Last Updated 08 Apr 2020

The Trade Relations Among Europe and Africa, Asia and America

Category Europe, Trade
Words 970 (4 pages)
Views 94

Before 1500, Europeans had already established a trading network with Africa, Asia and America. The products that they traded during that time period included food clothing, weapons and other goods. Today their trading networks are very sophisticated and connect to every corner well to every other aspect of the planet. Trading became an essential part for our society to function and prosperous into what it has become today. Some might think that today’s trading landscape came from the Europeans around 1500, but they were just eager to establish trades with countries who were just as eager to purchase European goods.

However, this statement is incorrect. The reality was that not every country was willing to purchase their products, but many of the Europeans were eager to buy products from other countries. In this paper, I will show how the above statement and its flaws. European countries have a rich civilization. For example, they have a wide variety of food, a huge collection of art work and a number of different customs inlcuding multiple languages. Their possession of these qualities made them become the modern civilization popular at that time.

Therefore, if a country that was less civilized started using their products, that country might be modernized at a faster pace. Therefore, the Europeans were helping other countries when they traded with them. However, their good deeds were not accepted by other countries. Not every country was interested in European goods. For example, China resisted importing foreign goods to their country at that time. This was because the government did not want foreign culture to affect their already rich civilization, as China’s history could be traced back to 3000 years ago.

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Also, African countries, although they were not civilized at all, were not receptive at buying European goods. Tribes from Africa were scattered everywhere. Most of these tribes were self-sufficient as in their advanced ability to produce their own goods as oppose to trading products between tribes. As a result, the economy in Africa was very weak and none of these tribes could afford the European products in order to better their society. Another big misconception about European trade is that we always think other countries had to yield to the terms set forth by the Europeans.

Although, Europeans had a powerful civilization and their weapons were more technology advance than many other nations, the term “trade” was not always in favor of the Europeans. For example, even though Portugal had a better naval and military technology, they had a very limited success when trading with China and Japan. Between 1521 and 1522, Portuguese had attempted to enforce trading with China. However, their aggressive movement ended with a decisive defeat of the Portuguese because they were unable to control all the maritime traffic in the region.

As a result, Portugal was expelled from China in 1523. Another example was the Mughal Empire. Mughal Empire was founded in the early 16th century and located in the Middle East region. According to the class note, although this empire was relatively new, they already had a better gunpowder technology than the Europeans. Of course, we cannot conclude that the Mughal Empire had a stronger military than the Europeans based on this fact. However, the gunpowder technology would definitely give the Mughal people a superior defense upon an attack by the Europeans in case of a trading issue arose.

As a result, we cannot conclude that a powerful civilization was a factor for the European to continue their trading network at around 1500. An underlying reason of the trade was that the Europeans wanted to be more superior. They wanted to spread their civilized cultures and religions to the “less civilized” countries in order to colonize them easier. The Americas was a great example to illustrate this influence. After Columbus discovered the new continent in 1400s, European powers began to flock and colonize the new world.

Despite the natives were resisting, they were soon adapted to their new dominating power. This was because many of the products that they used were imported from the European nations, including tea, clothing, religion etc. The success of the dominating European power was due to the fact that they took advantage of the trading system and method was unsuccessful for the empires in the old world. It is because the “less civilized” old world countries had already established their own cultures and religions and were not ready to change.

For example, Christianity did not find its way in China. Even in the mid 18th century, 200 years after the trading relationship began; only about 0. 08 percent of total Chinese population had converted from Buddhism to Christianity. Therefore, the explanation that trading system continued because of the European’s cohesive civilization was not well constructed, as it was true for the countries in the new world but not the old. Finally, European nations were ore interested in products made in other countries than those countries interested in their products. An example about the Chinese empire was illustrated in the previous paragraph. China refused the purchase foreign goods because they had already a rich culture by itself. In contrast, Europeans were very interested in silk, porcelains and food produced in China. In Africa, where people could not afford European products, European powers simply arrived, enslaved, and “trade” those indigent people.

Therefore, Europeans after 1500s continued their networks with other countries were more because they wanted to purchase foreign products rather than so sell their products. In conclusion, Europeans established ongoing trade networks in Africa, Asia and the Americas after 1500 because they wanted to trade with countries just as eager to trade with them does not sufficiently entail the trading landscape at that time. Some countries were uninterested in their products and some others simply cannot afford them. As a result, the statement is false and should be revised.

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