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What were the long-term political effects of the Protestant Reformation?

The onset of the protestant reformation brought with it significant changes into the political arena. Previously, the Roman Catholic Church was predominantly the main player in the religious domain as seen in different geographical settings and locations worldwide. The events leading to the reformation essentially took place in different religious settings and this led to a renewed impact on other society fundamentals, which significantly include the political domain. The role played previously played by governing authorities of different nations was elementally a great one. Through protestant reformation leaders and masses were elementally convinced to have a direct relationship with the Deity. This therefore implied that people could easily skip decisions made on the political frontier since majority of the converts were ready to embrace the new approach to life. This is because in the previous religious setting which was essentially the Roman Catholic people were restricted to operate within the Church authority’s jurisdictions.

In the Catholic setting the collection of taxes was done by the civil authorities who in turn paid it back to the pope. This shows why there was a direct attachment of political authorities to the church since its authority transgressed the political authority ideally. Political decisions had an easy way of becoming implemented since the church could easily convince religious fanatics to adopt the new decisions. The Protestant reformulation gave people the authority to question the decisions and subjectively analyze then using realistic measures. The political environment is hence set for a major challenge especially in terms of governance and exercising uncontrolled on the masses. This is also aided by the fact that the current younger generation have adopted the protestant belief system which gives them significant authority and direct involvement in decision making mechanisms. The future political nature will hence be one of proactive involvement of the masses during formulation of strategies and their subsequent implementation in the national political framework.


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• In what ways did the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment challenge the intellectual and political status quo in early modern Europe?

Scientific revolution was a major event in the history of Europe as it led to the significant enlightening of the population of the early modern Europe. This in accompaniment of the enlightenment had profound influence on the intellectual and political mechanisms applied by the then reigning leaders in different geographical entities of the European continent. For instance, there was significant progression in the domain of gender definition with regard to the significant involvement in developmental processes both in science and society fundamentals. In addition, in mid Europe there was an increasing concern regarding the applicability of the scientific theories. According to Burns (2001), “the period saw he rise of the ideal of applied science, but also the belief that technology offers a valuable approach for scientists” (p.300).  The production of the printing machine and enhancement of printing as an industry during scientific revolution was seen as a mode of spreading knowledge and propaganda to the population of early modern Europe.

Since the political elite relied upon the native system beliefs and social fundamentals to rule the society, this made it had for their rule since people adopted a renewed approach towards the emancipation of innovation. According to Burns (2001), “the manufacture of scientific instruments became a commercial business large enough to support whole communities, producing enterprises such a families of Italian telescope makers…” (p.300). This therefore implied that through scientific revolution people and  especially individuals could surpass the established political dynasties by accumulating wealth, employing masses and in turn making the population become loyal towards them. For instance, considering the fundamental contribution by French philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes between 1596 t0 1650 with regard to the contribution of celestial bodies towards motion by charactering them at one point as ‘micro machines’ (Shapin, 1998). Descartes’ his ideals were well received by the population but most French political dynasties  sought to oppose then as they saw that the population were gradually becoming informed of the society’s fundamentals.

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• Describe capitalism and mercantilism and explain their roles in the development of the Atlantic system.

Capitalism and Mercantilism were European innovations that significantly enabled private investors to spur the growth of the vast Atlantic system (Bulliet et al, 2008). Capitalism is an economic system that essential contributes to the advancement of privately owned production enterprises and the accompanying operations of distribution, sales, price, supply and demand fundamentals pursue individual decision making frameworks as opposed to state control, and all these potential take place in a free market. In this system profit accruing from the aforementioned business pursuits are essentially distributed to the enterprise owners after which workers are paid an agreed upon percentage of the whole. According to Bulliet et al (2008) capitalism sought to involve large financial institutions such as stock exchanges, banks, and chartered trading companies in order to enable wealthy investors reduce risks significantly while increasing profits (Bulliet et al, 2008).

