Capitalism, Mercantilism and Global Trade

The Commercial Revolution
• New wealth from the
Americas combined with
a dramatic growth in
overseas trade created
the Commercial
Revolution. The
transfer of foods, plants,
and animals during the
colonization of the
Americas was known as
the Columbian
• Due to overseas
colonization and
trade, numerous
merchants had
obtained great
wealth. Wealth
wasn’t just limited
to governments.
• During this time, a
the nations of Europe
adopted a new
economic policy—
mercantilism. This
was the idea that a
country’s power
depended mainly on
its wealth.
Capitalism, Mercantilism
and Global Trade
• Triangular Trade-- the
transatlantic trade
network along which
slaves and other goods
were carried between
Africa, England,
Europe, the West
Indies, and the
colonies in North
The Middle Passage
• Olaudah Equiano
(1745?-1797) grew up in
the West African
kingdom of Benin.
Kidnapped by African
slave traders, he was
transported to Barbados
in 1756, then to colonial
Virginia. He recalls the
horrors of his voyage in
an autobiography.