Well, might as well start making sure that I understand it now, then.
"What lay behind the emergence of Silk Road commerce, and what kept it going for so many centuries?"
Eurasia was divided into inner and outer zones, the outer zones suitable for agriculture while Inner Eurasia had a harsher, non-agricultural climate. The people of this area had, for centuries, traded products of their civilizations for the agricultural products and manufactured goods of adjacent civilizations since their differing geographies led to a difference in the goods they produced.
The construction of the classical civilizations and their imperial states created more Eurasian connections, as the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great, and China's Han Dynasty all extended their authority, so these larger states became linked through trade.
The Silk Road networks prospered when states provided security for merchants and travelers. During the 7th and 8th centuries, trade flourished due to the almost continuous belt of strong states across Eurasia. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Mongol Empire encompassed most of the Silk Roads in a single state, giving a renewed vitality to long-distance trade.
Good answer. I would add that it was kept going too because of the strong demand for luxury goods among upper classes (elites).
Also, you said this, but I want to make sure other notice the sedentary (history word) agricultural people are on the edges of the landmass, while Central Asia is almost entirely pastoral people. Remember our Cain & Able/ pastoral vs. farmer distinction.
This is the big picture question I like best..."In what ways did commercial exchange foster other changes?"
Commercial exchange often provided the incentives and resources for the creation of larger, more powerful states.
*It provided sustained contact through which cultural influences were also exchanged, as in the spread of Buddhism and Islam.
*It facilitated the spread of epidemic diseases beyond local regions, with sometimes devastating effects.
*It resulted in the spread of plants and animals along with technological innovations.
*It altered consumption patterns.
*It encouraged specialization and diminished the economic self-sufficiency of local societies.
*Sometimes it was a means of social mobility, with traders often becoming a distinct social group. (More of this theme coming)
It would be hard for you to underestimate the force of trade in the human story. Make sure you really get this. Pardon the pun, but understanding all the implications of trade will bring it all together for you. It can be the common strand to hang so many of the concepts of this class upon.
I got myself caught in a double negative. What I meant to say was: it would be hard for you OVERestimate the importance of trade.
I'll go ahead and give another one a try, if that's okay:
"What lay behind the flourishing of Indian Ocean commerce in the post-classical millennium?"
The economic and political revival of China led to the increased Indian Ocean commerce, as the re-established state encouraged trade. The growth of China's economy entered Chinese products into trade while providing a market for Indian and Southeast Asian goods. The technological advances of China also added to its momentum.
Trade also flourished due to the rise and spread of Islam. Islam was friendly to commercial life, and the creation of an Arab empire provided an arena for the engines of Muslim traders. Middle Eastern gold and silver moved to southern India, and communities of traders were established. Slave trade from East Africa was stimulated. The expansion of Islam gave rise to an international maritime culture and stimulated widespread conversion that facilitated commercial transactions.
I think you should be specific with regard to China's revival and mention that it was especially during the Tang and Song dynasties (618–1279). Also, for the first time, China became a consumer of goods in the Indian Ocean network, not just a supplier of goods. The specific technological advances were larger ships and the magnetic compass.
Also, opportunities for trade led to the production of sugar and dates in Mesopotamia and this in turn stimulated that slave trade from East Africa to provide labor for the growing and refining of these products.
Good analysis of the importance of Islam.
Here's what I like about you Steffannie; you get super nervous about tests. That's certainly understandable, but your reaction to that anxiety is admirable. You cure your stress by working through it. You see that being nervous is a product being unprepared for what may come. It's a vital quality for success. I wish more WHAP students understood that - faced thier fear and simply did the work to de-stress their lives!
these two margin questions are probably really insignificant...... oh well......................
what is the relationship between the rise of Srivijaya and the world of Indian Ocean commerce????
›››Srivijaya came out of the competition between the many small ports along the Malay Peninsula who competed to attract traders/travelers that came through the all-sea route between India and China. and because Srivijaya rose up, it started to dominate the most important point of Indian Ocean trade. Srivijaya's gold, spices and taxes attracted supporters and created a new bureaucracy, and military/naval forces that protected the area.
what was the role of Swahili civilization in the world of Indian Ocean commerce????????????
›››Swahili cities accumulated goods from the interior and exchanged them for the products of distant civilizations. they transported goods down coastal waterways to be shipped abroad. the coastal Swahili cities were the middle checkpoints between the producers on the interior of Africa and the Arab merchants who carried the products to markets elsewhere. oh.. and..... Islam linked Swahili cities to the larger Indian Ocean trading world.
it's not deep enough but I tried FINALLY HAHAHahaha......
