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The Triangle of Trade in the Atlantic Ocean During Colonial Times - Research Paper Example

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The Triangle of Trade in the Atlantic Ocean During Colonial Times "The stench of the hold…was so intolerably loathsome that it was dangerous to remain there for any time…but now that the whole ship’s cargoes were confined together, it became absolutely pestilential…
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The Triangle of Trade in the Atlantic Ocean During Colonial Times
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Download file to see previous pages Also known by the name Gustavus Vassa, his written account of his journey across the Atlantic Ocean has survived both himself and the period of slavery in the United States. What is written above, and the rest of the writings in his book, describe part of the journey on the harrowing “middle passage”, the second of three common routes and passages aboard an ocean ship, and part of the trade route commonly known to history as the triangular trade. There were many reasons why Great Britain, as it was known at the time, chose to allow its citizens to settle in what would eventually become the United States of America. Some came for religious reasons. Other settlers boarded ships out of Great Britain seeking fortune and a better way of life. The chief driving force, however, was a movement known as mercantilism, with the belief that a nation could get rich only at the expense of another1. This principle quickly spread, and before long, Great Britain realized that it had an almost unending source of raw materials in the lands known as the colonies2. The exchange of goods, or trade, has been a staple system of the world for as long as history has been written, and even before written records occurred. The classic scenario of one person or nation having what another desired, and vice versa, has made for some of the most interesting points of history. Wars have been fought, treaties signed, and lands conquered, all for the reasoning that one group or nation wanted what another possessed. Trade was not done any differently between the colonies that would become the United States and the rest of the world in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Trade and commerce in the colonies grew and prospered, despite numerous obstacles. There was almost no currency in the colonies except for a small amount of gold and silver, and little to no information about what could be found in foreign ports or any lands abroad3. Shopkeepers were virtually in the dark about what went out outside of their own towns and cities. Information from what could be found in England was usually reliable, due in part to the Navigation Act of 1696 passed by the King, which declared any trade between the colonies and any other country was illegal, along with giving broad powers to customs agents in the colonies and allowing the holds of ships to be searched for illegal trade goods4. The simplest explanation for trade during this time would be that the colonies exported raw materials to Europe, such as furs, lumber, and fruit, and in turn, Europe sent manufactured goods to the colonies5. However, explanations are rarely simple, and indeed, the trade routes between the different continents across the Atlantic Ocean grew increasingly well-traveled as more and more goods were shipped from one country to another. Though illegal, traders continued to trade goods with countries such as France, Spain, Portugal, and Holland to gain greater profits6. By far, though, the most common trade route referred to when mentioning trade between the British colonies across the Atlantic Ocean is the triangular trade route, which traded raw materials, goods, and slave cargoes between the colonies, Great Britain, and West Africa. The profits made from the global trade of sugar, tea, and coffee were the driving force behind the triangular trade, goods and products which had serviced the world for centuries7. Colonial entrepreneurs, especially in New England, built and operated ships ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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