The second unit is called “NETWORKS OF EXCHANGE”. You may immediately think, “Oh, like the Silk Road.” Yeah. But, most of the volume being traded around the world at this point was being done here, in the Indian Ocean. Think silks and porcelains for the Silk Road. REAL trade went down in the Indian Ocean. The people’s trade. Stuff the average person might use… textiles, coffee, lumber, etc. So, Silk Road is nice. But, unless you had a lot of luxury items in your hut… you were way more likely to get textiles from India than silk from China.
Below are the specific KEY CONCEPTS that apply to this sub-unit:
Improved commercial practices led to an increased volume of trade and expanded the geographical range of existing trade routes—including the Silk Roads, trans-Saharan trade network, and Indian Ocean—promoting the growth of powerful new trading cities.
The Indian Ocean trading network fostered the growth of states.
The growth of inter-regional trade in luxury goods was encouraged by innovations in previously existing transportation and commercial technologies, including the caravanserai, forms of credit, and the development of money economies as well as the use of the compass, the astrolabe and larger ship designs.
The economy of Song China flourished as a result of increased productive capacity, expanding trade networks, and innovations in agriculture and manufacturing.
The expansion and intensification of long distance trade routes often depended on environmental knowledge, including advanced knowledge of the monsoon winds. The growth of inter-regional trade was encouraged by innovations in existing transportation technologies.
Muslim rule continued to expand to many parts of Afro-Eurasia due to military expansion, and Islam subsequently expanded through the activities of merchants, missionaries, and Sufis.
In key places along important trade routes, merchants set up diasporic communities where they introduced their own cultural traditions into the indigenous cultures and, in turn, indigenous cultures influenced merchant cultures.
As exchange networks intensified, an increasing number of travelers within Afro–Eurasia wrote about their travels.
Increased cross-cultural interactions resulted in the diffusion of literary, artistic, and cultural traditions, as well as scientific and technological innovation.
Chinese cultural traditions continued, and they influenced neighboring regions.
Buddhism and its core beliefs continued to shape societies in Asia and included a variety of branches, schools, and practices.
Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and the core beliefs and practices of these religions continued to shape societies in Africa and Asia.
Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism, and their core beliefs and practices, continued to shape societies in South and Southeast Asia.
There was continued diffusion of crops and pathogens, with epidemic diseases, including the bubonic plague, along trade routes.
As the Abbasid Caliphate fragmented, new Islamic political entities emerged, most of which were dominated by Turkic peoples. These states demonstrated continuity, innovation, and diversity.
Empires and states in Afro-Eurasia and the Americas demonstrated continuity, innovation, and diversity in the 13th century. This included the Song Dynasty of China, which utilized traditional methods of Confucianism and an imperial bureaucracy to maintain and justify its rule.
State formation and development demonstrated continuity, innovation, and diversity, including the new Hindu and Buddhist states that emerged in South and Southeast Asia.
Muslim states and empires encouraged significant intellectual innovations and transfers.
Inter-regional contacts and conflicts between states and empires, including the Mongols, encouraged significant technological and cultural transfers, including during Chinese maritime activity led by Ming Admiral Zheng He.
Demand for luxury goods increased in Afro–Eurasia. Chinese, Persian, and Indian artisans and merchants expanded their production of textiles and porcelains for export; manufacture of iron and steel expanded in China.
The fate of cities varied greatly, with periods of significant decline and periods of increased urbanization buoyed by rising productivity and expanding trade networks.
The economy of Song China became increasingly commercialized while continuing to depend on free peasant and artisanal labor.
CLIP #1: INDIAN OCEAN TRADE (from CRASH COURSE World History)
CLIP #2: DHOW SHIP from ZANZIBAR (from NAT GEO)
CLIP #3: MONSOON SEASON
CLIP #4: FRA MAURO MAP EXPLAINED
1. TRAVELS OF MARCO POLO, c. 1300, Marco Polo (VENICE)
2. HAIJIN EDICTS, c. 1371, Hongwu Emperor (MING CHINA)
3. A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling, 1355 CE, Ibn Battuta (MOROCCO)
4. GALLE TRILINGUAL INSCRIPTION, c. 1409, Zhenghe (SRI LANKA)
1. TABULA ROGERIANA, c. 1154, Muhammad al-Idrisi (SICILY, ITALY)
2. GANGNIDO (Korean map of the Indian Ocean prior to Zhenghe’s voyages), c. 1400 (KOREA)
3. FRA MAURO MAP (“Greatest Memorial of Medieval Cartography… like most maps back then.. it’s upside down! This is how the Romans and Arabs drew maps; south was up), 1450 (VENICE)
4. TRIBUTE GIRAFFE FROM THE KING OF BENGAL, (Originally thought to be the mythical Qilin, dragon; this was a gift from the King of Bengal that was brought back to China by Zhenghe’s Treasure fleet) c. 1414, (MING DYNASTY, CHINA)
5. ZHENGHE’s TREASURE FLEET, Present Day recreation of Zhenghe’s Treasure Fleet
1. This is THE trading network of this period.
2. THIS is the network the Europeans (Columbus and friends) are trying to reach after 1450.
3. Mostly peaceful exchange of goods have taken place here for millenia.
4. Trade here was more focused on everyday bulk items like timber and textiles rather than silk and porcelain.
5. All the big travellers in this period used this route (Ibn Battuta, Marco Polo, and Zhenghe)