Indian Ocean Trade Essay

609 words - 3 pages

Between 650 C.E. and 1450 C.E., trade and interaction in the Indian Ocean was the largest in the world. Although the Indian Ocean trade network was small when it first began, the network was able to expand and led to the inclusion of Europe while the exchange of ideas, goods and religion remained constant. During this time period, the construction of large and powerful states provided security for merchants and travelers, which helped long-distance commerce. The golden ages of numerous powerful states also led to the flourishing of ideas.
At the beginning of the time period, Malay sailors learn how to use the winds from monsoons to sail to China and India. This allowed for the exchange of knowledge and allowed the various groups of people to make connections. The Malay sailors desired the cotton and sugar from India and also craved the silk from China, and spices such as cinnamon, pepper, ...view middle of the document...

During this time, the Islamic empire rises in power. China is repurified under the rule of the Tang Dynasty and eventually the Song Dynasty. Mongols took over Eurasia and declined within the span of almost 200 years. The Ming Dynasty was established after the decline of Mongol rule in China. All these changes during this time period led to the expansion of the Indian Ocean trade network.
While many changes transpired throughout the time period, many aspects of trade remained constant. For example, the goods and ideas that were exchanged along trade routes stayed the same. Goods such as spices, silk and textiles continued to be traded. Religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam spread along trade routes all through the time period. The spread of advances like gunpowder, the compass, and the printing technique from China as well as math advances from India remains constant. The exchange of ideas and goods lead to Europe gaining an interest in joining the trade. At the end of the time period, Europe was finally integrated into the trade network.
Outside the Indian Ocean region, many events occurred. The construction of large and powerful states provided security for merchants and travelers, which helped long-distance commerce. During the time of the Mongol empire, it is said one could travel on the Silk Road with a caravan loaded with gold without a bodyguard. Besides prosperous states being constructed, golden ages of powerful states also took place. This led to the flourishing of ideas and many advances.
During the time period from 650 C.E. and 1450 C.E., trade of not only goods, but ideas and religion occurred throughout the Indian Ocean trade region. A network of trade within this region expanded during this time and was able to incorporate many dominating and prosperous empires including the Mongols, the Swahili city states, China, and India. Although power shifted and empires controlling trade changed, the goods, ideas and religions passed along the Indian Ocean trade network remained constant. All of this lead to the inclusion of western Europe into the trade network.

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