The Role of Chemistry in History

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May 6th, 2008 · No Comments ·

Introduction | Keratin | Why Wool? | A Sheep Market | Wool War I |References


Keratin and the Role of Wool in Medieval Europe


When one thinks of triangular trade, the concept that comes most readily to mind is the African slave trade. The African slave trade consisted of trade between manufacturing countries of Northern Europe, the slave traders of the West African coast and the European colonies in the Americas. This triangular system of trade began in Europe where manufactured goods were produced for sale in West Africa. Slaves were then transported from Africa to the colonies in America, where they labored on plantations, producing raw materials needed for manufacturing products. These raw materials were then sent to Europe as the last leg of the journey. This triangular trade, however, was not the first that stimulated the English economies of Northern Europe. Centuries earlier a triangular trade involving English wool drove the English economy and led her to war. Set up by the Norman invasion of England in 1066, the wool trade drove the economies of England, France and parts of the Low Countries, developing a symbiotic relationship between the economies of the three regions. When France attempted to interfere with the balance of power, England responded with the declaration of war that would last 116 years, the conflict known as the Hundred Years War.


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