Mercantilism is a system which sought to promote competition among different European citizens coming from different European nations while discouraging competition from outside areas. In the early European setting, capitalism was essentially ousted by mercantilism which sought to adopt policies that were to govern European states in promoting overseas trade activities and use the armed forces to defend its acquired territories (Bulliet et al, 2008)

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• What factors led to the development of the African slave trade?

Slave trade essentially came into place as a necessity to actualize the goals of capitalism and mercantilism as European countries sought to establish respective economic sovereignties. First, since each of the European countries sough to acquire enough labor to support their labor to support their expanding trade operations. Initially, the goal was to explore new territories when the Europeans could acquire sufficient raw materials for the expanding industries. In the process of exploring raw materials it later emerged that the Africans could indeed be used in implementing labor functions in the new territories of the European empire especially in the American land. In addition the development of slave trade in the African setting was partly sparked by the onset of barter trade system in which pseudo-American Europeans would bring certain commodities to the then established dynasties of the African society. In this way they were able to sufficiently influence the transfer of millions of men across the Atlantic into American soil. According to Deyle (2005), “The domestic trade trade was also part of a larger economic transformation, commonly referred to as the market revolution, taking place in America in the first half of the nineteenth century” (p.41)

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• What effects did slavery have on economic life in Africa?

The onset of slave trade in Africa had significant effects on the African economic life style due to the loss in man power potential. The criteria that was being elementally used to acquire slaves was through the choice of strong and heavily built men and women. These were to serve in the industries, for instance, cotton industry in America. The practice had far reaching consequences as many Africans sought to maintain traditional economic systems in which farming was the main activity. Now with the influx of slave trade there was increasingly less input in these domain activities leading to the African counties lagging behind in economic progression. In addition, slavery led to development and enhancement of the barter trade system in which physical commodities were exchanged for other physical commodities and as a result a new trend of commerce began to develop as monetary value began achieving potential with time.

• What were the demographic effects of the Columbian exchange?

According to Perrings et al (2010), “The Columbian exchange-the transmission of species across the Atlantic first through Spanish conquistadores and later through the slave trade in the sixteenth centuries-certainly had profound demographic effects” (p.1). The events lead to great destruction of the established ecological setting of the human society as diversity became the norm. For instance, many of the already established political and social systems were greatly destroyed leading to a massive collapse of populations (Perrings et al, 2010).

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The events of the Columbian exchange led to a significant change in the manner in which previous interactions occur as the previous diversity was displaced and replaced with a new structure. According to Perrings et al (2010), “The introduction of many European plants and animals, along with their pathogens, frequently transformed native America landscapes and displaced native American species, fundamentally changing both character of the physical environment and the ways in which people interacted with it” (p.2). These aspect also significantly applied to the human population as their was numerous instances of intermarriage leading to the development of an exotic character in the indigenous population. These structural changes led to the appearance of new traits in the previous indigenous population, which consequently led to the development of a new definition in terms of population dynamics.  In addition Columbian exchange triggered population explosion among some places while it led to implosions in other settings, for instance, it led to a massive explosion of the Amerindian population in a significant manner.

• Compare and explain the reasons for differences or similarities between the European colonies of North and South America.


The North American colonies were previously inhabited to a great extent by the Native Americans before the onset of Europeans.  The native North American population initially consisted of the red Indians as a predominant tribe among other small ones like the Alaskan minorities. The Native Americans primarily practiced their own indigenous religion and there were no aspects of Christianity reflected in their culture. The practice of religion in these regions was primarily traditional based since it pursued the traditional cultural elements and practices.

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The South America population dynamics elementally were made up more of Spanish decent compared to the North American population. The South had a predominant Spanish decent population due to the close relation with European based Spanish. The practice of religion in the South was predominantly influenced by Christianity as they were more receptive to it in very significant ways. Since, European explorers primarily sought to promote the establishment of Christianity as a prime religion among the population this implied that the Spanish influence from European lands carried with it significant religion influence in the form of Christianity.


The colonies had to acquire raw material from outside sources in order to begin implementing the economic strategies fronted by the respective colonial masters. The colonies of north and South America derived labor to support their growth and expansion by prospecting for source of raw materials to support their activities primarily from across the Atlantic.  In addition, the practice of slave trade was very predominant in both settings of North and South America as both sought to spur territorial and economic growth using slaves as a primary means of providing labor.

