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Change in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

The empires became a very important agent of change in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries for a lot of reasons: empires stimulated large scale human migration, technologies, religions, political ideas, artistic tastes became interchangeable across vast distances, imperialism helped to introduce a new era in evolution and as empires crossed oceans, life-forms swapped. In the beginning, the Portuguese pioneered in navigation by dominating Asia for nearly a century.

However, around 1620s, Asian hosts lost patience with the presence of sovereign ports and offshore trading establishments, where Portuguese religious intolerance damaged trade by discriminating Muslims and Hindu merchants. Asians then grew in power and asserted to eliminate Portuguese outposts. Expulsions after expulsions happened to the Portuguese — from Persian Gulf, Hooghly, Ethopia and from Japan.

Along with these incidents, Portugal became involved in a long and destructive war against Spain that deflected Portuguese resources from the east. Atlantic priorities took over, as Portugal’s Brazilian sugar plantations became increasingly profitable and the transatlantic slave trade boomed. In addition, far more European buyers and shippers are now operating in maritime Asia, especially the Dutch. After some period, land empires became popular.

However, if you compare the two kind of empires, maritime empires were more trade/economical oriented compared to land empires that are more on land/territorial expansion. When talking about land empires, the Mughal and Ottoman Empires are pioneer. War and conquest were the key points that established both. However, these empires don’t have concrete economic principles in running their territories, so war and acquiring more lands are the solution to live up with the need to maintain power.

It should be noted that through war and conquest, they acquired slaves, land/territories and gold that helped them sustain their endeavors. On the other hand, the Native Americans were the front-liners of the Spanish during the conquest of the Aztec and Inca Empires. The Native Americans were basically the force that gave power to the Spanish over the Aztec and Inca Empires. Unfortunate for the Native Americans, the Aztecs and Incas regarded the Spaniards as messengers of gods so the supremacy was all for the Spanish.

Due to the boom of empires, conquest and colonization, the global balance of trade began to shift during the 17th century because of the new discoveries of land and waterways that became the new routes of commerce. Because of the varying cultures and environment of the newly discovered territories, new set of commodities is in demand, thus, making a big impact in the balance of trade. Wrapping everything up, the empires made the world move during the 16th and 17th century. Changes were basically carried on up to our present customs.

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