Modules for History Lessons
Edited By Uta Fenske, Daniel Groth, Klaus-Michael Guse and Bärbel P. Kuhn
Potatoes, Coffee and Sugar – The Foreign from “Overseas” Changes Europe.
Potatoes, Coffee and Sugar – The Foreign from “Overseas” Changes Europe
Introduction to the Modules
The European expansion changed the world. It was a two-way process, with a dynamic movement directed from Europe outwards, as well as a second flow streaming inwards. The emanating dimension of effect was inseparable from the one which was aimed at Europe and made it an object of influences from the overseas world. These repercussions significantly contributed to giving Europe the shape it has today. They initiated a process that gradually transformed the continent. Influences from overseas became more and more strongly and inseparably fixed in European ways of life. What formerly used to be strange and exotic successively developed into elements of everyday culture and, not seldom, even into significant characteristics of local, regional and national identity.
In the following, this change is traced and illustrated by a schema comprising eight stages. These did not always continually follow one another but sometimes took place parallel. The schema is divided into three categories: material, animate and immaterial. The category “material” includes wares which can be subsumed under the term “colonial goods” and further divided – even if not clearly distinctively – into foodstuffs, spices, hot and stimulating beverages as well as tobacco; into plant, animal and mineral resources like medicinal substances, fibres, paints, varnishes, resins, woods, ivory and ores; and finally also into finished products such as luxury goods, artefacts or exotic items. These are what the following...
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