Economic Exchange

Economic Exchange

The role and impact of Economic Exchange and Networks overtime

Humans and Other Humans

Human beings are said to be social and this means that they cannot live without relying on one another (Burr 315). This is the character that serves to distinguish them from other animals that may have similar appearances. Relationships among human beings have changed as time goes by and they have a high level of skill to converse with one another and share different ideas. This is a unique characteristic of human beings. Relationships among different people began a long time ago. Looking into the way human beings related to each other, a difference is noted in each interaction. For instance, there was a divergence in the mode of communication with families, slaves, and their masters, those who exercised dominion and power over others and those being ruled. There was also deviation in relations of men and women within the same racial, cultural or differing origins (Burr 315). Humans in different parts of the world were linked with each other through conducting trade, exchanging mental transcripts on religion, culture or technological advancements that had developed at that time (Knoke 114).

Questions are usually raised about the earlier existence and adaptations of human beings in history relating to war, how the society was shaped and the existence of cities and markets.  Understanding these concepts is of great help in gaining knowledge about the exchanges made by human beings in the past years and how they affected economic activities as well as connections over time (Burr 315). Chronicles of the world are also about the close acquaintance of human beings. For instance, how they were able to live in the small communities that depended on chasing down preys and collection of wild fruits to survive (Heckman 104). This enables easy observance of how human activities have changed with time. Through this knowledge, it becomes more viable to relate all the transformations with economic development and social interactions with the inevitable progression into the future with the passing of events down in memory lane.

Historical concepts fromTransformation of Europe

Society and the Economy

The 16th century was a historical era where there were active new additions about frugal use of resources leading to the development of the economy (Weiler 191). This led to transfiguration about the social, cultural and political states of the premature stages of modern age. The economic transformations which introduced changes in other aspects of the society that occurred during this era were a mass in number. By 1500, the count of the number of residents within most areas of Europe was becoming larger after two hundred years of reduction or lack of change (Coale 150). Connections of trade and communication within Europe were made tighter, and the level of commercial activities was enhanced (Weiler 191).

With the knowledge of the boundaries in Europe, there was bringing together and merging of boundaries into one composition regarding the economy. The introduction of new commodities from the lands that had been brought into the system improved the state of living. There was a high production of goods since there were also new methods of improving production. People who assumed risk in ventures, traffickers of commodities for profit and money changers amassed and had direct control of capital in quantities that had never been taken before. The 16th century is hence termed as the starting point of a socio-economic system based on the abstraction of resources into privately-owned capital unregulated by any state (Weiler 191). The amassed wealth influenced political decisions and relations with other nations other than the economy. Transition and amendments spread all over Europe and this influenced the behavior of people, and their point of view was completely altered. In the 15th century, the European population was rising, and trade had taken root (Weiler 191).

The state of capitalism is hence not consistent and balanced thus cannot be characterized by success. Insolvency was common among the borrowers, and there was visibility of the poor conditions of the society. There were religious commotions experienced, and some religions became marginalized in that they were not appreciated in the communities. For example, the Jews have driven away from some states. Those who were being ruled were expected to follow, to the latter all the set conditions by leaders within the society (O’Brien 416). Regarding the culture, there was an installation of fear among people relating to witchcraft beliefs even among those who were educated. Education had been restored, and churches reinvigorated, but this did not stop the ridiculous terror inflicted on the people (Davies 725). The society was therefore left in a state of confusion during this stage of development. The interaction of people is brought into the limelight as all the exchanges are practical. Feudal systems that included serfs were induced in the society even with the development of unregulated market states (Easterly 163).

Indefinitely, human relations go a long way back in time. This relation has been a great influence on the economy as there are trading activities and exchange of information. These interactions provide a base to draw the impacts associated with them. The growth of trade, advancement in technology, development of money culture, interrelations and trade among nations are all brought about by human exchanges and networks from time to time.

The Colombian Exchange

The Colombian Exchange relates to the extensive movement of plants, creatures, customs and habits of a particular society, human beings, a collection of techniques and mental transcripts between Americans and other human beings in the 15th and 16th centuries which recounted with the establishment of colonies in Europe and the trading activities. There was widespread of diseases during this exchange (Simpson 923). This is because upon interaction with each other communicable diseases were transferred from one slave to another. There was the unavailability of healthcare facilities to them as they were being moved from their home countries. There were changes in agriculture which in turn brought change in international population during this era.

The greatest impact of this exchange was the exchange of arts, customs and habits and movement of people between continents. There was a development of slave trade from the exchange where African people were used as a source of labor (Crosby 589). Many types of crops and livestock were moved from place to place which led to the increase in some people in most areas although the spread of diseases had earlier caused declines of numbers due to death of the autochthonous people of America. The traders went back to Europe with foods such as corn, potatoes, and tomatoes which became the most sought-after crops in the continent (Crosby 591).

