Trade Networks Change Over Time Essay

929 Words Nov 24th, 2013 4 Pages
In 300 CE the trade routes of Africa and Eurasia were increasing in complexity, as they became major arteries for the exchange of goods and ideas over long distances. The trade networks of these regions consistently enabled the spread of religious ideas far beyond their original homelands. Networks like the Trans-Saharan, Indian Ocean, and Silk Road systems always brought wealth to foreign products that enabled local producers to specialize in items best suited to their regions. Yet, the risk of long distance trade decreased over this period as societies expanded and technology increased. Furthermore, the amount of trade done on these networks was inconsistent between 300 CE and 1450 CE. Throughout this extensive time period, …show more content…
In global trade markets like the Silk Road and the Indian Ocean network, it was possible for local pottery craftsman in central China to gain a huge consumer market in the wealthy sectors of Rome. The ability for people to sell items unique to their regions in a global market remained a vital part of trade for the entirety of this period. In China this was especially true, where the local silk makers fueled an enormous import market to the upper class societies of the Mediterranean word. The same is true in India. From 300 CE even until 1492 when Columbus set out on his exploratory journey, local Indian spice producers were able to gain tremendous wealth in the interregional trade networks connected to them. A final example can be seen in Africa, where products such as ivory and gold remained staples of the trans-Saharan trade route for this entire period, where locals of kingdoms like Ghana, Mali, and Songhai could all capitalize on the resources local to them in the foreign market of these trade networks. While several aspects of Afro-Eurasian trade networks remained the same in this time period, a key change was the fact that trade became more widespread as time went on. One of the reasons for this was an increase in technology, which made trade safer. The development of the padded saddle by the Assyrians in 300 started a trend of technological advances that made long distance travel much easier for merchants.

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