1450-1750 Pre Modern Era

This era is considered the first legitimate global age. It is also a major transitional time as well. The Southernization time had reached its peak and lured the western European countries out of their long period of darkness. This would signify major changes for the Indian Ocean world and extend into East Asia. The Islamic world of Central and Western Asia was at an all time high in size, strength and prosperity. However, with this would begin to decline at the very end of the time. Of course, America as well as Sub-Saharan Africa was brought into connection and entanglement with the rest of the world.
1450-1750_FINAL Map .jpg

Early Modern Global Interactions Explorers Map Freemanpedia AP World History .png
Key Concept 4.1. Globalizing Networks of Communication and ExchangeThe interconnection of the Eastern and Western hemispheres made possible by transoceanic voyaging marked a key transformation of this period. Technological innovations helped to make transoceanic connections possible. Changing patterns of long-distance trade included the global circulation of some commodities and the formation of new regional markets and financial centers. Increased trans-regional and global trade networks facilitated the spread of religion and other elements of culture as well as the migration of large numbers of people. Germs carried to the Americas ravaged the indigenous peoples, while the global exchange of crops and animals altered agriculture, diets, and populations around the planet.
1. In the context of the new global circulation of goods, there was an intensification of all existing regional trade networks that brought prosperity and economic disruption to the merchants and governments in the trading regions of the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, Sahara, and overland Eurasia.
2. European technological developments in cartography and navigation built on previous knowledge developed in the classical, Islamic, and Asian worlds, and included the production of new tools (astrolabe, new maps), innovations in ship designs (caravels), and an improved understanding of global wind and currents patterns — all of which made transoceanic travel and trade possible.Navigation.png

3. Remarkable new transoceanic maritime reconnaissance occurred in this period.

remarkable new transoceanic maritime reconnaissance occurred in this period FREEMANPEDIA MAP AP World History.png

  • Portuguese development of a school for navigation led to increased travel to and trade with West Africa, and resulted in the construction of a global trading-post empire.
  • Spanish sponsorship of the first Columbian and subsequent voyages across the Atlantic and Pacific dramatically increased European interest in transoceanic travel and trade
  • Northern Atlantic crossings for fishing and settlements continued and spurred European searches for multiple routes to Asia
  • In Oceania and Polynesia, established exchange and communication networks were not dramatically affected because of infrequent European reconnaissance in the Pacific Ocean
  • The Atlantic system involved the movement of goods, wealth, and free and unfree laborers, and the mixing of African, American, and European cultures and peoples.

4. The new global circulation of goods was facilitated by royal chartered European monopoly companiesthat took silver from Spanish colonies in the Americas to purchase Asian goods for the Atlantic markets, but regional markets continued to flourish in Afro-Eurasia by using established commercial practices and new transoceanic shipping services developed by European merchants.
European merchants’ role in Asian trade was characterized mostly by transporting goods from one Asian country to another market in Asia or the Indian Ocean region.

  • Influenced by mercantilism, joint-stock companies were new methods used by European rulers to control their domestic and colonial economies and by European merchants to compete against one another in global trade.

The Atlantic system involved the movement of goods, wealth, and free and unfree laborers, and the mixing of African, American, and European cultures and peoples.


5. The new connections between the Eastern and Western hemispheres resulted in the Columbian Exchange.


  • European colonization of the Americas led to the spread of diseases— including smallpox, measles, and influenza — that were endemic in the Eastern Hemisphere among Amerindian populations and the unintentional transfer of vermin, including mosquitoes and rats.

  • American foods (potatoes, maize, manioc) became staple crops in various parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Cash crops (sugar, tobacco) were grown primarily on plantations with coerced labor and were exported mostly to Europe and the Middle East in this period.

  • Afro-Eurasian fruit trees, grains, sugar, and domesticated animals (horses, cattle, pigs) were brought by Europeans to the Americas, while other foods were brought by African slaves (okra, rice)

6. The increase in interactions between newly connected hemispheres and intensification of connections within hemispheres expanded the spread and reform of existing religions and created syncretic belief systems and practices.



Key Concept 4.2. New Forms of Social Organization and Modes of Production

Although the world’s productive systems continued to be heavily centered on agricultural production throughout this period, major changesoccurred in agricultural labor, the systems and locations of manufacturing, gender and social structures, and environmental processes. A surge inagricultural productivity resulted from new methods in crop and field rotation and the introduction of new crops. Economic growth also depended on new forms of manufacturing and new commercial patterns, especially in long-distance trade. Political and economic centers within regions shifted, and merchants’ social status tended to rise in various states. Demographic growth — even in areas such as the Americas, where disease had ravaged the population — was restored by the eighteenth century and surged in many regions, especially with the introduction of American food crops throughout the Eastern Hemisphere. The Columbian Exchange led to new ways of humans interacting with their environments. New forms of coerced and semi-coerced labor emerged in Europe, Africa, and the Americas, and affected ethnic and racial classifications and gender roles.1. Traditional peasant agriculture increased and changed, plantations expanded, and demand for labor increased. These changes both fed andresponded to growing global demand for raw materials and finished products.


2. As new social and political elites changed, they also restructured new ethnic, racial, and gender hierarchies.
  • The power of existing political and economic elites (Zamindars in the Mughal Empire, Nobility in Europe, Daimyo in Japan) fluctuated as they confronted new challenges to their ability to affect the policies of the increasingly powerful monarchs and leaders.

Key Concept 4.3. State Consolidation and Imperial Expansion

Empires expanded and conquered new peoples around the world, but they often had difficulties incorporating culturally, ethnically, and religiously diverse subjects, and administrating widely dispersed territories. Agents of the European powers moved into existing trade networks around the world. In Africa and the greater Indian Ocean, nascent European empires consisted mainly of interconnected trading posts and enclaves. In the Americas, European empires moved more quickly to settlement and territorial control, responding to local demographic and commercial conditions. Moreover, the creation of European empires in the Americas quickly fostered a new Atlantic trade system that included the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Around the world, empires and states of varying sizes pursued strategies of centralization, including more efficient taxation systems that placed strains on peasant producers, sometimes prompting local rebellions. Rulers used public displays of art and architecture to legitimize state power. African states shared certain characteristics with larger Eurasian empires. Changes in African and global trading patterns strengthened some West and Central African states — especially on the coast; this led to the rise of new states and contributed to the decline of states on both the coast and in the interior.
1. Rulers used a variety of methods to legitimize and consolidate their power.=
  • Rulers used tribute collection and tax farming to generate revenue for territorial expansion.

2. Imperial expansion relied on the increased use of gunpowder, cannons, and armed trade to establish large empires in both hemispheres.
  • Europeans established new trading-post empires in Africa and Asia, which proved profitable for the rulers and merchants involved in new global trade networks, but these empires also affected the power of the states in interior West and Central Africa.
  • Land empires expanded dramatically in size. Required examples of LAND empires:
  • European states established new maritime empires in the Americas. Required examples of MARITIME empires:

3. Competition over trade routes (Omani-European rivalry in the Indian Ocean, Piracy in the Caribbean) , state rivalries (Thirty Years War, Ottoman-Safavid conflict), and local resistance (food riots, samurai revolts, peasant uprisings) all provided significant challenges to state consolidation and expansion.