Chapter 8: Commerce and Culture

Chapter 8: Commerce
and Culture
Ms. Jerome AP WORLD
Big Picture Questions
 What motivated and sustained the long distance commerce
of the Silk Roads, Sea Rods, and Sand Roads?
 Why did the Eastern Hemisphere develop long distance trade
more extensively than did the societies of the Western
 In what ways did commercial exchange foster other
 In what ways was Afro Eurasia a single interacting zone, and
in what respects was it a vast region of separate cultures and
Why was trade significant?
1. altered consumption
2. encouraged specialization
3. diminished economic self-sufficiency of local societies
4. traders often became a distinct social group
5. sometimes was a means of social mobility
6. provided prestige goods for elites
7. sometimes the wealth from trade motivated state creation
8. religious ideas, technological innovations, plants and
animals, and disease also spread along trade routes
 Eurasia –majority of humankind, world’s most productive
agriculture, largest civilizations, greatest concentration of
pastoral peoples.
 Gave rise to most extensive ans sustained network of
exchange among diverse people
 Silk Roads– land based trade routes linked pastoral and
agricultural peoples
 “relay trade”
 Unity and coherence in Eurasia
The Growth of the Silk Roads
 Beginnings lay in geography and history
 Eurasia divided into inner and outer zones—different
 Outer Eurasia—relatively warm, well water areas, good for
farming, great (China, India, Middle East, Mediterranean)
 Inner Eurasia—eastern Russia and Central Asia-harsher and
drier climates. Not conducive to agriculture
 Inhabited by pastoral people
 Raided agricultural neighbors of the south
 Movement of pastoral people served to diffuse Indo-European
languages, metallurgy, horse based technologies all over
 Classical Civilizations
 By early centuries of the Common Era, there was a network of
transcontinental exchange, often brokered by pastoral peoples
 trading networks did best when large states provided security for
 a. Roman and Chinese empires anchored commerce
 b. in seventh and eighth centuries, the Byzantine Empire, Abbasid
dynasty, and Tang dynasty created a belt of strong states
 c. in thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Mongol Empire controlled
almost the entirety of the Silk Roads
Goods in Transit-economic
 a vast array of goods traveled along the Silk Roads, often by
 mostly luxury goods for the elite
 high cost of transport did not allow movement of staple goods
 Moved east to west
 silk symbolized the Eurasian exchange system
 at first, China had a monopoly on silk technology
 Considered morally decadent in Rome
 Central Asia—silk used as currency
 Became sacred in Buddhism and Christianity
Cultures in Transit
 Conduit of culture
 Buddhism in particular—product of Indian civilization spread
to Central and East Asia
 Buddhism appealed to merchants who preferred its universal
message over Brahmin dominated Hinduism which privileged
the high caste
 Buddhism spread to oasis cities of Central Asia.
 Buddhism took off
 Merchants introduced it to China
 Struggled to spread where culture lacked literacy
Buddhism Changes
 Originally shunned materialism
 Buddhist monasteries in rich oasis towns of the Silk Roads
became involved with secular affairs
 Monasteries became wealthy
 In areas influenced by Alexander—Buddha looks Greek
 Buddha becomes a deity
Disease in Transit
 Devastating consequences
 Mongol Empire—unified much of the Eurasian landmass
 Era of intensified interaction
 Spread the Black Death –bubonic plague
 Between 1346 and 1350 1/3 of the population of Eurrope
perished from plague
 Tenant farmers and urban workers were now in higher
Sea Roads: Indian Ocean
 Connected people on eastern Hemisphere
 Transportation cheaper on sea roads
 Carried more bulk goods
 Monsoons—alternating wind currents blew predictable
eastward during the summer months and westward during
the winter.
Sea Trade
 Began early civilizations
 Tempo of trade picked up during classical civilizaitons and
post classical
 Mariners learned how to ride the monsoons
 India was at the epicenter of trade
Who encouraged trade? CHINA
 The new dynasties of China (Tang and Song) reestablished
an effective and unified state –encouraged maritime trade
 China provided a vast market of goods
 China had great ships –magnetic compass to help
 Unlike Confucian culture which was anti merchant—Islam
was friendly to commercial life.
 Prophet Muhammad was a trader
 Arab Empire—from Atlantic through Mediterranean basin to
 A single political system and traditions favorable to Muslim
Srivijaya and Swahili City States
 South east Asia and East Africa
 Between India and China
 Main participant in Indian Ocean trade
 Grew as a major center of Buddhist observance
Swahili City States
 East Africa
 Commercial city states
 Islam brought trade to East Africa like never before
 New opportunities for wealth– gold, ovory, quartz, leopard
skin, slaves
 Villages became bustling towns and chiefs became kings.
 Developed independent city states
 No imperial system
 Not like Srivijaya as one controlling force
Sand Roads
Sand Roads
 The Camel—could go for days without wter made it possible
for long trek across Sahara
 Started in 300
 Muslim North African Arabs organized caravans across the
 Sought GOLD
 Sahara no longer a barrier to trade

similar documents