Hansa Verses Swahili

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  • Topic: Hanseatic League, Lübeck, Hasan ibn Ali
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AP WORLD HISTORY DBQ

By Jessica Zheng
Period 4
Nov/Dec 2010
AP WORLD HISTORY DBQ

By Jessica Zheng
Period 4
Nov/Dec 2010

Prompt: While the Hansa and Swahili shared many similarities, their differences were equally important. What differences in the two trading alliances were critical to the cultural, economic, and political development of the two alliances?

The Hansa and Swahili were two of the most successful and famous trading cities. They share similar terms, however, the two alliances do have differences that were crucial to the cultural, economic, and political paths taken and institutions developed by the Hansa and the Swahili. There were differences such as items that were exchanged between the alliances, the system of how supplies are exchanged and exported, the rulers’ actions and protection for their merchants. For example, the Hanseatic League aimed at protecting the interests of the merchants and trade, also became increasingly prominent. It would even lead to battles to support and stay loyal to their merchants. In Swahili, the ruler played a part by putting merchants together when he wished, as he was also a merchant and kept the most profitable deal for himself. Such matter of protection of the harbors, provision of shipping facilities, and adjudication of claims may have fallen on local rulers or perhaps simply not handled at all. Protection is given when merchants pay their taxes and dues. As we continue through this essay, we can infer on the diversity of the alliances, the Hansa and Swahili.

In documents 3 (Joao de Barros, Portuguese merchant and soldier from his book, Decadas da Asia completed in 1520s about his travels along east Africa’s coast), 5 (Abdul Hassan ibn Ali al Mas’udi, Arab traveler, merchant and geographer, from Cairo and Baghdad, late 10th century C.E. about his trips to the East African coastal area of el-Zanj, the Swahili peoples between Somalia and Mozambique) and 7 (Ibn Battuta, Muslim traveler and...
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