1. Compare and contrast the historical development of two imperial powers in the modern period. Be sure to discuss how did each developed from early modern empires into imperial nation-states.
Approximately 500 years ago, most empires strove to gain control over three valuable resources, such as people, land, and ports. Maritime and land empires existed during that period of time. While maritime empires controlled ports and attempted to improve naval technology, land empires focused on the control of people and land. The Portuguese Empire and the Ottoman Empire, which possessed enormous power at that time, represented maritime and land empires, respectively.
The location on the Atlantic Edge was advantageous to Portugal. Due to the advances in the maritime technology, Portuguese venturers were able to establish trade with Southern India and Southeast Asia. They also began making contacts with China, Thailand, and Japan. The Portuguese enterprise in Asia represented what is known as maritime imperialism, since they forced unwilling partners to trade with them. The Portuguese succeeded in establishing bases on the coast of East Africa, in the Persian Gulf, and at the mouth of the Red Sea. Portugal protected its trade from Asian and European competitors. Dominance in the trade contributed to the expansion of the Portuguese Empire and its transformation into an imperial nation-state.
Unlike the Portuguese Empire, the Ottoman Empire did not have outlets to the Indian or to the Atlantic Ocean. In addition, the Ottomans were surrounded by enemies. Such a disadvantageous position required enormous strength to survive and prosper. However, the Ottoman Empire became the most effective in the world. The mobilization of large armies equipped with firepower allowed the empire to gain control over huge territories and diverse populations. Moreover, the Ottomans controlled major transit points between Asia and Europe. During the sixteenth century, the Ottoman Empire grew rapidly in size and even extended its influence at sea.
In conclusion, both the Portuguese and the Ottoman Empires were large and influential. The Portuguese Empire expanded due to its favorable location and advances in navigation. The Ottoman Empire, in its turn, had a less advantageous position. Nevertheless, it extended its territory owing to large armies.
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2. How did industrialization develop, and what impact did it have on global relationships?
Between 1800 and 1900, the world's population increased significantly. Poor sanitation and polluted water and food contributed to the spread of different diseases that killed many people worldwide. Famine also took many human lives, especially in India and China. Nevertheless, the population of the planet continued to grow rapidly. It resulted in raising the demand for food, which entailed the development of industrial technologies that, in their turn, transformed global relationships.
Industrialization began in the middle of the eighteenth century. It was connected with the discovery of fossil fuels that became new sources of energy. Coal and peat produced the heat that was essential for forging the metals and fusing the ores. Industrialization proceeded faster in Europe and Japan, since labor was expensive in these areas. It gave rise to new wealth and employment opportunities. Since few factories were in the regions, such as India, South America, and China, steamships, railways, and electric telegraphs appeared there. Railway building was the most intensive in Cuba and India.
Industries transcended national boundaries. In the nineteenth century, the economy in Belgium and the Netherlands became complementary. Whereas heavy industries were more developed in Belgium, the Netherlands produced and processed food effectively for industrializing markets. Such relationships promoted the success of industrialization. Some regions focused on manufacturing, while others were responsible for the supply of raw materials and food.
Similarly, the United States supplied raw materials for industries and possessed plenty of iron and coal. Canada, in its turn, represented an agricultural country. However, Japanese industrialists had patriotic motives, since they attempted to serve the community and the state without complementing any other country. However, certain western industrialists cultivated and underlined self-interest as well.
In conclusion, the discovery of new sources of energy, such as fossil fuels, resulted in the rise of industrialization. Industrial development enabled people to preserve and supply food, build railroads and steamships, as well as use telegraph. Industrialization also influenced global relationships. Thus, while some countries specialized on manufacturing, others supplied food and raw materials.
3. What were the three most historically significant consequences of the Columbian Exchange? Why were they so significant?
The Colombian Exchange occurred during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This historically significant event was characterized by the transfer of animals, plants, diseases, and human labor from the Old World to the New one and vice versa. Such exchange influenced the way of living of both Europeans and Native Americans.
Due to the ecological exchange, the Europeans uncovered many kinds of plants, such as maize, pineapples, cacao, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, vanilla, tobacco, and tomatoes that were common in the New World. In return, they introduced rice, cane sugar, wheat, bananas, olives, apricots, and apples to the Native Americans. Livestock, such as horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs, also came to the New World with European travelers. Plants from the New World significantly enriched people's diets in Europe, Asia, and Africa. The production and trading of cane sugar became so highly profitable that European states even competed for the possession of sugar plantations. Moreover, sugar production contributed to the development of new American industries, such as distilling rum and refining sugar.
The microbial exchange had a devastating impact on the Native American population. The indigenous peoples of America had no immunity to the diseases brought by European colonizers. Thus, such ailments as the smallpox epidemic took the lives of a huge number of Indians. For instance, by the end of the seventeenth century, the Chesapeake Indians vanished. Due to the contact with Europeans, the Native Americans also acquired typhoid, diphtheria, and measles. As a result, the Indian population decreased.
Plague also reduced population in the Old World. Therefore, Europeans faced labor shortages. Native Americans were poorly adapted to work on plantations and perform domestic service, so in order to solve this issue Europeans started the importation of slave labor from Africa which led to the extension of the exploited lands.
In conclusion, the Colombian Exchange was an important event in the world's history. It resulted in animal, plant, microbial, and labor exchange between the New and the Old World. Its significance lied in the fact that it modified peoples way of living all over the world.