What were the advantages of the global expansion by Europe between 1500 and 1900?  

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Of course, most of the advantages of the European expansion during this time period were felt by Europeans.  However, one can possibly argue that there were some benefits to non-Europeans as well.

Of course, European countries benefitted tremendously from their expansion.  They gained huge amounts of wealth by exploiting their colonial empires and by trading with countries they did not directly colonize.  For example, in countries like Peru or Mexico, all the gold and silver that was extracted over the course of roughly 300 years was sold or used for the benefit of Spain.

To argue that this expansion helped non-Europeans is harder.  One can make the case that European expansion spread European knowledge and technology to other countries faster than would have happened otherwise.  One can also argue that European forms of government are superior to the more "primitive" forms of government that existed before the Europeans came.  However, both of these arguments are somewhat shaky.  It is much easier to argue that the expansion helped Europeans than to argue that it helped the natives of other continents.

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