commodity chains - Pacific Collegiate School

Zones of Interaction:
Long Distance Trade and
Long-Term Connections
Across Afro-Eurasia
Special Focus Topic for 2011-12
Key Concepts Relating to
“Interaction” in AP World
“The Neolithic Revolution” (best example: spread of cereals)
“The Development and Interactions of Early Agricultural
Societies” (best example: bronze)
“Emergence of Transregional Networks of Communication and
Exchange” (best example: silk road)
“Expansion and Intensification of Transregional Networks of
Communication and Exchange” (
“Continuity and Innovation of State Forms”
“Globalizing Networks of Communication and Exchange”
River Valley Period
Civilization Leaves the
River Valleys
Classical Era
Post Classical Era
Post Classical Era
Age of Exploration
Trade and Culture
Trade and Disease
Trade and Governance
Trade and Ecology
Commodity Chains
A “commodity chain” is a path that connects consumers with the origins
of the products they purchase or use.
A commodity chain includes things like:
initial gathering of natural resources and the impact of this gathering on
local ecologies
Transportation of resources to site of manufacturing or processing
manufacturing or processing site
Transportation to retail or end use
Consumption of product
Simple Commodity Chain
I go to the garden bed in my front yard, pick a tomato, and
eat it.
Or is it that simple?
Where do the seeds come from? Where do tomatoes come
from? How did they get to California? Were the tomatoes
fertilized? Was the soil amended?
Linear chains:
16th century silver went from the Andes to the Philippines to Spain;
cotton from Egyptian fields to British factories
Web-like chains:
ipods; automobiles; soda
Note: modern chains tend to be more web-like
Famous commodity chains throughout history?
Silk Road

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