Colombian Exchange and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

The Beginning of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

The Colombian exchange saw the spread the need for high-quality goods production which led to the great need of cheap labor so that there would be high profits likely to be earned. For example, sugar was considered to be a highly pleasant product. Slaves were used in the farming of goods such as sugarcane, coffee, tobacco and other grains such as rice. The slaves did not have many rights. Through slavery, there was a high migration of people thus enlarging the population.

Cultural Exchanges

Social Impacts of the Colombian Exchange

There were cultural exchanges following the migration of people. The values of the Europeans were viewed as the original norms. Ownership rights were established on lands, the marriage of one wife or husband was introduced, family formation defined while duties of women and children were outlaid in this era. Exploitation of aboriginal groups by Europeans was rampant. Traditions were hence exchanged among the slaves and social practices adopted. The slaves were converted to Christianity since they were considered as not having a religion. They were viewed to be less human than other groups of people. With many people in one area, the exchange of cultural beliefs and practices was rampant which also led to changes in the behavior of others. For example, tobacco farming which was considered very pleasant was spread during the Colombian exchange, and use of tobacco became common since demand for tobacco rose due to cultural transfers brought about by the increased human contacts.

Economic Aspect of Colombian Exchange

Increased Farming Activities: Tobacco, rice, and coffee were planted. Farming, therefore, became an economic activity in these regions. The rulers had firms which they employed people to cultivate. Slaves were asked to cultivate their food even though they still worked at their bosses’ farms. Thus, farming activities were at a heightened level. Farming is an economic activity that generates income (Simpson 923).

Trading Activities Developed:  Due to the farming, there was also rise of trading activities. This was mainly an exchange of goods for others. There was also added to the number of goods that could be traded. New foodstuffs were brought into the market. There was also livestock that was not available in the area before. Trading was a source of livelihood in that people could earn income from the sale of their farm products or livestock (Simpson 923).

Development of Employment: There was payment of wages to workers especially in the production of the most pleasant goods. High wages were paid for these types of goods although later on people were exploited into the production of the goods. Employment opportunities were available to the people who had skills to do a particular task. For instance, the farming of rice was given to the slaves with knowledge about rice plantations since it was also considered as something very pleasant which was not for everyone.

Political Aspect

There was an exercise of power in the exchange era. The slaves had to follow whatever their masters said to them. For instance, the African slaves were supposed to farm their food crops and were not supposed to take the rice viewed as high quality. They had little influence on any matter relating to how they operate and their needs. They had to follow whatever they were told without any questions.

In totality, the Colombian exchange brought development and influence on culture, political and economic aspects. More developments and innovations were made. For instance, some weeds and other plants were transported and added to the environment intentionally to act as corrective measures for soil erosion. Many animals were brought into the lands which have also been helpful to the people since they can be a source of food, money, and security.

Colonialism/ Enlightenment Era (1650-1789)

This is considered as the Age of Enlightenment where there was a dominance of the need to shed the light of truth and knowledge upon people. This generation of ideas acted as a source of authority, validity, and power (Broomhall 116). There was an initiation of inventions such as the constitution, endurance, condition of freedom of the people and withdrawal of the church from the influence of the state. Various religious denominations were established in this era. Governance by heredity was sabotaged. During this era, there was the establishment of coffee houses, salons, books and other printed materials.

The encyclopedia was also published during this period which helped to diversify knowledge across Europe and other nations (Broomhall 116). There was reform in the religion of the people, and there was a need to separate religion from political matters. True faith in God was highly regarded, and there was a belief in Christ, the redeemer. Religious wars were discouraged since there was less involvement of political matters. Christian morals were to be followed. Novels on religion were written to provide knowledge to the people.

Separation of Church and State

There was a promotion of the separation of church from the state since it was claimed that the government had no power to influence the moral sense of right and wrong on people. This led to the creation of a right to self-conscience which is not supposed to be influenced by any authority. This range of vision on the endurance in religion and need for self-awareness together with societal beliefs influenced people in the settlements of emigrants with tied cultural beliefs as well as in the drafting of the constitution of the United States. The church was therefore separated from the rule of the government (Loomba 152).

Society and Cultural Aspects in Colonialism/Enlightenment Age

There were changes that occurred in the European societies relating to the behaviors of people and cultural beliefs. Coming into prominence of the public sphere was among the main elements of an influence of bringing clarity to the people. It was an influence in communication since there was a tendency of openness and more social engagement. The sphere facilitated arguments with reasoning and looked into all the concerns in the society. The public had the knowledge regarding the state, religion, and authority generally and could criticize these ideas openly and secrets were not maintained at all (Loomba 152). The reasoning was highly regarded since it formed the base of clarity in any matter in the society.

