The Transatlantic World

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The Age of Exploration and Discovery began in the 15th century and continued to the 17th century. It was the time when Europeans discovered the five unknown continents: Africa, both Americas, Asia and Oceania. Discoveries of those continents were often accompanied by implanting culture and values of the European world. However, new and diverse cultures and customs of aboriginals left their trace in the outlook of Europeans as well.

As compared to Europe, the undiscovered world was less developed, though it had dominance in some spheres. Perhaps the most radical changes happened in North and South America, mainly because they were settled with colonists from Europe. As a result, it was possible to spread new culture among aboriginals more quickly and effectively. Their low cultural level allowed imposing new values and leaning them to the position of conquerors. Unlike in Asia, where cultural roots and resistance to European values was stronger because of more or less strong central power, Americas soon lost traces of their culture because the fact that they were not united. From the one hand it fostered the development in Americas, from the other the uniqueness was lost. It may be explained by the fact that American tribes were multireligious while in Asia there was one religion on a relatively big area. It resulted in the fact that Americas started leading European lifestyle while Asia continued its own, taking only some parts from European culture.

Regarding the level of development it must be admitted that Africa was in the most difficult situation. It had neither environmental conditions for intensive farming, nor well developed trade routes because of many deserts. Europe was interested in Africa only as a colony and low paid workforce. Better situation was in Americas. Despite the fact that trade was not much developed it could be compensated by perfect natural conditions to develop intensive farming. Asia was in most comfortable situation. As a result of ancient trade ways to Europe it allowed the continent to constantly exchange different developments in all spheres. Furthermore, Asia’s wide geographic location and long coastlines allowed people to move from parts with severe weather conditions to the ones more suitable for farming.

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