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As history continues to make its mark, changes around the world starts to shift. In order for development to happen, advancements and technologies have to be adapted and most importantly, evolve. These technologies, theories, and ideas are what made modern day to be what it is now. Though, there are many time periods in which important events have taken place. From 1492 to 1750, it was a landmark for Western Europe, Africa, and the Americas, in terms of the social and economic changes. This would be known as the Age of Discovery, where exploration contributes to new sea or land routes, wealth, culture, and knowledge. Connections with Europe, Africa, and the Americas have all underwent social and economic transformations through trade and expeditions.
Western Europe had just recovered from the wave of diseases that have been negatively affecting their population as well as their work production. Western Europe’s situation during this time was difficult, medicine was not developed and people did not know the cause of the disease. As 15th century came around, Western Europe was able to get back on their feet and turn their interests on trade. For Africa, new contacts with the outside was not beneficial for them. As merchants stole their people to circulate the slave trade, the king started to lose power and the respect from his people. Lastly, the Americas was also undergoing difficulties with the new contacts. When the Europeans travelled to the Americas, they stripped away the power of the natives’ land and micromanaged their daily task.
In terms of the social changes, the Europeans caused change to occur among the people. As the slave trade was established, racial ideology was also developed. Long before the Europeans arrived in Africa, slavery was already in play. However, Africa was flourishing in art, learning, technology, medicine, mathematics, and astronomy. Yet, owners wanted more and more of slaves to work on their land. From there, it debilitated the African civilization. Many young men were taken away and led into a population decline. The merchants were undermining the king’s power and was slowly losing the loyalty of his people. As a result, Africa became more dependent on Portugal. In the Americas, their social class which is the Colonial Class System became based on race. Going from the highest level to the lowest, the Peninsulares, Creoles, Mestizos/ Mulattoes, and the Native Indians/ Black slaves. This class system was created due to the fact that intermarriage would occur between the Europeans and the Natives or Africans. So, the mixed children had more rights compared to Natives and the Africans. Meanwhile, Western Europe was thriving from all of the trade routes that they have established. They viewed the Natives Americans and the Africans as inferior towards them. Europe was divided into two main groups, the nobles and the commoners. The only continuity in this social structure was the gender and family roles that remained untouched. The interests of one region has provoked many drastic changes that are still being faced today.
As for economic changes, it was all due to the connections of the trade routes. The Columbian Exchange, and the Triangular Trade all facilitated the spread of plants, ideas, systems, animals, and slaves. After Europe’s recovery from the Dark Ages, the European economic life started to improve and begins to depend on the market. Inhumane actions in the slave trade were done to create these connections is what kept Europe back in track. Capitalism and Mercantilism is all a motive for profit, which became a tool for international exchanges. Europe benefitted economically compared to Africa and the Americas. The Triangular Trade was connected to all three regions and it was a major change due to the use of slaves and raw material supplied. At first, Africa did not benefit from this trade. The reason being is that the king was more concern with goods brought in by the merchants. He was not against the slavery, but was against a few aspects. All he wanted was control of his power. However, they were introduced to crops such as the maize that helped their population recover. On the other hand, the Americas’ population was declining. The Aztecs and the Incas were not immune to the diseases, causing many people to die from it. The interactions of the Europeans were only to their advantage, as it had some negative aspects towards Africa and the Americas.
The new contacts that the Western Europe had made with Africa and the Americas have made its imprint in history. Though, what they have done to the slaves was barbaric. It gained a better knowledge of the world and a network of communication and trade. Therefore, the interests of the Europeans sparked the transformations of the social structures and the economic systems.

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