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Indian Ocean Trade vs. Silk Road Essay Sample

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 682
  • Rewriting Possibility: 99% (excellent)
  • Category: christianity

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Introduction of TOPIC

During the period of 600- 1450, the eastern hemisphere was connected through many trading routes. Although both the IOT and SR resulted in immense wealth being created, the IOT promoted islam through its ocean voyages and the SR supported Christianity through the overland routes, and it had more drastic effects on society. The SR and IOT were profiting in immense wealth due to being exclusive traders. When the Crusaders or the Christian knights from Western Europe came to the ME, in order to claim back their holy city Jerusalem, they were awed in wonder as they saw how spices came and went, and the transfusion of many enlightening ideas took place. They witnessed Arabic numerals, philosophical ideas, and even amends to their own ideas. As a result, they used the Arabs’ ideas to compensate for the lost Greek knowledge. Overall, the Italian merchant class flourished with wealth from the new exotic spices and goods, and trade only became stronger there. On the other hand, the IOT was dominated by many Arab traders. One advantage was that Arabs were able to access many ports such as Calicut or the Swahili City-States, resulting in more cultural and economic influence.

Since many spices especially pepper originated in India, Arab merchants were successfully able to sell pepper at a higher price because of its high demand and craze. Clearly, even though different regions and people got affected by the trade routes, they both demonstrate the immense wealth that was produc

ed as a result. The IOT was an effective tool in spreading Islam, by reaching other lands for trade.

This is seen when looking at Indonesia, which is the world’s largest Islamic heritage nation outside of the ME. Many of the Arab went to ports in Java and Bali to trade their goods and spread Islam, and as a result, such voyages proved to be a success by having Islam appeal to many foreigners. Furthermore, it nearly wiped out the fact that Buddhism even existed in Indonesia. Not only was Islam a “trade”, but so were lanteens, saffron, and sails. Lanteens were triangle sails used on dhows or small boats that were able to go against the wind, which proved to be a crucial trade since most boats other than the junk were dhows which roamed the IOT.

Saffron proved to be an equally important trade because of the high value that was placed on it. Not only did it add intense and wonderful flavor to food, but during a time where there were no refrigerators, saffron helped preserve food. Slaves, another major source of trade, had the strongest influence since they were the most valuable “goods” and they were the most traded/bought goods. Slavery not only played a key factor then, but would do so in centuries to follow as well. The SR promoted the influence of Christianity, mostly because its final destination was Rome. After the Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity, a large portion of Rome did so as well, resulting in Rome becoming a Catholic state.

After many goods arrived in Rome, from places as far as China, cultural diffusion occurred as a result. Also, the Crusaders influenced the road as they ventured on recapturing Jursalem. In the SR, the major goods that were traded were silk and porcelain from China, and horses from Persia. Silk, of all the goods listed, was the most important, not only because of its value, but also its quality, which resulted in the SR being called the “SR”. However, extremely unlike like the IOT, the SR had a disastrous effect due to Mongols passing off a disease called “Black Death”. It had a mortality rate of 100% and many, many people died. Due to the SR, it spread all the way to western Europe, and took many lives away there as well. Also, there was a general sense of plague haunting the road since so many people used it and the transactions of diseases weren’t preventable.

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