Change and Continuity over Time Essay-East Asia

Topics: Silk Road, China, Confucianism Pages: 2 (407 words) Published: November 14, 2010
During the post-classical era, East Asian trade experienced many changes through their innovations and means of trade-both maritime and overland. However, the spread of religion through these trade routes remained constant.

One innovation that changeed East Asian trade was the introduction of the grand canal by the Sui dynasty. It was a system of artificial waterways that went from Hangshou to Bejing and Chang’an. The grand canal served as East Asia’s principal mean of internal trade.

When it came to outside maritime trade, the Chinese people’s cravings for fine spices and exotic products from other islands brought naval innovations that the world have never heard of. Their ships were the most durable, made from steel nails that provided strong reinforcement, and waterproofed with oils that were rubbed onto the wood. The Chinese also brought strong sails made from canvas or bamboo. Their ships were steered by rudders, and navigated through the south-pointing compass. These innovations provided stronger ships that could withstand harsher weather, and make longer voyages, introducing many more cultures to East Asia.

The silk roads were important to Chinese trade as well. The introduction of silk to China and other lands beyond was very important to trade. It was the reason for the establishment of the silk roads, a vast network of streets and roads that merchants and travelers used for transportation of goods and people. The silk roads attracted merchants from all over Asia, bringing more diverse cultures and religions to East Asia than before.

The spread of religion in East Asia through both merchants and missionaries traveling along the canals, waterways, and roads helped to spread various religions throughout East Asia. Buddhist missionaries traveled the silk roads from India, making Buddhism an important religion in China. The integration of Buddhism and the already existing Confucian ideas provided a new religion and way of thinking called...
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