AP World History
DBQ: Cultural Interaction
Cultural interaction is the basis for the world today. Without cultural interaction, the Americas would still be filled with Native Americans. The whole world would be isolated from other cultures. For example, America would not have certain foods and animals, such as bananas and cows; likewise, Europe would not have corn or turkeys. Between the years 600 and 1450 C.E, Cultural interaction was very beneficial due to the expanding of trade, spreading of religion and cultures, and strengthening nations. However, in many cases, cultural interaction was a destructive force, killing thousands, taking what people owned, and spreading diseases to other areas.
The main reason for culture interaction is to spread ideas and acquire new materials. In some cases, cultural interaction could completely change the trading system in that area (document 2). This document shows how European trade was completely changed after the Crusades. Before the Crusades, Europe’s main trading items were items solely made in Europe. This is because of their system of feudalism. After the Crusades they traded a variety of items from other areas, such as China or India. These items include a variety of things, such as silk from China, and spices and cotton from India. In this case, cultural interaction was very beneficial to Europe, bringing in goods and lots of wealth to the area. Not only did the interaction of cultures between 600 and 1450 bring in wealth, it also helped the spread of religion. Between the years of 632 and 750, Islamic lands spread from the Arabian Peninsula as far west as Spain (document 4). By conquering new lands, the ideas and culture of Islam was spread as well. Even today, Muslim culture still heavily influences past Muslim lands such as North Africa. In East Africa, cultural interactions with trade in the Middle East, China, and other areas had large effects in East Africa (document 6). Some of the...
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