Between 200 BCE and 1450 CE, the Silk Road held onto its true purpose while undergoing numerous transformations over time. The trade between East Asia and Europe remained the focus of the route while the materials transferred across the land began to change. Just as well, nation states took on new names and lands were divvied up to create new countries.
Though there were changes in the goods passed along the Silk Road, it never lost its true, original purpose. Asia’s economy, more specifically China’s economy, was for the most part reliant on the Silk Road as its major supplier of incoming revenue during throughout the expanse of this time period. China’s reliance was not, however, built on a single product or good – the country was able to bring money into their economy no matter what the major trade item was over time. Europe’s wellbeing depended on the prosperity of Chinese and Asian trade; the Silk Road allowed Chinese merchants to trade with European merchants and Europeans with Chinese. This purpose stayed the same because the economies involved would have suffered without the major trade route. The Silk Roads perpetually featured Eurasian trade no matter what was going on during the extended period of time. Neither the European dark ages nor the Mongol reign alter the long-standing purpose of the Silk Road.
While the purpose of the Silk Road remained the same over time, the items and goods traded along the route underwent numerous changes. The Silk Road was originally a small scale network between Eurasian traders, carrying items such as spices, growing into an international route over time, carrying silk and precious items of value. As trade between far off places became high in demand, predominately light, easily carried, high price point objects were moved from place to place. Europeans’ need for Chinese imports and vice versa shaped the trade of the Silk Road. Luxury items became a necessary in each culture’s life as trade shifted from...
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