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Student Question

Secondary II • 2yr.


I have an exam this week on the great explorations, 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, which means 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 merchants will sell products manufactured in Africa at a profit. They will then buy African slaves there which they will resell in America where there is a crying need for cheap labor. They then buy natural resources or raw materials there and send them 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 are obliged to provide the metropolis with resources and raw materials and do not have the right to sell manufactured products or compete with the metropolis. In addition, the colonies are forced to buy products from the metropolis. All these conditions ensure that the European metropolis will enrich itself at the expense of the colonies.
    • In addition, the slave trade has serious human consequences since the living conditions of slaves are inhuman (extreme violence that can lead to death).
    • Finally, colonial trade will create conflicts and wars between European metropolises who compete 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.

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

    Good success for your exam! :)

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