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History 210: Silk, Sand, and Sea: trade routes and cultural diffusion.

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Presentation on theme: "History 210: Silk, Sand, and Sea: trade routes and cultural diffusion."— Presentation transcript:

1 History 210: Silk, Sand, and Sea: trade routes and cultural diffusion

2 Why do people trade?

3 What were the significant results of long-distance trade?

4 What the three main routes of long distance trade in the period 500-1500 CE?

5 Silk Roads Indian Ocean routes Sahara Sand routes

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7 Silk Roads: Exchange across Eurasia Emerged from interaction between outer and inner Eurasia. –What were inner and outer Eurasia? Led to exchange of goods between pastoral and settled peoples. Latter tried to control the former, extended the boundaries… Pastoral people often played a role Rise of large states also helped: Roman and Chinese states. Dunhuang, founded 117 BCE by Han Emperor Wudi

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9 Silk Roads: Exchange across Eurasia What kinds of goods were transported? How were they transported?

10 Silk Roads: Exchange across Eurasia a vast array of goods traveled along the Silk Roads, often by camel –mostly luxury goods for the elite –high cost of transport did not allow movement of staple goods Silk symbolized the Eurasian exchange system –at first, China had a monopoly on silk technology (serious production 3000 BCE; Korea had it by 300 BCE; India by 300 CE) –led to drain of resources from Roman Empire to east –Yet, Romans regarded silk as morally decadent by the sixth century CE, other peoples produced silk: –Byzantine Empire, Japan, Persia silk was used as currency in Central Asia silk was a symbol of high status –sumptuary laws restricted silk clothing to the elite (China and the Byzantine Empire) –silk was sacred in Buddhism and Christianity –silk industry not developed in Western Europe until 12 th century

11 Silk Roads: Exchange across Eurasia Cultures in Transit: Buddhism: spread greatly, voluntary appealed to merchants, snubbed Hindu- influenced caste system Monasteries provided rest stops for merchants Many converts in oasis cities Spread more slowly amongst pastoralists Buddhism itself was transformed: monasteries became rich and more involved in secular world. Mahayana Buddhism flourished: Buddha as deity, numerous Bodhisattvas, compassion, meritocratic

12 Silk Roads: Exchange across Eurasia Disease in Transit Long-distance trading led to spread of disease Most lethal junctures: when an unfamiliar disease arrives in a new culture Athens, 430-429 BCE, infect from Egypt Smallpox and measles periodically ravaged the Roman and Han empires. 534-750 CE bubonic plague from India to Mediterranean region Black Death, but much later and largely due to Mongol Empire Strengthened Eurasians over the long run.

13 Sea routes: Exchange across the Indian Ocean Probably most important trade network Monsoon changes were crucial: –Nov-Feb blew to SW –April-Sept blew to NE –Key was regularity Sea transport is cheaper So more bulk goods: textiles, pepper, timber, rice, sugar, wheat Trade was between towns and cities, not states

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15 Sea routes: Exchange across the Indian Ocean Already some trading during Indus Valley period Egyptians and Phoenicians traded along the Red Sea Chinese merchants reached India 100 CE Fulcrum was India: along with trade, spread Buddhism and Hinduism in Southeast Asia. Reunified China (Tang and Song Dynasties, 618- 1279) brought cheap goods and provided markets. Rise of Islam crucial to further spread –widespread conversion made trade move more freely

16 Sea routes: Led to the creation of various states: Srivijaya civilization: Malay sailors gained control of the Straits of Malacca ca. 350 CE. Srivijaya came to dominate trade in this region from 670-1025 CE. Adopted Buddhism and became major center Swahili civilization: Grew from demand for East African products: gold, ivory, quartz, leopard skins, slaves, iron, wood Flourished 1000-1500 CE Very urban and city-state oriented Sharp class distinctions Most trade in Arab ships Great Arab and Muslim influence Trade for gold led to Great Zimbabwe, 1250-1350 CE

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19 Sand Roads: Exchange across the Sahara Commercial Beginnings in West Africa: –North had manufactured goods, salt, horses, cloth, dates –South had crops, gold, ivory, kola nuts, slaves Introduction of camel was crucial, early in CE Regular trans-Saharan commerce by 300-400 CE Huge caravans, up to 5000 camels Led to a number of states in western and central Sudan: Ghana, Mali, Songhay, Kanem, and Hausaland. Slaves came mostly from south, most sold in North Africa.

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21 The Americas: Why did the Western Hemisphere produce a less extensive long-distance trading system than the Eastern Hemisphere?

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23 Comparison: Why did the Western Hemisphere produce a less extensive long- distance trading system than the Eastern Hemisphere? a. Fewer desirable goods or raw materials were available to trade for in the Americas. b. Particularly violent warfare in the Americas as compared to Eurasia suppressed trade. c. The lack of large domesticated animals and oceangoing vessels made long-distance trade more difficult. d. Native Americans were unable to use the river systems of the Americas for trade.

24 Change: Which of the following was NOT an outcome of the growth of Eurasian long-distance trade between 500 c.e. and 1500 c.e.? a. Increased spread of religious ideas b. The decline of empires as an important political structure c. Greater specialization of some economies d. Increased spread of diseases

25 Discussion Starter: In terms of the course of world history, which of the following exchanges that occurred because of long- distance trade between 500 c.e. and 1500 c.e. had the greatest impact? a. The spread of diseases b. The spread of technologies c. The spread of religions d. The trade of goods

26 Discussion Starter: Which do you think was more significant to world history, the Silk Roads or the Sea Roads? a. The Silk Roads were more significant to world history. b. The Sea Roads were more significant to world history.


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