Humans and Other Humans

Humans and Other Humans

Human beings are said to be social. This means that they cannot live without relying on one another (Burr, 2015). 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 very unique characteristic of human beings. Relationships among different people began a long time ago. Looking unto the way human beings related with their families, the communication between slaves and their masters, those who exercised dominion and power over others and those being ruled, relations of men and women within the same racial, cultural or differing origins (Burr, 2015). Humans in different parts of the world affected each other through conducting trade, exchanging mental transcripts on religion, culture or technological advancements that they had developed at that time (Knoke, 2014).

Questions are usually raised about the earlier existence and adaptations of human beings in history relating to war, how the society looked like and the existence of cities and markets.  Understanding these concepts are 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, 2015). 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 in order to survive (Heckman, 2014). 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 from each time periods relating to the topic

Transformation of Europe

Society and the Economy

The 16th century was a historical era where there were active new additions in relation to frugal use of resources leading to development of the economy (Weiler, 1991). This led to transfiguration in relation to 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, 2015). Connections of trade and communication within Europe were made tighter and the level of commercial activities was enhanced (Weiler, 1991).

With the knowledge of the boundaries in Europe, there was bringing together and merging of boundaries into one composition in regard to the economy. The introduction of new commodities from the lands that had brought into the system improved the state of living. There was 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, 1991). 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, 1991).

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 were 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, 2016). In regard to the culture, there was instillation 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 to the people. 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, 2016).

Indefinitely, human relations go a long way back in time. This relation has been a great influence to the economy as there is 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 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, 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. There were changes in agriculture which in turn brought change in international population. The greatest impact of this exchange was the exchange of arts, customs and habits and movement of people between continents.

There was development of slave trade from the exchange where African people were used as a source of labor. Many types of crops and livestock were moved from place to place which led to the increase in number of people in most areas although the spread of diseases had earlier caused declines of numbers due to death of the autochthonous people of the 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.

Colombian Exchange and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

The Beginning of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

The Colombian exchange saw the spread of high quality goods which led to the great need of cheap labor so that there will be high profits likely to be earned. For example, sugar was a luxury 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 high migration of people thus enlarging the population.

Cultural exchanges

Social impacts of the Colombian exchange

There were cultural exchanges following migration of people. The values of the Europeans were viewed as the original norms. Ownership rights were established on lands, marriage of one wife or husband was introduced, family formation defined while duties of women and children were outlaid in this era. There was exploitation of aboriginal groups by Europeans. Traditions were hence exchanged among the slaves and social practices adopted. The slaves were converted to Christianity since they did not have 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 behavior of others. For example, tobacco which was considered a luxury good was spread during the Colombian exchange and use of tobacco became common since demand for tobacco rose due to cultural transfers with the increased human contacts.

Economic aspects of Colombian exchange

Increased Farming Activities; the slaves were used to do farming activities. Tobacco, rice and coffee were planted. Farming therefore became an economic activity in these regions.

Trading Activities Developed; Due to the farming, there was also rise of trading activities. This was mainly exchange of goods for others. There was also addition into 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.

Development of Employment; There was payment of wages for workers especially in the production of the luxury goods. High wages were paid for these types of goods although later on people were exploited into production of the goods.

Political aspects

There was 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 own 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 so as 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.

Works Cited

Heckman, James J., and Stefano Mosso. “The economics of human development and social mobility.” Annu. Rev. Econ. 6.1 (2014): 689-733.

Knoke, David. Economic networks. John Wiley & Sons, 2014.

Easterly, William, and Ross Levine. “The European origins of economic development.” Journal of Economic Growth 21.3 (2016): 225-257.

Coale, Ansley Johnson, and Edgar M. Hoover. Population growth and economic development. Princeton University Press, 2015.

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

Burr, Vivien. Social constructionism. Routledge, 2015.

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

Crosby, Alfred W. The Columbian exchange: biological and cultural consequences of 1492. Vol. 2. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003.



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