The evolution of transatlantic exchanges

Argumentative essay should assess the evolution of at least three transatlantic exchanges

Transatlantic exchanges impacted North America in a variety of ways that shaped political, social, economic, religious, and agricultural life in the region in subsequent years. The major changes that were involved in the transatlantic trade included slaves, political ideas, farming ideas, manufactured goods, and religious ideologies[1]. European colonization brought positive influence in American which included developed in areas of agriculture, governance, religion, and technology during colonial period.

The exchange of political ideas brought about by colonialism was influential in developing political systems that impacted how America progressed in seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The governance of America changed for better, creating a strong system of government that was determined to bring more progress to America. However, the political system had its own flaws that it brought to the region. The colonial government was controlled from Britain and ruled with brutality that fermented war of independence[2]. The American war of independence is one of the negative effects of transatlantic exchanges because it introduced colonial politics to the region, which led to violence in the region[3]. The war broke out when the settlers sought independence from the British colonial regime.

The struggle for expansion of liberties for Americans had its roots in the legacies of colonialism and slavery in America. The struggle begun during the colonial era, underscoring the negative effects of colonial politics in America. Political ideas that were introduced to the region by colonial regime had positive and negative effects to enjoyment of human rights. Colonial government limited the rights and freedoms of the people, particularly with regards to political and economic choices. The colonial regime was brutal, killing and maiming those who showed sign of dissenting[4]. The arrival of settlers created unprecedented violence against indigenous groups. Most of their members were killed and land alienated to create space for settler’ farming. As a consequence, the political ideas that settlers brought to America led to horrible suffering to the native communities to the benefit of the White majority, a factor that influenced the establishment of plantations and ranches in 17th and 18th centuries.  

  Moreover, the transatlantic exchanges brought slaves to North America, creating more trouble in the region as the African-Americans fought for their rights against the brutality of the White majority. The determination of the latter to keep the former under subjugation brought about a lot of suffering in America in 17th and 18th centuries[5]. The system of slavery dehumanized people of African descent while advancing the economic interests of America. Slavery was also supported by the political ideas of the time, which sought to promote economic production of America to meet export and local demand. Oppressive laws were enacted by the colonial and independent governments to perpetuate slavery and later discrimination against African-Americans[6]. Slavery per se was a vice, a crime against humanity, which underscore the negative effects of this exchange to America. 

Plantation farming is another important exchange of transatlantic exchanges that left a remarkable effect in America. In the 17th and 18th centuries, American economy was largely agricultural, courtesy of crops and animals that were brought to the region from Europe. The arrival of the European settlers modernized farming in the region as more land was put under agriculture. However, because European settlers would not provide enough labour, slaves were brought from Africa. The interaction between slavery and agriculture impacted politics and economics of the day. While on one side slaves contributed immensely to the development of the American economy, on the other hand, slaves became a source of trouble in America as they fought to liberate themselves from the bondage of slavery[7].

The religious exchanges also brought to America new religious beliefs and practices that influenced how people worshiped in America. The settlers came with their religion, which they perpetuated across America as they stamped their authority in the region[8]. In the 18th century, conflict arose between the church and the government as various religious groups sought to be recognized and supported by the state. The tiff between the government and religion resulted in the separation of state and religion. At the same time, religious freedom was guaranteed to all faiths, allowing each to worship a religion of their choice and those who do not belong to any faith to lead a free life.

In conclusion, transatlantic exchanges brought slaves, political ideas, modern agriculture, and western religion to America, impacting colonial America during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The exchanges brought about positive and negative effects on America. Political ideas brought in organized administration that promoted security and economic activities. The shipment of slaves into the colony supported farming and other economic activities, but brought a lot of suffering to the enslaved, creating a lasting legacy of racism in America. Religious ideas brought by the Europeans to the region resulted in forcing indigenous groups to embrace foreign religious practices.  


Andrews, Charles M. The Colonial Background Of The American Revolution. New Haven: Yale Univ. Pr., 1978.

Ffrench, Yvonne. Transatlantic Exchanges. New York: Library Publishers, 1952.

Kakel, Carroll P. “Ethnic Cleansing And The Indian: The Crime That Should Haunt America; Native America And The Question Of Genocide”. Settler Colonial Studies 6, no. 1 (2015): 99-105.

Paine, Thomas, and Guillaume Thomas Raynal. 1782. A Letter Addressed To The Abbe Raynal On The Affairs Of North-America. Philadelphia, printed: Reprinted for C. Dilly.

Sellers, Jason. “Cultures And Identities In Colonial British America (Review)”. Journal Of Colonialism And Colonial History 8, no. 3 (2007). doi:10.1353/cch.2008.0004.

[1] Yvonne Ffrench, Transatlantic Exchanges New York: Library Publishers, 1952.

[2] Charles M Andrews, The Colonial Background Of The American Revolution New Haven: Yale Univ. Pr., 1978.

[3] Carroll P. Kakel, “Ethnic Cleansing And The Indian: The Crime That Should Haunt America; Native America And The Question Of Genocide”, Settler Colonial Studies 6, no. 1 (2015): 99-105.

[4] Thomas Paine and Guillaume Thomas Raynal, A Letter Addressed To The Abbe Raynal On The Affairs Of North-America Philadelphia, printed: Reprinted for C. Dilly …, 1782.

[5] Yvonne Ffrench, Transatlantic Exchanges New York: Library Publishers, 1952.

[6] Estep and Bill Moyers. 1990.

[7] Yvonne Ffrench, Transatlantic Exchanges New York: Library Publishers, 1952.

[8] Jason Sellers, “Cultures And Identities In Colonial British America (Review)”, Journal Of Colonialism And Colonial History 8, no. 3 (2007).

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