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Secondary II • 2yr.

I have an exam this week on the Age of Exploration, but I have a hard time understanding what colonial trade is. Could you explain to me what it is and give me exercises so that I can understand better please?

Thank you !


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Explanations (1)

  • Explanation from Alloprof

    Explanation from Alloprof

    This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.

    Team Alloprof • 2yr.


    Thank you for your question! :)

    Colonial trade takes place between the metropolis and its colonies, hence the term "colonial". This trade is triangular, that is to say it takes place on 3 poles between Europe, Africa and America. This type of trade always aims to enrich the (European) metropolis. Indeed, the European merchant would sell products manufactured in Africa at a profit. He would then buy African slaves there, which he would resell in America where the need for cheap labor was crying. He would then buy natural resources or raw materials in America and go back to Europe in order to transform these resources into manufactured products intended for sale in Africa, etc.

    This type of trade will have serious consequences for the colonies.

    • The colonies were obliged to provide the metropolis with resources and raw materials and didn’t have the right to sell manufactured products or compete with the metropolis. In addition, the colonies were forced to buy products from the metropolis. All these conditions ensured that the European metropolis would enrich itself at the expense of the colonies.
    • In addition, the slave trade had serious human consequences, since the living conditions of slaves were inhuman (extreme violence that could lead to death).
    • Finally, colonial trade had created conflicts and wars between European metropolises who competed for possession of the colonies in order to enrich themselves. Moreover, the discovery of the New World in the 15th century exacerbates the conflicts between the colonial empires who would like to have the maximum of this new territory.

    I hope that these explanations will help you to understand colonial trade better.

    Do not hesitate to write to us again if you have any other questions!

    Good success for your exam! :)

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