01:506:101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Shining Path, Bartolomeu Dias, French Corsairs

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Chapter 3
Economic Renewal and the Wars of Religion
1560-1648
Section 11. The Opening of the Atlantic
pp. 106-114
Ships had begun to use the Atlantic early (Vikings to Iceland, Venetian Flanders Galleys), but the 15th century
innovations made it a highway: improvements in shipbuilding (including the stern rudder), new types of rigging and sails
(lateen), and the use of the mariner's compass. Europe had long imported key Asian commodities at very high prices --largely
due to the costs of overland transportation to such key sites as Constantinople, Beirut, and Alexandria. Fabrics of silk and
cotton, porcelains, fine steel, sugar, and above all, spices.
The Portuguese had long encouraged exploration. Prince Henry, called "the Navigator," established a school at
Sages as a center for geographers, cartographers, mathematicians, ship captains and pilots. He sponsored voyages down the
coast of Africa and far enough into the Atlantic to discover the Azores and Canary Islands. African exploration had brought
the Portuguese wealth from gold, ivory and slaves --exciting the envy of Spain. Bartolomeu Dias in 1488 reached the Cape of
Good Hope and proved a sea passage south of Africa did exist.] In 1498 Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape and sailed to
India. The trade goods returned to Europe brought enormous profits. The Portuguese returned with a larger armada and in a
fierce war took over the trade from the Arabs. Under Albuquerque, the first governor general, the Portuguese developed
trade stations at Goa, Aden, Ormuz, and on the African coast (first destroying the Arab-African cities that had been
developed at such cities as Kiliwa and Zanzibar). The new Portuguese trade ruined Venice and built a Portuguese monopoly.
Consumption and demand were both increased tremendously.
At this same time, Spain resolved to test Columbus' ridiculous assumption that the ships of that day (caravels) could
sail to Asia from Europe. [Some researchers believe Columbus had access to Viking maps of North America--and reason to
suspect land further south. But his voyage was based on the faulty notion of a reduced-size earth.] As a result, conquistadors
(Cortes, Pizarro) were soon turning the New World into a rich source of plunder. Conquest was followed by a lengthy period
of exploitation of mineral resources and land. Native labor was abused to produce such valued commodities as dye woods,
cacao, and tobacco. Deaths caused by forced labor and disease plus Church restrictions on the abuse of Indians led to the
introduction of slaves on a vast scale. Explorers sought the mythic "Northwest Passage"; Magellan sailed southwest through
the Straits of Magellan and began the first circumnavigation of the globe; Cabot and Cartier investigated the north, claiming
vast new lands for England and France and opened a colonial race that helped cause two centuries of war.
Protestants created an exceedingly negative view of the new Spanish Empire --usually termed the Black Legend.
Fact: Indians were heavily used, if not always abused. The Spanish used the encomienda system, not unlike European
serfdom: a European master as placed in charge of a section of land, and native tenants --keeping their own lands--paid rent
and owed services. [After a huge initial drop, Indian population stabilized and remained substantial in such countries as
Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, and Bolivia. In temperate climates, like Costa Rica, Chile, and Argentina the Indian population
was eliminated and European strains dominate today. In tropical hot lands, such as Brazil and all the lands bordering on the
Caribbean, Indians were killed off by work and were replaced by African slaves.] Since few white women emigrated to the
New World before 1700, the result was a large mixed blood population: Mestizos, who were mixed European and Indian,
and Mulattos, who were mixed European and blacks. Another key element of the population was the Creoles (Criollos), or
Europeans born in the New World. They were looked down upon by the more "noble" Peninsulas or "Gachupin’s," born
and educated in the Old World. Conflict between these two groups was to end in revolution in the early l9th century.
Assimilation between the Indian and black cultures have been continuing since the Conquest, but a trip to any Latin
American nation can show how incomplete it has been. Many Indian groups of Mexico and Peru still speak their traditional
languages and maintain life-styles not far removed from that of their ancestors. Hatreds long brewing still appear in
movements like the nativist, communist Sendero Luminoso of Peru.