Good for you Sophie!
I think you went deep enough, and those questions are important. A comparison chart of these two might be a wise idea.
One other thing, it's better if you translate this stuff into your own words, not Strayer's. This helps you fix the ideas in your mind so you don't go blank on the test!
I made a comparison chart for these this morning, worked real swell
WaLyon meant to say Walton
Well post it up here Waylon, I'm curious...and say "hello" to Willie for me, ya hear?
I don't think someone has answered this one yet, so
What made silk such a highly desired commodity across Eurasia?
•China had a monopoly on silk-producing technology for a time
•Central Asia- silk was used as a currency and was a sign of wealth
•China and Byzantine Empire- silk was a symbol of high status
•Silk was associated with the sacred in expanding Christianity and Buddhism
•Chinese and Buddhist pilgrims who traveled to India seeking religious texts and relics took large amounts of silk as gifts to the monasteries they visited.
*Buddhist monks in China received purple silk robes from Tang dynasty emperors as a sign of high honor.
•Silk wall hangings, altar covers, and vestments became highly prestigious signs of devotion
•Western Europe lacked a silk industry, so a market was developed for silks imported from the Islamic world.
What accounted for the spread of Buddhism along the Silk Roads?
•appealed to merchants, who preferred its message to that of Hinduism that privileged the higher castes
•Indian traders and Buddhist monks brought the religion to the trans-Eurasian trade routes
•inhabitants of various oasis cities in Central Asia voluntarily converted, using Buddhism as a link to accessing India, which was quite large and wealthy at the time
•by building monasteries and supporting monks, Buddhist merchants could acquire religious merit and use these monasteries to rest and resupply
•pastoral people were introduced to Buddhism when the ruler of the Jie people, Shi Le, became acquainted with a Buddhist monk, Fotudeng. Their personal relationship led to the conversion of thousands and the construction of hundreds of temples
•Zoroastrianism blocked spread to the west
•absence of a written language
•nomadic ways of people outside oasis cities of Central Asia made founding monasteries difficult
For some reason, I was really unsure about this question, so please add/change/remove if necessary. D:
How did the operation of the Indian Ocean trading network differ from that of the Silk Roads?
•lower transportation, could eventually move bulk and goods destined for a mass market
•monsoons facilitated trade
•operated across an "archipelago of towns" or series of urban center that served as nodes
•trade flourished after mariners learned to ride monsoons
•India was a fulcrum in this trading network
•more direct trade
•no primary commodities
•higher transportation costs, carried less bulk
•no geographical advantages
•traded between entire regions/countries
•trade flourished after large and powerful states were established to provide security for merchants and travelers
•no trading "hub"s
•primary commodity: silk
Okay, I found it extremely helpful to make a chart of how trade in each region affected their society, political structure, and religious/cultural aspects. The opening to the chapter briefly states how trade was significant in terms of the previously mentioned aspects of a region, so I found it useful to organize all of that information throughout the chapter into a chart! Perhaps you will too!! Also, this new font is quite groovy.
@the last thing you said: Ah, so that wasn't just me.
Thanks about the fontt Elizabeth, I'm looking for feedback. You don't like it Cristina?
Anyway, you are both on track. Charts work, and Christina is the Queen of Charts!
You two are in great shape for tomorrow. B-)
nono, it looks great!
I just thought something happened, because my laptop tends to do weird stuff
the font distracts from the work.
Really? We need to get a vote on the font!
Hard to read quickly. Plus this font is read with an Italian accent in my head, which does make for interesting Strayer conversations
Here's my attempt at a big picture question. I was unsure whether this question was asking for what motivated and sustained all of the trade routes (what they had in common), or what motivated each of them. Although I am leaning towards the shared, broader motivation, I decided to include all of them just in case, but I wouldn't go this far in detail on the test. It works as a good review, though! It would be really helpful if you guys told me anything that was missing!
What motivated and sustained the long distance commerce of the Silk Roads, Sea roads, and Sand Roads?
• All: differing ecological zones and uneven distribution of goods and resources, because each society wanted products that were not available in their area
• Monopolization of products, ex. .Chinese silk
• The class of traders and merchants that benefited from trade, growing wealthy, helped sustain trade. Trade also allowed social mobility, and traveling religious missionaries spread cultural beliefs along with facilitating commerce.
