How did Asia, Europe, and America affect Europe during the 18th century?

Impact of Africa, Asia, and America

Modern European history can be compared to the fashion and entertainment business; in that many lesser celebrities may mimic the style or motif of a more recognized one. Europe, being the "less famous" celebrity, borrowed ideas from other continents in order to strengthen their development. Whether it was trade or economy, Europe tended to be unoriginal, perhaps even insecure of their own progression, thus building off of pre-made plans of other continents. Africa, Asia, and America were these continents, and they each had a large impact on Europe during the eighteenth century.

First, Asia had a large contribution to Europe in the eighteenth century. Although Europe looked upon Asia as a reliable source of trade, it was not mutual. "Asia was almost useless as a market for European manufactures," (P + C, 259). Sugars and spices were also imported, but manufactured items were also desired, such as china and cotton. "The very names by which cotton fabrics are known in English and other European languages reveal the places form which they were thought to come," (P + C, 260). To purchase these Asian items, Europe needed to possess great quantities of gold. Therefore, imitation manufactures were developed in Europe. Fake chinaware and porcelain were invented. "…England soon competed with the imported original," (P + C, 260). Thus, imitation imports were created in Europe due to the influence of Asia.

Secondly, America had an influence on Europe in the eighteenth century. Since many small islands in the Caribbean were controlled by European countries, they each brought great wealth to Europe. Trade was also important in America, and the most important was that of sugar. "The American trade was based mainly on one commodity-sugar," (P + C, 260). Sugar was also a powerful boost to the economy because it offered cheap labor at low cost, in mass productions. "The richest of all the sugar colonies, San Domingo, now called Haiti, belonged to France," (P + C, 261). Great Britain also benefited from the economic success of sugar trade, grossing about 160 million pounds in an eighty- year period.

Thirdly, Africa also had a large impact on Europe in the eighteenth century. Slaves were so incredible critical to the British economy, and would not have been the same without them. "As for merchandise coming into Britain from the West Indies, virtually all produced by slaves, in 1790 it constituted a fourth of all British imports," (P + C, 261). These imports included sugar, and eventually cotton. Slaves obtained from Africa were generally used for plantation duties. Although the morality of slavery is arguable, "…the phenomenal rise of British capitalism in the eighteenth century was based to a considerable extent on the enslavement of Africans," (P + C, 261). In fact, the town of Liverpool was established mainly due to the success of the slave trade.

Although Europe depended on the aid of other continents to stabilize their own, it was truly mandatory in the development of their continent. In the eighteenth century, Europe took whatever precautions necessary in order to keep their power in existence. Whether it be imitating manufactures, or using slave labor, it was done with hope and desire for success in mind. In conclusion, Asia, America, and Africa each held great impact on Europe during the eighteenth century in their own way, and allowed Europe to develop successfully

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