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Unit 2: How Trade and Travel Changed the World

Lesson H: Exploration and Contact in the Atlantic

Opening: Modern Migration

In this lesson you will learn about the origins and impacts of European expansion into the Atlantic Ocean and Americas. Various factors caused Europeans to advance into the Atlantic and enticed them to explore westward toward the Americas. The resulting travel and trade to and from the Americas led to the diffusion of ideas between different populations starting in the 1500s. This exchange continued throughout the Modern Period, resulting in the multicultural world of present day. Migrations of groups between countries and regions have created a blend of customs and traditions.

The migration of groups between countries and continents today is often caused by factors similar to those of the 1500s. People often migrate because of conditions in their home countries that make them want to leave, such as poverty and political repression. Some people migrate because of attractive conditions in another country, such as economic opportunity. Interactions between immigrants and native groups cause challenges to a society, both in the past and today. In order to more clearly understand the origins of population movements and the effects of cultural diffusion, complete the following assignment.

Directions: Examine the following newspaper headlines for examples of present day factors that led to the movement of people between regions of the world. Answer the questions that follow as directed by your teacher.

Americans Flee Midwest Flood Zones for Cities Skilled Foreigners Fill Hi-tech Jobs
Workers Flood Southern China to Fill Factory Jobs Border Cities Emerge as Cultural Melting Pots
Religious Violence Results in Mass Migration
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Written Activity - Notebook

In your notebook, respond to the following questions:

  • What factors cause the movement of people into and out of regions of the world?
  • What are the possible effects of interaction between native and foreign groups?

Now that you have learned about examples of push and pull factors that influence the movement of people, and have considered the effects of interactions, complete the next activity on the role of similar factors in European exploration into the Atlantic Ocean and Americas.