Early modern globalization is distinguished from modern globalization on the basis of expansionism , the method of managing global trade, and the level of information exchange. The period is marked by such trade arrangements as the East India Company , the shift of hegemony to Western Europe, the rise of larger-scale conflicts between powerful nations such as the Thirty Years' War , and the rise of newfound commodities—most particularly slave trade . The Triangular Trade made it possible for Europe to take advantage of resources within the Western Hemisphere . The transfer of animal stocks, plant crops, and epidemic diseases associated with Alfred W. Crosby 's concept of the Columbian Exchange also played a central role in this process. European, Muslim , Indian, Southeast Asian , and Chinese merchants were all involved in early modern trade and communications, particularly in the Indian Ocean region.