How were global labor structures changed with the "discovery" of the Americas?Stuck on a HW question...any ideas?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Most European countries developed colonies in the Americas, and gave away free land in order to get people to grow crops that were needed for the father country. Often the countries needed more land and more agricultural production, and giving away the land free ensured they'd get what thy needed.
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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Within a century, much of the Western economy was founded on slave labor, both indigenous (the often overlooked source of slave labor, especially in North America) and African. Indirectly, you might argue that the commercial revolution that accompanied the establishment of the Atlantic system had the effect of proletarianizing labor, especially on European farms, but the most direct effect was the use of enormous quantities of slave labor.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I bet your textbook says something specific about this.  All I can think of is that this "discovery" led to the widespread use of Africans as slaves.  Africans had been enslaved previously, but on a much smaller scale.  I suppose this move towards mass slavery can be seen as a change in global labor structures.

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