4.1: Going Global
The interconnection of the Eastern and Western Hemispheres made possible by transoceanic voyaging marked a key transformation of this period. Technological innovations helped make transoceanic connections possible. Changing patterns of long-distance trade included the global circulation of some commodities and the formation of new regional markets and financial centers. Increased interregional and global trade networks facilitated the spread of religion and other elements of culture as well as the migration of large numbers of people. Germs carried to the Americas ravaged the indigenous peoples, while the global exchange of crops and animals altered agriculture, diets, and populations around the planet.