After 1550 great deposits of gold and silver were found; first came the great lode at Potosí, high in the Andes in
what is now Bolivia. An annual flood of half a million pounds of silver and ten thousand pounds of gold came to Spain from
such mines. For half a century Spain was by far the wealthiest nation in the world. Yet in spite of the exploits of the English
"sea dogs" and the French corsairs, it was not until after 1600 that northern European nations really responded to the lure of
the New World.
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12. The Commercial Revolution
pp. 114-120
Read section 12, pages 112-118, and explain why each of the following statements is false. Underline the false part. On a separate sheet
of paper, which you will turn in, write the false segment and explain. The first example is completed for you.
1. Europe, paced by such great cities as London and Paris, was becoming rapidly urbanized in the 16th century
as the population grew rapidly.
"Europe...was probably no more urbanized than in the later Middle Ages....growth
represented increasing density in the rural regions."
2. Prices rose steadily in the 16th century; the inflation hurt both royal governments and merchants.
3. The economic leaders of the new "Commercial Revolution" were the entrepreneurs, guild masters who had
the greater capital and knowledge with which to take advantage of new situations.
4. The "domestic system" was a compromise of the best of both the guild and the entrepreneurial systems.
5. The domestic system represented a new closer relationship between worker and owner that was only broken
by the factory system of the 19th century.
6. Such industries as the manufacture of books, ships, and cannons and muskets were labor-intensive and so fit
into the town -centered guild system.
7. Interest-taking, denounced by medieval canon law as usury and preached against by both Catholics and
Protestants, did not become an accepted part of business.
8. Mercantilism is the system by which a nation produces what it is best suited to produce and imports the
raw materials and manufactured goods it needs.
9. Mercantilism basically involved strengthening local economic units.
10. Mercantilists opposed tariffs and production subsidies because they fostered inefficient producers.
11. Mercantilists opposed "internal tariffs" to improve their competitiveness on the international market.
12. The great official trading companies founded after 1553 were all agencies of national government designed
to improve trade with a specific region of the world.
13. Changing Social Structures
pp. 120-126
As prices rose in the 16th century, the peasants who held land for set money prices were aided and became the
English yeomanry and their European counterparts. Also aided were the urban people who had invested in real property, and
members of the aristocracy who received payments set "in kind" rather than in cash. Class lines tended to blur--as aristocrats
moved to town, and well-to-do middle class bought country estates. But the more alike they were, the more important the
badges of difference became --higher education and the symbolism of refined tastes. The middle class ranged from
commercial (bankers, ship owners, business) --to professionals (doctors, lawyers) --to government officials. The poorest
ranged from landless peasants to urban unskilled wage laborers to the "downstairs," the servants of the well-off, with a large
fringe of "unemployables" who lived by vagabondage or begging. Inflation rarely led to increased wages, so this majority
lived in increasing misery. The middle class began to be distressed by the "irregular habits" of the poor; thus, the Poor Law
of 1601 established workhouses. Education began to expand, with English "grammar schools" and French "colleges"--both
secondary schools. Universities grew rapidly.
Eastern Europe was far different. The aristocratic lords of the land were fully in control, and it was they who
reaped the benefit of better times. The Junkers of Germany, the lords of Poland and Russia ruled by "hereditary subjection" of the
serfs. These lowly creatures owed three or four days per week of unpaid service (called robot) to a lord from whose judgment there
was no appeal. "The landlord in the east, from the sixteenth century onward, was solidly entrenched in his own domain, monarch of all
he surveyed, with no troublesome bourgeoisie to annoy him (for towns were few), and with kings and territorial rulers solicitous for
his wishes." The great Polish and Lithuanian magnates enjoyed "palatial homes, private art galleries, well-stocked libraries, collections
of jewels, swarms of servants, trains of dependent
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