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Postclassical trade and contact Increase in interregional trade.

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Presentation on theme: "Postclassical trade and contact Increase in interregional trade."— Presentation transcript:

1 Postclassical trade and contact Increase in interregional trade

2 New range and intensity of contacts was, along with the spread of world religions, a crucial development in the postclassical period. Affects most of Asia and many parts of Africa and Europe


4 Patterns of Contact A.The core route for the new pattern of contact that emerged in the postclassical period was an Indian Ocean route connecting western Asia or the Middle East with South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific coast of China. 1.This series of routes was initially forged by Arab merchants primarily, but they were soon joined by Muslims and others from India, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere, and by a number of Persians. 2.These routes carried a variety of goods. Particularly important were manufactured goods from China, such as silk and porcelain, and spices from Southeast Asia or India. 3.This Asian-centered trade pattern spurred major manufacturing expansions, particularly in China. Some historians have even referred to a Chinese industrial revolution during the Song dynasty, which opened in the later-10th century.

5 Patterns of Contact A.Other routes fed into the east-west contact. 1.Two routes connected sub-Saharan Africa to this east-west trade, carrying African goods into the Middle East, North Africa, and other parts of Asia. 2.Another feeder route developed from Scandinavia through what is now western Russia and Ukraine, passing through Kievan Russia on its way to the Byzantine Empire and then connecting with Arab trade. 3.Western Europe also eventually connected with this trade route as merchants from England, the Low Countries, and France traveled over land or along the Atlantic coast to the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and beyond.



8 Patterns of Contact Causes: – Improved transportation / technology Caravan organization, compass, astrolabe, larger ship designs – Junks – Improved commercial practices New forms of credit – Bills of exchange, credit, checks, banking houses Monetization State involvement – Minting of coins, paper money – Infrastructure » Grand Canal - China Trading Organizations – Hanseatic League – Expansion of empires China, Byzantine, Caliphates, Mongols

9 Consequences From Trading Patterns A.This level of interregional trade had a significant impact on internal economies, particularly the economy of China. Some areas of the world began to orient part of their economic activity toward production for what we would call world markets.

10 Consequences From Trading Patterns B.New kinds of consumer dependence developed. Certain elements of the upper classes developed tastes for goods that could be supplied only from distant regions. 1.As West Europeans, participated in the Crusades, they learned of the higher living standards common in Middle Eastern cities and developed a taste for that lifestyle. 2.Postclassical Europeans found that they preferred sugar to honey and sought to acquire access to regular supplies of sugar. 3.This kind of consumer attachment spurred shipping activities in the Mediterranean that would link Europe to Middle Eastern ports where products could be transshipped from elsewhere in Asia. 4.Not all societies were equally susceptible to consumer needs. China, for example, needed far fewer products from the outside world than did Western Europe.

11 Consequences From Trading Patterns C.New levels of culture contact. 1.A large number of words began to pass into European languages from Arabic, denoting the products (such as oranges or sugar) that were being transshipped from other parts of the world to Europe. 2.Other kinds of cultural exchange were even more important, particularly the widespread adoption of what Europeans called the Arabic numbering system. 3.Mathematical systems spread widely. Algebra (another Arabic word) and Arabic mathematical innovation began to spread from the Arab world to other societies, including Europe.

12 Consequences From Trading Patterns D.Technologies were affected by new levels of world trade in two ways: new trading activities encouraged the development of new technologies, and increased trade accelerated the transmission of technological inventions. 1.The Arabs introduced developments in sailing ships, and, toward the end of the postclassical period, the Chinese introduced gigantic oceangoing vessels (junks). 2.The compass was probably invented in China, but its use spread. 3.The Arabs learned about paper in their military interactions in Western China; Western Europeans learned about paper from contact with the Arabs.

13 Consequences From Trading Patterns E.An important consequence of new trade patterns was the growing utility that societies in Asia, Africa, and Europe found in maintaining or increasing their commitment to international activities.

14 Consequences From Trading Patterns There is a fairly straight line from the interregional connections that developed in the postclassical period to what we now view as globalization. People who traded, traveled, and wrote travel accounts in the postclassical period inspired others who would extend interregional trading activities still further. Some historians argue that an evolutionary approach to the issue of globalization is misguided. Globalization, in their eyes, is a much newer phenomenon.

15 Consequences From Trading Patterns Results: – Existing routes expanded / New ones developed The Silk Roads, Mediterranean Sea, Trans-Saharan, Indian Ocean Mesoamerica & the Andes – New cities See previous PP, plus Tenochtitlan, Cahokia, Novgorod, Calicut & Hangzhou – Spread of luxury goods See previous PP – Cross-cultural Exchanges Islamic Empire (see previous PP) Diasporic Communities – Muslim merchants along Indian Ocean; Chinese in SE Asia; Sogdian merchants in Central Asia; Jews in Mediterranean, Indian Ocean & Silk Road Writings show Depth & Limits of Cross-Cultural Understandings – Ibn Battuta; Marco Polo; Xuanzang

16 Consequences From Trading Patterns – Cross-cultural Exchanges (cont’d) Cultural Diffusion – Neoconfucianism & Buddhism in E Asia; Hinduism & Buddism in SE Asia; Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa & SE Asia; Toltec/Mexica & Inca traditions in Mesoamerica & Andean America Scientific / Technological Diffusion – Greek & Indian math on Muslims; Greek science & philosophy on W Europe; Spread of printing & gunpowder from E. Asia to Islamic Empires & Europe Continued Diffusion of Crops & Pathogens – Adaption of New Foods & Agricultural Techniques » Bananas in Africa; New rice varieties in E. Asia; Spread of cotton, sugar & citrus throughout Dar al-Islam & the Mediterranean – Epidemic Diseases » The Black Death

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