Trade wars, and colonial rebellion chapter summary

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This chapter discusses the European rivalries of the middle-eighteenth century. Since the Renaissance, European contacts with the rest of the world have gone through four distinct stages: 1) discovery, exploration, initial conquest and settlement of the New World (to 1700); 2) colonial trade rivalry among Spain, France, and Britain

(ca. 1700–1820); 3) European imperialism in Africa and Asia (nineteenth century); 4) decolonization of peoples previously under European rule (twentieth century).

The European powers administered their eighteenth-century empires according to the theory of mercantilism. The colonies were to provide markets and natural resources for the industries of the mother country. In turn, the latter was to furnish military security and the instruments of government. To protect its investment from competitors, each home country tried to keep a tight monopoly on trade with its colonies. The chapter then focuses on the organization and administration of the Spanish Empire. A key section in this chapter concerns an extensive study of African slavery, the Plantation System, and the experience of slavery.

Competition for foreign markets was intense among Britain, France, and Spain. In North America, colonists quarreled endlessly over the territory, fishing rights, fur trade, and relationships with the Indians. In India, each power hoped to expel the other. Above all, they clashed over the West Indies, the lucrative producers of coffee, tobacco and especially sugar, and ready purchases of African slaves. Men with economic interests in the West Indies formed significant pressure groups in each of the three powerful European colonial nations. In England, the “West Indian Interest” was able in 1739 to drive the country into war with Spain (War of Jenkins’s Ear). By aiding Spain, France’s leader, Fleury, hoped to capture Britain’s existing commercial advantages in the Spanish Empire for his own country. However, the aggressive actions of the Prussian king, Frederick II, upset his policy.

The chapter goes on to detail the mid-century conflicts of the Austrian Succession (1740–1748) and the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763), and the shifting alliances among the European powers called the “Diplomatic Revolution” of 1756. Such conflict required great sums of money, and Britain, though victorious, was especially hard-pressed. The government, believing that the colonists themselves should bear part of the cost of their protection and administration, levied new taxes on America. The Sugar and Stamp Acts of 1764, the Townshend Acts of 1767, the Boston Massacre of 1770, and the Intolerable Acts of 1774 helped drive the colonists into rebellion. With the support of Britain’s old enemies, France and Spain, the Americans won the Revolutionary War (1776–1783).

The colonists had shown how to establish revolutionary, but orderly, political bodies that would function outside the existing political framework. European writers sensed that a new era was dawning—one of constituent assemblies, constitutions, and declarations of rights.

I. Periods of European Overseas Empires
Watch the Video “The Origins of Modern Imperialism and Colonialism” on

II. Mercantile Empires

  1. Mercantilist Goals

Read the Document “Jean Baptiste Colbert, ‘Mercantilism: Dissertation on Alliances’ ” on

  1. French-British Rivalry

III. The Spanish Colonial System

View the Map “European Global Empires, 1600–1800” on

  1. Colonial Government

  2. Trade Regulation

  3. Colonial Reform Under the Spanish Bourbon Monarchs

IV. Black African Slavery, the Plantation System, and the Atlantic Economy

A. The African Presence in the Americas
Watch the Video “Author Video Podcast: From Triangular Trade to an Atlantic System: Rethinking the Links That Created the Atlantic World” on

View the Image “Sugar Plantation, Brazil” on

B. Slavery and the Transatlantic Economy
View the Map “Map Discovery: Atlantic Slave Trade, ca. 1600–1650” on
C. The Experience of Slavery
Read the Document “ ‘A Defense of the Slave Trade,’ July 1740” on
V. Mid-Eighteenth-Century Wars

A. The War of Jenkins’s Ear

B. The War of the Austrian Succession (1740–1748)

C. The “Diplomatic Revolution” of 1756

D. The Seven Years’ War (1756–1763)
View the Map “Map Discovery: The Seven Years War” on

View the Map “Map Discovery: British Possessions in North America and the Caribbean After the Treaty of Paris” on

VI. The American Revolution and Europe

A. Resistance to the Imperial Search for Revenue

View the Image “1765 Stamp Act Protest” on
B. The Crisis and Independence
View the Image “Boston Harbor” on
C. American Political Ideas
Read the Document “The Declaration of Independence (1776)” on
D. Events in Great Britain

E. Broader Impact of the American Revolution

Watch the Video “Revolutions in the Atlantic World” on
VII. In Perspective
Directory: cms -> lib -> AK01000953 -> Centricity -> Domain -> 2711 -> AP%20European%20Period%201
AP%20European%20Period%201 -> Chapter 10 – the french revolution
AP%20European%20Period%201 -> Chapter 17 – the age western imperialism
AP%20European%20Period%201 -> Chapter 4 – the age of religious wars
AP%20European%20Period%201 -> Name Date Period The Conservative Order and the Challenges of Reform (1815–1832)
AP%20European%20Period%201 -> Ap european History Chapter 13 Outline
AP%20European%20Period%201 -> Name Date Period Economic Advance and Social Unrest (1830–1850)
AP%20European%20Period%201 -> Chapter 2 – renaissance and discovery
AP%20European%20Period%201 -> Name Date Period The Age of Religious Wars multiple choice
AP%20European%20Period%201 -> Chapter 13 – economic advance and social unrest (1830–1850)
AP%20European%20Period%201 -> Ap european History Chapter 14 Outline

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