Historical Globalization and
What were the beginnings of global
trading networks?
Globalization has deep
historical roots
globalization came
from international:
The Silk Road: Linking Europe
and Asia Through Trade
• The Silk Road is the most wellknown trading route of ancient
Chinese civilization.
• Trade in silk grew under the Han
Dynasty ( 202 BC - AD 220) in
the first and second centuries AD.
The Silk Road
• Originally, the Chinese traded silk within their
empire. Caravans from the empire's interior
would carry silk to the western edges of the
• Often small Central Asian tribes would attack
these caravans hoping to capture the
traders' valuable commodities.
• As a result, the Han Dynasty extended its
military defenses further into Central Asia
from 135 to 90 BC in order to protect these
The Silk Road
• Chan Ch'ien, the first known Chinese
traveler to make contact with the
Central Asian tribes came up with the
idea to expand the silk trade to include
these tribes and forge alliances with
these Central Asian nomads.
• Because of this idea, the Silk Road
was born.
Camels rest outside of the ancient Silk Road town of
Kuche in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. The bleak
desertscapes extend beyond the horizon, calling to mind
the hardships and determination of those who traveled the
Silk Road.
The Silk Road
The route grew with the rise of the
Roman Empire because the
Chinese initially gave silk to the
Roman-Asian governments as gifts.
The Silk Road
• The 7000 mile route spanned China,
Central Asia, Northern India, and the
Parthian and Roman Empires.
• It connected the Yellow River Valley to
the Mediterranean Sea and passed
through places such as Chinese cities
Kansu and Sinkiang and present-day
countries Iran, Iraq and Syria.
• Chinese rulers of successful
dynasties kept secret the mystery of
silk production.
Compare and contrast this situation with
modern transnational corporations taking out
patents to protect their right to profit from their
Social Consequences of the Silk
• increased the number of foreign
merchants present in China under the
Han Dynasty exposing the Chinese
people to different cultures and
• Example: Buddhism spread from India
to China because of trade along the Silk
The Decline of the Silk Road
• The Chinese traded silk for medicines,
perfumes, and slaves in addition to
precious stones.
• As overland trade became increasingly
dangerous, and overseas trade became
more popular, trade along the Silk Road
• While the Chinese did maintain a silk-fur
trade with the Russians north of the
original Silk Route, by the end of the
fourteenth century, trade and travel along
the road had decreased.
READ “The Silk Road: Early
Globalization” pg. 125-128 and answer the
• Writtenfollowing
show that many different
peoples lived, traveled, and traded along
the length of the Silk Road including the
Chinese, Turks, Mongols, Middle Eastern
Christians, Western Europeans and
• How would this form of historical
globalization affect people socially,
culturally and economically? Give
examples of each.
• Do you see a parallel to the present day?
How so?

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