• Desire of elites to obtain luxury goods so they could be identified as upper class
• Large political structures that benefited from taxing trade and controlling commerce
• Technological innovations, especially involved in transportation, allowed trade
• Silk Roads specifically: the difference between the outer agricultural zones and the inner pastoral peoples propelled trade because of the movements of pastoral people and both areas’ need for products from the other.
- Construction of imperial states, including Persian empire invasions of pastoral peoples, Alexander expanding his empire, the extension of China during the Han dynasty, the Roman empire, Chinese empire, Byzantine Empire, Muslim Abbasid dynasty, Tang Dynasty, and Mongol Empire (different time periods)
- Monopolization of silk and the desire for silk in societies other than China because it was considered sacred, high status, etc.
- The switch from growing food for survival to producing goods for the market sustained trade
• Sea Roads specifically:
- Desire for more bulk, common goods, drove trade. Transportation costs were lower and ships could accommodate more goods, so they were not as restricted to the elite.
- Monsoons: made Indian ocean commerce possible
- Settlements and coastal cities with concentrations of merchants
- India was the “fulcrum” of Indian Ocean trade, sustaining it with vast amounts of traders and products
- Revival of China after Han dynasty: unified state encouraged trade, the growth of the Chinese economy, vast market for goods
- Rise of Islam: friendly to commercial life, Arab empire from Atlantic to India, brought together a range of economies, flow of Middle Eastern gold and silver, international maritime culture
- Srivijaya and Swahili civilization demonstrate how trade leads to urban centers and political structures (along with cultural diffusion) and how those structures, in turn, sustain trade
• Sand Roads specifically:
- Environmental variation between the North African coastal Regions, Sahara, and sub-Saharan regions, all of which produced different goods
- Introduction of the camel as way to cross the Sahara
- Muslim merchants that sought gold
- Construction of states, empires, and city-states in western and central Sudan that were monarchies with court life, military, and administrative complexity that took advantage of trade (taxes), controlling and sustaining it through monopolizing imports, reserving gold, etc.
Everyone should be studying this one.
I feel like I'm missing some crucial points, but I can't figure out what they are. Help would definitely be appreciated! Should I approach the question from a different angle- for instance, look more at what facilitated trade in the Eastern Hemisphere instead of what inhibited it in the Western?
2. Why did the Eastern Hemisphere develop long-distance trade more extensively than did the societies of the Western Hemisphere?
• Horses, donkeys, camels, wheeled vehicles, and oceangoing vessels were present in theEastern Hemisphere, but they were absent in the Western Hemisphere
• Geographic or environmental differences: Europe’s East/ West orientation meant that agricultural innovations could diffuse because of similar environments. North/ South orientation of the Western Hemisphere made it more difficult for agricultural crops to diffuse and be adapted to the different societies.
• Panama’s narrow, densely forested isthmus inhibited contact between North and South America
I was hoping someone else would help Claudia. I'm at the open house, but off the top of my head.... The western hemisphere also lacked wheeled vehicles that we know of and ocean going ships of enough size to carry cargo.
Reading through your first answer, it looks pretty thorough. I hope, for the sake of their success tomorrow, others can produce the same level of completeness in their answer!
Time to not make the same mistakes on the test.
What was the impact of disease along the Silk Roads?
•An obvious one- lots of deaths
--Especially Black Death from the Mongols- one third of European population was killed
•Weakening of states
--Athens weakened when 25 percent of its army was killed
--Rome and China devastated by smallpox and measles, which contributed to their collapse
--Bubonic plague weakened Byzantium and allowed muslim invaders to more easily defeat them
•Strengthen appeal of Christianity and Buddhism because of their message of compassion during suffering
•Farmers and workers could demand higher wages because of their new scarceness
•Landowners and nobles hurt as prices dropped and their employees demanded better terms.
IN THE LONG RUN, EXCHANGE OF DISEASES GAVE EUROPEANS AN ADVANTAGE IN THEIR LATER CONFRONTATION OF PEOPLE OF THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE.
Here's a good comparison one.
In what ways did networks of interaction in the Western Hemisphere differ from those in the Eastern Hemisphere?
Now right here I'm going to go into depth about what caused America to be so less connected because it's interesting, I think it should have been a margin question, and not all of Bingham's test questions are margin questions.
•The connections between peoples of the Americas were not as entwined as was the case in Eurasia. These limits stemmed from a lack of domesticated animals, wheeled vehicles, and large boats. Also, the bottleneck of Panama and the north/south orientation of the continent contributed to the lack of orientation.
Anyways... continuing on..
