Encounters of the Atlantic System

Essay by jezzibell917University, Bachelor's April 2004

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The Atlantic System started when Europeans began exploring new lands. Voyages and discoveries began to change the flow of the world, and the people of four continents became integrated. This European expansion seemed to have produced strong mental and emotional effects on the Africans and Native Americans. It must have been difficult to suddenly conform to other ways of living. The Native Americans were segregated for more than a thousand years, so it was probably the most difficult for them to conform. The Europeans and Africans brought diseases like smallpox that killed millions of Native Americans. It is a tragedy that such peaceful people as the Native Americans had to die in such a great number because of new explorations. It is cruel that some Indian populations were entirely replaced by Africans or European animals, which may be perceived as meaning Indians were less important. The Europeans began using Africans as slaves for lowland plantations.

Europeans never used their own race as slaves, probably because they wanted their race to be in control. The European expansion brought a significant change to the world by bringing different people into contact with one another. The discoveries and encounters of new places and people brought both positive and negative effects in the future.

Several encounters were documented among the Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans. For example, Bernal Diaz described how soldiers wanted to conquer their own land and produce independent Indian populations. The soldiers settled at Veracruz and were avoided by the people of other cities who thought they were more intelligent. It seems that every race believes they are better than the rest. However, the meeting of Hernan Cortes and Montezuma was an unprejudiced one. Cortes wanted to embrace Montezuma when he heard that he would be approaching. Cortes offered him his...