Global Trade And Addiction During The Age Of Exploration

681 words - 3 pages

Maritime advances of the 1500s made Western Europe’s ambitions for global trade feasible and thus gave birth to Europe’s Age of Exploration. Through the combined use of caravels, compasses, and astrolabes, Europeans stumbled upon commodities in foreign lands known as “drug foods”. Consequently, this introduction would have a lasting impact on the Europeans, they became drug addicts. Furthermore, this addiction, the demand for these drugs, became permanently embedded into European culture. To please an everlasting demand, Europeans had to decide on how to frugally acquire these commodities. The decision taken was one of regarding profit over ethics. Moreover, this decision not only impacted the culture and economy of the exploiters, European countries, but also, reciprocally, that of the exploited. China and Haiti were two countries that were exploited by Europe’s immoral decision on capitalism.
China, due to its unique environment and legal codes, was the only country that held a monopoly on its “drug food,” tea. As the English sipped on something new for a change they became enlightened since tea actually had benefits unlike their once preferred drink, alcohol. Tea stimulated people to work longer hours, instead of being tired and thus going home early. They also began to gather at coffeehouses that had become the epicenter of the English people’s day to day interactions, whether to discuss business or politics. The daily consumption of tea became
mundane for the English and thus it became embedded in their culture; even presently the English are synonymous with tea. This surge in demand mixed with England’s sense of superiority pushed the English to break down China’s monopoly on tea. For the English, their stronghold on Indian opium would now finally come in handy. Instead of losing money to the Chinese, now the English had an equal offer of trade in return for tea- opium. England’s unethical decision, fueled by greed, not only exploited but also crippled China’s society and culture. The Chinese became addicted to opium, and thus, instead of working and living as righteous citizens, they spent all of their money and time to feed their addiction for opium. While...

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