The development of the public sphere is usually associated with trends that have been passed down in history which are an establishment of modern states and rise of a socio-economic system based on private ownership of resources or capital with economic decisions being made largely through the operation of the market unregulated by the state. Modern nation states provided the society with a level of independence. On the other hand, private ownership which was unregulated helped people in the society to become more aware of themselves, and they developed need to exchange information. There was also a development of trading activities, especially the most pleasant goods and paintings which had artistic impressions.

Social and Cultural Implications in the Arts

Art and music became common especially among people of the middle class. The general public in this era knew about issues such as literature, philosophy, science and fine arts. This is because the people were now considerate and they would reason more other than using their beliefs without any base on reason or scientific knowledge. Musicians who depended on the support by the general public held more music entertainment functions which helped them to earn more income and publicity. These concerts enabled them to achieve a wider audience.

There was a development of social classes with time. Music preference is usually different for each social class. Music was among the most appreciated art in the society. Women were also engaged in these musical roles, and there was a rise in the number of singers who played the keyboard. Publishing of music began, and people became more interested in music whether in reading or discussions. The passing of information was through letters and also other printed materials in this era thus written communication could be said to have been the most prominent. Salons were also points of sharing ideas among women thus gender equality seemed to be put into consideration.

Economic Aspects of Colonialism and Enlightenment Age

Development of professional activities and Creation of employment: Women worked in salons which were not in the earlier ages. This shows development in economic activities. Music as an art provided an opportunity for growth for both men and women. There was also a creation of employment in the publishing firms during the making of music. With the availability of these opportunities, the economy of the nation was bound to improve and become more productive.

Political Aspects of Colonialism and Enlightenment

Reduction of power in a monarchy: There was disentanglement of the community with the government regarding religious activities. This reduced the power of the state to the public. The rulers had no power to control the minds of their citizens as the people had right to their moral sense of right and wrong.

Industrial Revolution

This is where changes in the methods used to manufacture products were implemented. The traditional methods were abandoned, and use of technology was initiated. These technologies helped in saving time and also improving the quality of goods being produced (Northrup 399). The most prevalent industry that changed is the Textile industry. It was imposing regarding employment, worth of the completed products and the amount of money committed in the industry. It was the pioneering industry in the usage of contemporary methods of production. Most of the changes about industries were ideas from the British people (Hudson 492).

The British had political influence on many companies and was in charge of trading activities worldwide. The changes in industries were influenced by the increase in commerce and performance of skilled work. The level of quality of living rose after an industrial change. This was a point of change to many people in history.

Social and Cultural Aspects of Industrial Revolution

Changes in the setting of factories: Before the changes in industries, most people were employed in farms as laborers, and those who had farms acted as landlords. People would make clothes for themselves and use the food crops they had earlier planted to earn a living. With the industrial revolution, manufacture of clothes was done by use of machines. Home industries were common in the past where farmers and other people made goods at home and later sold them out. Activities such as weaving were rampant in homes. However, the products were not of high quality. There was a development of machinery for weaving later on which improved the quality of these goods (Hudson 493).


Changes in the standards and mode of living: The reserved cultures of the people were changed as they were forced to live according to the new changes in their surroundings. The culture was also influenced by that their home industries were no longer as important as before. Family settings also became disorganized as women were also taking up jobs in industries whereas their earlier job was to stay at home.

Consumer products development: There was a development of better practices of agriculture due to the revolution. This is because there were new technologies used in food production. Prices of items of clothing and utensils were reduced which made them available to a majority of the people.

Housing development: Housing conditions were improved. With the increase in the number of people moving into the cities which were more developed, landowners felt the need to build shelters where people would rent (Hudson 492). Those who could not afford decent housing lived in slums where there was the inadequacy of social amenities which led to high mortality rates. With time, there was a development of more decent houses and sanitary conditions were observed.

An increment of child labor: Many children were forced to work in the industries due to a need for money. These were mostly those from the lower class families that could not afford to take their children to schools. With the new development, there was a creation of employment opportunities and children were not left out. Most employers would employ children because they were paid lesser than the older people.

Economic Aspect of Industrial Revolution

Visible growth of the economy was achieved. This is because, with technology, more output is achieved and hence the trading activities are improved. When there are more trading activities, economic growth is rampant in economies endorsing capitalism.

Production of high-quality products: With the development of machinery, more quality products were produced and in large scale (Mason, 2015). This is because machines reduce human errors that would have earlier been made in case goods were produced traditionally.

