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Spain’s New World Endeavors Important Economic Impact in 16th Century Europe

The European nations experienced radical economic as well as social modifications during the 11th and 14th centuries. Feudalism, a highly hierarchical and regulated form of the society where everybody has their responsibilities and place was the base for the medieval world (Drahos). The manorial system was the system where the lords possessed the lands, labored by their slaves and began to diminish during the late middle ages due to the growth of the nations. The medieval cities were influenced by the guilds that were responsible for their economic stability and eventually becoming centers for business. A large number of people moved to the city, and there, they found more opportunities, and from this, they made a living.

The shifts in demographic structures reduced the powers of the feudal masters and forced them to make various changes such as land leasing for long term benefits. Besides, the medieval farmers increased the yields of their crops, and this as well foresaw the rise in the profit margins. The increase in the yields was due to the adoption of the horse collar, the three-field system of agriculture as well as the improved iron plow. Despite the colossal yielding, an emerging cash economy came to undermine feudalism in the, but on the contrary, the cash economy rose to assist the growing population all over Europe (Varoufakis). The economic alterations accelerated the further extension of business as the introduction of capitalism led to the creation of a large number of the urban middle class to whom were committed to the expansion of the markets across Europe. The interests on the national and the international markets grew as the demand for the goods and products increased across the region.

Apart from the cash economy that contributed a significant proportion to improving the economy as well as the lives of the of the urban populations, the introduction of the uniform printed documents such as the sales receipts and licenses also played a vital role to advancing the growth of commerce in the European region (Wang). The oral agreements were replaced by the bills of exchange to which represented early forms of credit on promissory notes. It is through the extensive use of the print documents that raised the necessity for the skills on reading, writing and as well permitted the business people collate the values of the various goods that were provided by the other tradesmen. The mercantile newspaper printed also aided in the promotion of literacy among the people in the European nation. Through learning of the business laws and regulations as well as the practices of other traders, the middle class people became knowledgeable trade wise improving in the rate of activities as well as the enhancing a robust economic growth across the region. The influence over the government leaders increased because the middle class members had gained more wealth. The development of capitalism, as well as the growth of trade, led to increased voyages of business that were accompanied by extensive discovery across the globe.

The rise of mercantilism coincided with the establishment of colonies in the new world (Wesseling). A large number of the European administrators during the 16th century, as well as the 17th century, embraced mercantilism, as it was a system deemed to increase the national wealth via the use of strict regulations on the economy and a favorable balance of conducting business. To sum it all, Spain’s strength was linked in its ability for self-sufficiency as well as the accumulation of capital. And for the nation to become self-sufficient, the colonized countries were required to supply the raw materials to their colonizers and as well be specific markets for the produced goods.

Work Cited

Drahos, Peter, and John Braithwaite. Information feudalism: Who owns the knowledge economy. Routledge, 2017.

Varoufakis, Yanis. The global minotaur: America, Europe and the future of the global economy. Zed Books Ltd., 2015.

Wang, Faye Fangfei. Law of electronic commercial transactions: Contemporary issues in the EU, US and China. Routledge, 2014.

Wesseling, Hendrik Lodewijk. The European Colonial Empires: 1815-1919. Routledge, 2015.

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