In this essay you'll find information on the Reconquista, trade routes, the Old World's discovery of the New World, Native societies, the Columbian Exchange and the rise of the slave trade.
At the end of the first millennium, most people in the Eastern Hemisphere had a firm sense of how the world was arranged, who occupied it, and how they had come to be where they were. Various sacred texts as well as long-standing folk beliefs suggested a virtually eternal order of things, instilling a sort of reassuring confidence in a stable and entirely predictable existence. However, forces were emerging that would open up new possibilities and engender a new restlessness that would shatter provincial confidence and stability as a new more cosmopolitan world emerged. A new era of American history was about to spring from the most unexpected of places.More »