AP World History
14 January 2013
The Age of the Trading World
The technological advances and discoveries of spices in the Asian continent set the stage for the emergence of world commerce. Being fascinated by the new toys of the East, the West was determined to be a part of what would soon be a global trading market. With new goods being discovered in specific places, those who did not have those goods were ever more eager to obtain them, and the only way this could be done was through trading routes. Thus surfaced many trading routes that would facilitate the trading of goods all over the world. Two significant trading routes that united the world were the Silk Road and the Indian Ocean Trade Network where each route had it’s positive as well as negative characteristics.
The Silk Road Trade was a long network of interlinking trade routes that traveled from China to Western countries specifically European nations. This trading route provided tremendous economic benefits for China as silk was one of the main products that was traded over the road hence the name of the trade route. Although silk was a major trade, the Silk Road also filtered printing, gunpowder, the compass and more goods from the East into Europe. The Silk Road promoted cultural diffusion as many religions from the West were introduced to Chinese civilizations; from the seventh century AD, Arab Muslims traveled to China via the Silk Road to spread Islam. The road was a great contributor to the cultural, economical, and political exchange between the China and the West and increased trade among many civilizations which ultimately allowed them to expand their possibilities.
The expansion of possibilities was also capable through the Indian Ocean Trade which was a sea route predominantly between East Africa and India that led through many Spice Islands. The Indian Ocean Trade was known as the world’s richest maritime trading network. During the early Indian Ocean...