Huge production of goods: Machines were able to produce goods in huge quantities and at high speed. Human beings could not be able to produce as many goods through the use of traditional methods. This led to increased level of trading activities which in turn facilitated the growth of the economy at large.

Employment creation: There was the need for human labor to run the machinery invented. This led to a heightened rate of employment in this era. Reduction in the rates of unemployment is a major indicator of economic growth for any nation.

Political Aspects Relating To Industrial Revolution

The government tried to intervene to stop child labor through the owners of the factories resisted since they felt that they were helping out the children especially the poor kids. Others just wanted cheap labor and exploited the children. The government, therefore, did not have much influence on the owners of factories.

Current World (1900- present)

Suez Canal Crisis

This was the forceful entry of Egypt by the United Kingdom, Israel, and France. The main agenda was to achieve control of the Suez Canal and dismiss the rule of the president who had endowed the canal. There was pressure from the United States and United Nations that led to the withdrawal of the invaders from Egypt (Hurt 377).  The canal was closed from October 1956 until March 1957. This led to a distraction from shipping activities. Troops of security were sent to guard the border of Egypt and Israel as a result of the conflict (Verbeek 193).

Social Aspect of the Suez Crisis

There was a distraction of peace among the natives of Israel and Egypt. People from these countries did not have peace. There was fear of invasion among them. Fear and lack of comfort in your home country affect productivity of people as they are not able to go on about their day to day activities with ease.

Political Aspect of the Crisis

This heightened enmity among countries towards Egypt. Thus the government is not able to stir the country perfectly. This is not a good signal since there may be revenge deals arranged which would put the whole world in discomfort.

Economic Aspect

Initiated reduction of trading activities: When the canal had been blocked, people could not move their products to some countries. This led to the reduction in trading activities thus a hindrance to the development of commerce (Hartwell 972). Trade cannot be effective without proper channels of transportation.

The level of industrialization is high in this era, and economic activities are easier to undertake unlike in the past. Sharing of information and networking among people is also enhanced. This has brought about the economic development of many countries which has, in turn, changed the living standards of people. In as much as cultural values have been destroyed to some extent, most people have tried to live accordingly. Formations of trade unions and trade blocs have boosted economic activities. Politically, ties have been made since most nations have become acquainted with each other. A country can render its advice to another without commotion. This has led to peaceful interactions and development in these countries.

Prediction for the Future

Networks created by human beings have led to the development in all aspects of life that is, political, social-cultural and economic. With continued interaction, the future may be more open to opportunities. This is because human beings can be able to share ideas they have regarding a particular aspect more freely. Technological advancement should be expected in the future since people have become open to changes. When the level of technology is heightened; there will be the likelihood of development in areas such as employment. This is because, with inventions, there is a need for people to run programs and machinery. More people will hence be employed. The quality of goods being produced in industries will improve since higher quality machinery will be used. In the agricultural sector, there will be ease in conducting farming activities.

The expectation for the future is that human beings will be more industrialized and able to embrace change without necessarily losing their original cultures. Culture is used in the sense of the modes of dressing, the codes of behavior people have been observing, religious beliefs and societal roles, for example, the role of women in families. More trading activities are expected in the future since the production of goods will be at a high rate. Modes of transport are expected to be more accessible in that there will be no hindrance to trade. International relations should be more established in that people can interact with others more freely without the bias of race, ethnic group or religious beliefs.


Conclusively, human interactions have developed over time. This is the main reason for economic development since people can share their ideas with each other. The cultures of different people in society also influence the development of an economy. This is because, if people believe in themselves and engage in activities that are beneficial, then their economic status will be changed. The governance of a country is also a major influence on the economic advancement of a country. A nation that maintains peace with other nations is likely to develop more since there is ease of interaction.

Human beings form the basis of any development. Without each other, human beings cannot make any development. This is because a single idea by a person needs to be supported by others to become effective and functional. Creating networks should be the aim of every individual to attain success. With proper networking among people, economic development is likely to be achieved easily. Human beings should hence consider each other with respect regardless of their appearance, race, religion or cultural beliefs.

Works Cited

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Loomba, Ania. Colonialism/postcolonialism. Routledge, 2015.

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Northrup, Cynthia Clark, et al. Encyclopedia of World Trade: From Ancient Times to the Present. Vol. 1. Routledge, 2015.

O’Brien, Robert, and Marc Williams. Global political economy: Evolution and dynamics. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

Simpson, William, and Martin Jones. Europe 1783–1914. Routledge, 2015.

Verbeek, Bertjan. Decision-making in Great Britain During the Suez Crisis: Small groups and a persistent leader. Routledge, 2017.

Weiler, Joseph HH. “The transformation of Europe.” Yale Law Journal (1991): 2403-2483.

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