Indian Ocean Trade Case Study

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Some of the earliest known evidence of sailing comes from what is today known as the Middle East. The Mesopotamians were no strangers to the movement of goods across great land distances, but they also developed great port cities. Ur was one of the Mesopotamian cities that not only grew, but thrived, at its strategic location where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers enter the Persian Gulf. Located in such a prime location, Ur became a massive epicenter for commerce in the ancient times and was engaged in trade routes as far away as India (Mark). The long-distance trade, achieved through the development of shipping, fueled the growth of this entire region. Metals, grains, and other valuable resources from UR were primarily shipped using river barges …show more content…
Discussing the British fleet between 1840 and 1850, Greg Kennedy, a professor of Strategic Foreign Policy at Kings College in London, states, “The possession of the world 's largest merchant marine (and its growth during this period) made it possible for Great Britain to gain and maintain access both to all of the world 's most important markets and to the most important raw materials needed for the ever evolving industrial and commercial revolution that was occurring in Great Britain” (Kennedy). This quote explains how nations were able to grow, despite the lack crucial resources needed for development on their home soil, with the help of shipping. Located on an island, Great Britain does not possess many natural resources of its own and relies on the strength of its maritime trade network to bring in the vital resources needed for the industrializing nation. The British Empire and the city of UR, developing at different points in history, took advantage of the timeless economic and political benefits of maritime shipping and were not the …show more content…
In the United States, one of the cities that saw the economic benefits of shipping was New York City. Prior to the formation of the Erie Canal system, New York City was not the economic giant it is today. Philadelphia served as the most profitable port and largest city in the United States during the early 1800s (Watkins). Prior to the embargo act of 1807 and the War of 1812, Philadelphia was a manufacturing and financial center for the United States. After the war, the city failed to recover its major shipping industry and other cities, like New York, began to pick up the slack (Boundless). Located at the mouth of both the Hudson and East Rivers, New York City has served as the first stop for goods entering the United States moving west. In a way, New York City is a modern day UR with its very strategic location around major river systems. The waterways of New York are connected to the two rivers emptying on either side of the city and served as an access point to the central United States. The Erie Canal helped fuel the growth of many cities in both New York and other states along the canal system (Lankevich). Chicago would not have had such rapid growth without the help of the canal system. Connecting the city and the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, Chicago is the farthest into the United States that goods can travel by ship. From

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