Oral Exam Essay 1
May 29, 2015
Although there were several continuities in trade between Africa and Eurasia from 300 to 1450 CE like the trade routes that were used, what was traded, and who participated in trade, there were several changes. Changes in trade include development of the Indian Ocean trade network around 800 CE, exchange of Islam during Arab invasions in the 8th century, and the creation of new kingdom and empires such as the Mali empire during the 13th century.
To begin, trade routes that African and Eurasian societies utilized changed as well as continued from 300 to 1450 CE. The Mediterranean Sea trade network continued from 300 to 1450 CE and was very prominent in North Africa, Middle East, and Europe. The Mediterranean Sea served as a popular route because of its position in Eurasia as it allowed easy access to Africa and the Southern Asia. Changes in trade routes included the sand roads, which allowed trade across the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean. They opened trade with West Africa from Southern Europe and Northern Africa. As a result, West Africa became centralized and increasingly wealthy and became a new center of Eurasian and African exchange. The Indian Ocean developed as a popular trade network as well. Europeans wanted to be a part of this so that they could have access to eastern Africa's rich resources. Monsoons were used for sea travel, which increased the scale of trade. Beliefs were traded more as the caliphates, Mongolia, China, and Byzantium expanded and conquered lands and increased long-distance communication between them. Muslims began traveling by camel during the 8th century CE across the Sahara Desert to extract gold and other luxury items from Africa. This need created a relationship of tolerance between Islam and Africa that led to the integration of Muslims in not only the exchange of goods, but the inevitable exchange of beliefs as Muslims spread throughout Africa....
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