Indian Ocean Trade Network

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The Indian Ocean trade network began to flourish as trade increased between African and Asia. Powerful city-states flourished along the eastern coast of Africa. The city-states traded with inland kingdoms. It took small steps like that to create a large complex trading network that worked through the Middle East and India and throughout Africa. The trading history of Indian Ocean displays more change than continuity because of the involvement of different cultures wanting different things out of this trading system.

Towards the beginning of the trading network the religion of Islam formed. In India, the Delhi Sultana expands throughout the Middle East within the next few centuries and provides a foundation for their Indian Ocean trade. As time went on, China invented the axial sternpost rudder and compass for easier navigation to the Middle East to trade with the West. Math and science under the Arabs continued to develop; this led to the creation of astronomical tools they use to navigate their ships. During the Middle Ages and the Crusades, interaction through trade with Europe and the Middle East is high. Arab middlemen between trade routes made their profit by charging Europe more money for goods. Africa begins doing business with Portugal as well as with the Middle East; Europe’s more superior technology subordinates the dominance on trade that Middle Eastern countries had for centuries. Trade dominance shifts from Arabian rule to Portuguese rule in the 15th century, and then later to Dutch and British rule in the 16th century; technological advances throughout this period make business and exploration more efficient. Portugal continues to control the key trading ports in the Indian Ocean. They make their money by imposing taxes on merchants planning to import/export goods. The Dutch learn of the information, navigational techniques, and routes Portugal has been using for decades. They use this information against Portugal in order to take...
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