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Hemispheric Exchange Review for AP World History

By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Mar 4, 2011

Review questions for this study guide can be found at:

Hemispheric Exchange Review Questions for AP World History

Trading Companies

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 focused 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.

European Explorations

Technological inventions such as the caravel, magnetic compass, and astrolabe, adopted from the eastern world by the Europeans in the early fifteenth century, facilitated the entrance of Europe into expeditions of exploration. Portugal had already sailed along the western coast of Africa in the early fifteenth century, trading gold and crude iron pots for spices and slaves. The voyage of Vasco da Gama around the Cape of Good Hope to India in 1498 broke the Muslim and Italian monopolies on trade with the Middle East, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. One Portuguese expedition was blown off course and landed in Brazil, giving Portugal a claim to territory in the Western Hemisphere. The Portuguese continued their commercial interests by setting up forts and trading posts on the eastern African coast and also in India at the port of Goa. Portugal also traded in the port of Malacca in Indonesia. From the Chinese port of Macao it entered into trade between Japan and China.

Columbus's rediscovery of the Americas for Spain in 1492 was followed by the Magellan expedition's circumnavigation of the globe, which gave Spain claim to the Philippine Islands. In the sixteenth century, the states of northern Europe joined in voyages of exploration. The defeat of the Spanish Armada by the English navy in 1588 made England the foremost naval power among the European nations.

Both the French and the British turned their attentions to North America, creating rivalries that erupted in warfare in the latter part of the eighteenth century. In 1534, France claimed present-day Canada. In the seventeenth century, the French established settlements and fur-trading outposts in the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys. During the sixteenth century, the British had explored the Hudson Bay area of North America in search of a northwest passage to the Indies. In the seventeenth century, England established colonies along the east coast of North America to provide the raw materials and markets that were a part of its mercantilist policy.

The Netherlands, which had recently won its independence from Spain, set up colonies in North America and, for a brief time, in Brazil. The Dutch demonstrated their power in the Indian Ocean by removing the Portuguese competition in Indonesia in the early seventeenth century. In 1652, they established Cape Colony, a settlement at the southern tip of Africa, using it primarily as a supply station for ships sailing to Indonesia.

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