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Assess the significance of the Atlantic slave trade for the rise of Europe - Essay Example

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The rapid growth of Europe in the period after the sixteenth century can be attributed largely to the growth of Western European countries that had direct access to the Atlantic Ocean and their direct participation in the slave trade. The trade and the colonialism associated…
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Assess the significance of the Atlantic slave trade for the rise of Europe
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Download file to see previous pages It is in no doubt that the transatlantic slave trade served as the most formidable premise for modern-day capitalismis . This is due to its immense generation of wealth for various business enterprises across Europe and America (Acemoglu, Robinson, & James, 2002). Indeed, the trade made a substantial contribution to the industrial growth of north-western Europe. Moreover, it established a single Atlantic world that encapsulated Europe, the Caribbean islands, main lands of South and North America, and western Africa. Given that Europe acted as the epicentre of the transatlantic trade, the region received the greatest benefits from the slave trade that lasted for more than three centuries (Postma, J. 2003).
It is noteworthy that modern economic development first emerged in Europe during the Industrial Revolution, with rapid urban industrialization, growth of cotton textile factories, as well as the increase in export-oriented industrialization. In the wake of the Industrial Revolution, and the associated expansion of industries, the available sources of labour in Europe were largely insufficient to provide the much-needed services in all industries. There were two main reasons for the apparent lack of workforce; firstly, the cost of voluntary migrants was very high to be cost-effective in offering the labour necessary to develop America as Europe’s breadbasket. Secondly, even though some European nationals were forcefully kidnapped and placed at the equivalent of slave labourers in America. The process required an extensive basis that would have denied the home countries the labour forced needed to expand the fast-rising industries. This would have resulted in the rise of labour cost in the home countries and exacerbate the price of domestically produced goods thus making them more costly and less competitive in both the home and international markets.
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