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Question#1: American history
Thediscovery and conquest of Americas by Europeans had several globalconsequences. Firstly, it ushered in the age of imperialism. Beforethe discovery and conquest of the Americas, European powers onlycontrolled part of the entire world. However, the conquest allowedthem to dominate the planet. Additionally, it led to increased tradewith the introduction of products like horses, sheep, cattle andslaves in the Americas. On the other hand, Europeans importedpotatoes, maize, and tobacco from the new world. Secondly, theconquest significantly impacted growth in Asia. Europeans introducedfoods like potatoes and maize in Asia which became the staple foodsfor the lower members of the society. As a result, the populations ofnations like China and Japan grew and expanded significantly. Theother global change of the conquest was on the aboriginal of theAmericas (Juif and Joerg, pp 235-236). Most of the native occupiersof the continent resisted the Europeans and this resulted inconflicts that left most of them displaced especially those thatoccupied present day Argentina. Additionally, those that welcomedEuropeans had their cultures eroded and foreign practices imposed onthem. There was also the introduction of diseases that were native toEurope which wiped out 50-90% of some indigenous communities.
Ican describe this moment of global contact as both a positive andnegative phenomenon. The positive is present in the form of exchangesthat benefited the world. Europeans came to the Americas and tookwith them foods that could be supported by the weather in the Asiancontinent. These expanded the food options of this region from wheatand millet to include products like maize and potatoes allowing thesesocieties to thrive. There was also technological exchange thatallowed communities in both the old and new world to flourish. On thenegative, the contact disadvantaged some societies especially theaboriginals of the Americas. As a result, their cultural identitieswere stripped away and members forced to subscribe to foreignideologies. Additionally, there was the introduction of new tradesthat saw communities turn on each other in a quest to supplyEuropeans with slaves. Additionally, the importation of diseases alsoled to the extinction of dominant communities in the region withcasualties being as high as 90%. Though the contact between the twoworlds was a significant milestone for the human race, the costs wereequally devastating.
Question#2: World history
Intolerancerefers to the act of disregarding those who do not share beliefs ofthe surrounding community. It can be traced back as far as the daysof early civilization where the Roman Republic referred to all thosethat did not subscribe to their beliefs as barbarians. However,intolerance achieved a whole new meaning with the establishment ofmodern religions where notable figures disregarded anyone who opposedor questioned their faith. Religious intolerance impacted societiesin the following way. Firstly, it led to the banishing of individualsand families from their social circuit with Martin Luther expulsionfrom his community being a good example. Secondly, intolerance alsoresulted in persecution like it was in the case in Japan with thekilling of Christians in the early 17thcentury (De Kadt, p 65). These persecutions were meant to deterwould-be followers to desist from such plans as they would seal theirfate were they to engage in similar actions. Lastly, religiousintolerance led to the forceful displacement of people. According toWright (p114), the Jews have been on the receiving end of this policywith most of them forced to leave Portugal and Spain or facepersecution in the period leading up to the 1500s.
Ithink that minorities were the people affected most by religiousintolerance. Holding conflicting views to those established by thechurch lead to people like Martin Luther and other like-minded peopleto lose their status in society. Their unpopular opinions made them atarget for the greater community. The Christians in Japan weresubjected to death because their religious belief challenges thestatus quo that had existed for decades in the region. Though theywere a minority, they were still considered a threat and thus neededto be done away with by the leaders. Also, the Jews had been theeconomic backbone of southern Europe in the early modern world.However, their economic capabilities were ignored because theirbeliefs were different from those established in the region. in allthese instances, the victims were minorities. Though religion is aunifying factor, the intolerance campaign practiced by believers ledto the consistent alienation of the rights of minorities especiallyduring the 1500-1700s era.
DeKadt, Emanuel. Assertive Religion: Religious Intolerance in aMulticultural World. Transaction Publishers, 2013.
Juif,Dácil-Tania, and Joerg Baten. "On the human capital of IncaIndios before and after the Spanish Conquest. Was there a“Pre-Colonial Legacy”?." Explorations in Economic History50.2 (2013): 227-241.
Wright,Elizabeth R. The Epic of Juan Latino: Dilemmas of Race and Religionin Renaissance Spain. Vol. 22. University of Toronto Press, 2016.