• State and justify your position on the role of the Catholic Church in regard to relations with the Amerindian people in either the Spanish or the French American colonies.

The Catholic Church had a significant role in the development of significant relations among the Amerindian people especially through application of their respective religious influences coming from the Spanish colonies. According to Jestice (2004), “upon the arrival of the Europeans, Amerindians encountered serious threats to their lifestyles, their health, and their belief structures. Since one of the principal foci for the Spanish crown was the conversion of new Christians, the ‘Catholic Kings’, Ferdinand and Isabella, immediately sent an army of missionary to their new colonies” (p.45).

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The Catholic Church further explored the Amerindian culture by incorporating it into the church elements. For instance, this was very evident in the used of songs to promote the spread of religious sentiments expressed in their respective cultures. In fact, the colonial crucifixes used specifically elaborated by native contained an image of Quetzalcoatl who was elementally a major Spanish figure due his connection with Christ (Jestice, 2004).

• Why did the Industrial Revolution begin in Britain rather than in continental Europe or the United States?

According to Potter et al (2003), “The political, social, and ideological climate in Great Britain at this time was ideal for change…had a profound effect on economics promoting a hands-off approach to private enterprise with little political regulation or interference” (p.73). There were also significant approaches put in place to enable the achievement of a system where intellectual property rights could be protected in order to sufficiently protect most of the ingenious innovations found in the industry. For instance, there were stringent measures implemented in the form of patents in order to secure the property rights of most investors coming into Great Britain. Moreover, the presence of a stable rule by the established monarchy system meant that there was minimal political interference coming from outside quarters. There were also rules in place prescribing the manner in which business initiatives were to be sufficiently accomplished. For instance, “well defined rules and regulations discouraged nobility from arbitrarily imposing taxes or taking control of private earning” (Potter, 2003). These aspects therefore enabled people to take more risky business and industrial initiatives by investing their finances in the development of new innovations.

• What exactly is meant by the Industrial Revolution? What were the economic changes that revolutionized manufacturing in the eighteenth century and led to the factory system?

Industrial revolution refers to the period during which there was a rapid onset of innovation of machinery based in an industrial establishment. This was a period during which there was a move towards the innovation of systems that would enable humans to progressively implement mass production initiatives and other critical manufacturing entities. According to Potter (2003), “through new manufacturing processes and new technology, machines began to replace manual labor on a large scale. Products that had once been made within the home or by skilled artisans in small shops were now being produced by machines in large factories” (p.73). The economic changes that led to the revolution of the manufacturing system in the eighteenth century were fundamentally led by the onset of renewed concepts towards mass production, which consequently led to the adoption of production systems through analysis of supply, demand, and distribution mechanisms. In an economic sense, these aspects influenced production potential due to the significantly low amount of costs implored in a factory setting as opposed to ordinary human oriented production environment. This suggests that cost implications were major determinant due to the relative introduction of the concept of economies of scale.

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• How did the technological innovations of the Industrial Revolution change societies in the industrialized countries?

Technological innovations resulting from industrial revolution elementally changed the interaction of the existing societies on a social, economic and cultural perspective, which was very evident in the industrialized countries setting. In the pre-industrial setting populations lived in rural settings, and there was a major population gap between rich and poor families while most economic systems were primarily agriculture based. However, the onset of the industrial revolution led to the centralization of populations as people sough to move towards modern aspects presented by technological innovations.

The application of technology especially for predominantly agriculture dependent families implied the loss of the activity as an economic venture since small poor families could not match up to the mass production potential availed by this period. Moreover the application technology led to a significant progression of an information oriented society leading to an increasing need to enhance the availability of information on these systems through setting up of education strategies for the population. As a result, the onset of technological innovations led to more and more people developing interest in the aspects consequently leading to the development of modern civilization concepts. This meant that the previously predominant traditional approaches were left behind resulting in a significant change in the culture of people.



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