The Commercial Revolution comprising of two hundred years of extensive changes in commerce and trade was fueled by mercantilism, which produced a global economy. This globalization can be seen as the worldwide lowering of geographic and economic barriers due to new technologies, trade policies, and occasionally military aggression. Mercantilism encouraged the establishment of overseas colonies as a means of increasing national wealth by any means possible. During this time there was the change from an agricultural way of life to a manufacturing economy, and the exporting of manufactured goods and the importing of raw materials and precious metals that cost thousands upon thousands of human lives. This will be shown to be true during this exploration of the extreme methods used by various countries to establish themselves as the wealthiest and most powerful nation on Earth. .
Slavery is a prime example of the expensive cost of globalization through mercantilism. In 1490 during the exploration phase of the Spanish colonization efforts, Christopher Columbus stated "The gold, the glory and last but not least, God!" This clearly illustrates the Spanish values of wealth and power. Nowhere in that statement is there placed any value on human life. Their pursuit of gold and silver led them to colonize Central and South America as well as the west and east coasts of North America using slaves from Africa as laborers. Many lives were lost as the slaves were packed standing room only into the below decks of ships for the journey to the Americas. The products of their labor, generally sugar, tobacco, and cotton, were shipped home where they were traded for manufactured goods, such as guns and cloth. These were then taken to Africa where they were traded for additional slaves. This triangular trade produced much wealth for the Spanish as well as the English, Dutch, French and Portuguese.
The arrival of Europeans on the American soil brought diseases never before encountered by the native people.