Between 1200 AD to present, there have been many changes in the world economy. The most important change is how integrated the world economy has become. When countries have a demand for something the first question is where is that supply going to come from. In the end, the way that all nations and places were able to meet their demands was by going internationally and getting it that way. The whole world found a way by sea and land to get the items that they needed and, in the process, connected the whole world through trade. First Question
The first types of societies were agricultural and pastoral. Pastoral societies has less productive economies because they were nomadic and needed large grazing areas and supported smaller populations. They usually organized themselves by family and common ancestry (Strayer 334). The main pastoral group was the Mongols as they conquered from the Pacific coast of Asia to Eastern Europe (Strayer 342). Part of their large success was their vast network of trade. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, a large and interconnect trading system was put in place. (Marks 33) The Mongols did not so much participate in the trade as they did tax it. They provided a secure route for merchants to take the long journey across Central Asia between Europe and China (Strayer 354). This trade route relied on mostly on middlemen, as it was a series of circuits that were all connected. An item can make it from Asia to Europe and cross through many hands with the price increasing each time. This trade gave way to the Indian Ocean Trade as well as the Silk Roads in the fifteenth century. The Silk Roads connected China, Siberia, Central Asia, India, The Middle East, and The Mediterranean Basin through a land based trade. The Silk Roads were able to prosper because the larger and more powerful states used some of the tax money to provide security for the merchants and travelers (Strayer 220). All of the different places involved in the trade were able to contribute different indigenous products to the Silk Road commerce. It was called the Silk Road because China originally held the monopoly on all silk production, so it usually traveled from east to west so that everyone could have it. Eventually, the silk-producing technology got out and other nations were able to make it as well. This just led to an increased demand for different varieties of silk though (Strayer 221). The Indian Ocean Trade was also thriving at this point. The Indian Ocean Trade was a vast commercial system that had an incredible volume of trade (Class Notes 11/17/10). This trade was able to link all sorts of people from across the Eastern Hemisphere, as it was the largest sea-based system of communication. It went from China to Eastern Africa (Strayer 225). The monsoons are what made this trade possible (Strayer 226). There were two innovations that helped make the Indian Ocean Trade possible. One was the spread of Islam as the religion was friendly and trusting towards merchants (Strayer 228). Muhammad Ibn Abdullah, the creator of Islam had been a trader (Strayer 303). The Arab Empire stretched from the Atlantic Ocean through the Mediterranean Basin and India (Strayer 228). Since that whole area was united, it made it a lot easier to trade with them because they were one singular political system. The unification of China was another thing that helped the Indian Ocean Trade (Strayer 228).
Between 1368 and 1644, China was under control of the Ming Dynasty. They tried to eliminate all signs of any Mongol rule all the while supporting Confucian learning. Another way that China was developing was through their maritime expeditions. In 1405, Emperor Yongle commissioned three hundred ships. Led by Zheng He, the mission of ships was not to conquer other lands but to see what goods the rest of the world had (Strayer 372). Similar to China, Europe was also going through a period of rebuilding after the Mongols and the...
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