IN THIS CHAPTER
Summary: The period from 1450 to 1750 was one of increased global
exchange. While some regions such as China gradually withdrew from
long-distance trade, the volume of trade in the Indian Ocean increased with
the entry of Europeans into waters that already saw bustling commercial
activity among Indian, Muslim, and African peoples. To the trade of the
Eastern Hemisphere were added vast interchanges between the Eastern
and Western hemispheres across the Atlantic Ocean.
As European nation-states grew more powerful and involved in colonial expansion, their governments formed trading companies. The governments of Spain, the Netherlands, England, and France gave regional monopolies to these companies. Among the two most prominent companies were the British East India Company, which concentrated on trade in India and North America, and the Dutch East India Company, which concentrated on trade with Indonesia. With the origin of the great trading companies came increased consumption of eastern products such as coffee, tea, and sugar. The growth of trade and commerce fostered the growth of capitalism, an economic system that is based on the private ownership of property and on investments with the hope of profit.
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Publication information: Book title: AP World History. Contributors: Peggy J. Martin - Author. Publisher: McGraw-Hill. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2008. Page number: 150.
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