www.boundless.com/history/britain-and-settling-colonies-1600-1750/british-empire-in-north-america/englishmen-and-native-americans/).
  • Reading: Concepcion Saenz-Camba’s “The Atlantic World, 1492-1600” Link: Concepcion Saenz-Camba’s “The Atlantic World, 1492-1600” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please read the section titled “The Columbian Exchange: Humanity, Identity, and the Loss of Indigenous Naivety” in its entirety.  This reading will address how the Opening of the Atlantic changed the lives of the Native Americans and Europeans forever.

    Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the kind permission of Concepcion Saenz-Camba.  Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder.

6.3 Trade and Exchange   - Reading: Boundless: “The Clash of Culture” Link: Boundless: ““The Clash of Culture” (PDF)

 Instructions: This article discusses the impact of the introduction
of new epidemic diseases to native populations with the European
colonization of the New World.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/). It is
attributed to Boundless and the original version can be found
[here](https://www.boundless.com/history/new-world-1492-1600/exploration-and-conquest-new-world/clash-culture/).
  • Reading: University of Minnesota’s James Ford Bell Library: Carol Urness’s “Trade Products in Early Modern History” Link: University of Minnesota’s James Ford Bell Library: Carol Urness’s “Trade Products in Early Modern History” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please click on each of the links at the left-hand side of the webpage; read each link in its entirety. 
     
    Note on the Text: Each of these short articles offers an excellent overview of specific trade goods that became centrally important in linking Europe to the Americas, Asia, and the Far East.  Goods, such as brazilwood, cod, tobacco, and tea, became valuable trading products that rapidly transformed the world economy.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Assessment: Pearson Education’s World Civilizations: AP Edition: “Chapter 16, Multiple Choice Quiz” Link: Pearson Education’s World Civilizations: AP Edition: “Chapter 16, Multiple Choice Quiz” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please take the assigned multiple choice quiz on this webpage in order to assess your understanding of the changing world economy in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.  Click “Submit Answers for Grading” at the bottom of the page to link to the answer key for the quiz.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Concepcion Saenz-Camba’s “The Atlantic World, 1492-1600” Link: Concepcion Saenz-Camba’s “The Atlantic World, 1492-1600” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please read the sections “Disease” and “Ecological Impact” under the heading “The Columbian Exchange” in their entirety.  These readings will address the importance of the “Columbian Exchange,” arguably, the starting point of real worldwide globalization. Pay special attention to the different ways the consequences of this global exchange still affect our world today. 

    Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the kind permission of Concepcion Saenz-Camba.  Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder.

Subunit 6.3 Assessment   - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation's "Reading Questions for Subunit 6.3" Link: The Saylor Foundation's "Reading Questions for Subunit 6.3" (PDF)
 
Instructions: Once you have worked through all of the assigned resources in the subunit above, please open the linked PDF and respond to all questions.  When you are done--or if you are stuck--please check your work against The Saylor Foundation's "Guide to Responding to Reading Questions for Subunit 6.3" (PDF).

  • Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 6 Essay: Primary and Secondary Sources” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 6 Essay: Primary and Secondary Sources” (HTML)

    Instructions: This is an ungraded activity. If you choose to complete the activity, you may record your answer anywhere you like. You do have the option to use the link above to save your answers on Saylor.org, though you will need to create a free account in order to do so --  this will only take a minute, and you may do so here.

    • Our knowledge of history is built first and foremost from the analysis of primary sources. In the case of Unit 6, what kinds of primary sources are used by the authors of our resources to create a picture of the Native American peoples and culture?

      Tips for getting started: It is very important that students of history know how to distinguish primary sources from secondary sources and this assignment will test your ability to do so. Remember, primary sources are books, letters, reports, diaries, laws, material goods, art, etc. produced during the time period that the historian is writing about. In contrast, the book or article written by the historian as a result of this research is a secondary source. Please read the resources from this section carefully and keep a close watch out for the various materials from the time period which the historians use to recreate the lives and cultures of Native Americans.