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Unit 2: How Trade and Travel Changed the World

Lesson I: Old and New World Exchanges

Review and Assessment


European exploration of the Atlantic Ocean was driven by a variety of internal and external factors. The resulting travel and trade between the Old World and the New World forever altered modern world history. The labor systems imposed by Europeans on the Americas meant few to no rights and harsh conditions for indigenous and enslaved people in the Americas. Efforts to resist were mostly unsuccessful but some forms of resistance resulted in cultural blending that preserved elements of native and African culture.

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Classroom Activity - Role of Travel


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Activator: The World 1300-1550

Directions: The interactive map from the opening of the lesson containing key events from 1300-1550 is linked above. In previous activities, you learned about the factors affecting the exploration and colonization of the New World. Select each continent and review the role of trade and travel in changes in the world. Discuss the questions that follow as directed by your teacher.

  • How do the events listed from the period 1300-1550 show the role of travel in exchanges between societies of the world?
  • What are the potential benefits of interaction between different people of the world?
  • What is the potential harm of interaction for different people of the world?

Download Icon Select the link to review the Discussion Scoring Tool (pdf).


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Select the link to review the pre-assessment prior to completing the lesson assessment. (Select it a second time to hide it.)


Considering the number of laborers involved, only a few people felt the benefits of the Columbian Exchange, Transatlantic slave trade, and labor systems. The costs were most severely felt by the native and enslaved African populations living in the Americas, as they bore the burden of cash crop production and oppression but never saw the benefits. Think about these examples as you complete the BCR below.

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Brief Constructed Response - Impact of Global Trade on the Americas

How did the inclusion of the Americas in global trade impact indigenous Americans and enslaved Africans?

  • Explain how Old and New World exchanges impacted labor systems in the Americas.
  • Describe how African slaves and indigenous Americans were impacted by forced labor systems in the Americas.
  • Include details and examples to support your answer.

Download Icon Download the Student Resource: Impact of Global Trade on the Americas Brief Constructed Response (BCR) (doc).

Download Icon Select the link to review the Social Studies Rubric (pdf).

Dropbox Icon Submit the completed BCR to your teacher as instructed.