It can be easy to overlook South and Southeast Asia in this period. They are at the crossroads of all of the major interactions of this period (Islam, Mongols, Trade), and are heavily influenced by their neighbors (Islam to the West and China to the Northeast). However, DO NOT SKIP THIS SECTION! There is such a rich history of Syncretism in this region, and with the addition of Islam; it creates some truly fascinating historical studies. Plus, this area will be of extreme focus next period as the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French and British all move into the region.
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 expansion of empires—including the Mongols—facilitated Afro-Eurasian trade and communication as new people were drawn into their conquerors’ economies and trade networks.
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.
Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism, and their core beliefs and practices, continued to shape societies in South and Southeast Asia.
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
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.
CLIP #1 CRASH COURSE WORLD HISTORY: The Monsoon Marketplace
CLIP #2: ANGKOR WAT TEMPLE
CLIP #3 VOYAGES OF ZHENGHE
CLIP #4: MAJAPAHIT: INTRODUCTION
CLIP #5: MAJAPAHIT: vs. the MONGOLS
CLIP #6: TAMERLANE