•There was less cultural exchange goin on up in there.
Well that's actually all I got..
Almost like Strayer is leading you towards those details about how America differed from Europe and how that caused differences in commercial and culturall exchange...
What do you think Bingham?
edit: when I say lack of orientation I mean lack of interaction. my bad.
I think your analysis of Strayer is accurate, he's setting us up for many of the same points Diamond makes in guns, germs and steel.
You anticipated well. I would include that the isthmus was heavily jungled. Also, the north/south piece is really about the climatic differences that slowed or prevented the gradual movement of crops as opposwto the eurasian landmass.
Sorry I'm a bit late =_=
What were the major economic, social, cultural consequences of Silk Road commerce?
•Altered consumption, enabling West Africans
•Encouraged specialization in producing, particular products for sale in distant markets rather than for use in their own communities
•Diminished economic self-sufficiency of local societies
•Traders often became a distinct social group, viewed with suspicion because of theirimpulse to accumulate wealth without producing anything themselves
•Sometimes was a means of social mobility
•Provided prestige goods for elites to distinguish themselves from commoners
•Sometimes the wealth from trade motivated state creation
•Religious ideas, technological innovations, plants and animals, and disease also spread along trade
hope I answered the question right
I think what you put is correct, but they also apply to trade in general (Indian Ocean commerce, trans-Saharan, etc.) not just the Silk Roads. There might be a separate question addressing economic, social, and cultural consequences of trade instead of targeting that particular trading system. It'd probably be a good idea to add what you put as well, though, to answer this question- just wanted to make a distinction.
A few more specific points I might add:
•spread of Buddhism throughout Central and East Asia
•eventual transformation of Buddhism as it picked up elements of other cultures, more support for Mahayana Buddhism
•weakening of various empires: Roman, Han, Byzantine, Mongol through spread of various diseases
•strengthening appeal for Christianity and Buddhism
•immunity to foreign diseases, allowing Europeans to successfully conquer the Western Hemisphere
•peasants in the Yangzi River delta began to produce Silk Road commodities instead of food crops
and hopefully I didn't miss anything^
*it also applies
yea, kind of just woke up from a nap
Excellent points Christina, even if you are sleepy?
I think you should be able talk about how various civs were impacted by a trade network. Also, consider the causes and what sustained a particular network.
Maybe that was too obvious? Sorry.
I was wondering about a certain point pertaining to the question, "How did the operation of the Indian Ocean trading network differ from that of the Silk Roads?" Because longer distances were traveled by smaller groups of people, there was less of a "relay trade" system. Would there therefore be more direct interaction between cultures because of that, or am I totally wrong?
You would be correct, sir. While much change occurred as a product of the silk road network, (Buddhism, black plague, etc.) it's pretty clear that the Indian Ocean network resulted in much more sustained and repeated interactions. Therefore, the society wide impact was greater. Swahili and southeast Asian civilizations for example would probably not evdn have emerged in this period without it., thus making for much broader impacts in human, economic and political terms.
What changes did trans-Saharan trade bring to West Africa?
• Introduction of the camel
• Peoples of Sudan received horses, cloth, dates, manufactured goods and salf from the Saharan deposits
• These routes became major international trade routes that began the contact between separated peoples.
• Trade provided incentive and resources for the construction of new and larger political structures
• West and Central Sudan constructed states, empire, and city-states in the land all the way from the Atlantic coast to Lake Chad.
• Political system was made up of monarchies containing elaborate court life.
• Societies drew on the wealth of trade and taxed the merchants
• Acquired a reputation for being rich
• Mali monopolized the import of strategic goods like horses; taxed the merch sales; and kept a lot of gold for themselves while they permitted the exportation of gold dust.
• Slavery began. Started with women as slaves, then males are integrated into system. Most slaves were stolen from the south by the cavalry-based West African forces, then the Slavs (hey look, that word looks like slave... coincidence? I think not.)
• Substantial development of urban/commercial centers and was described as being cosmopolitan.
• Here it is... drum roll.......... Islam! Islam came with trade and became a major part of the culture of West Africa.
Very nice Jessica. And that is the root of the word slave.
Yes, I was making a joke :) cuz it's super obvious
Ok. I'm a fan of the font now because the smiley face (parentheses) look really cool!!
Could you please change the font back to the original setting? It is much more distracting than a plain typeface and is difficult to read over long periods of time. Thank you
hmhm, I think I might like this font more.
Bingham: This forum is for us to engage with each other publicly about where we are struggling with the coursework and to offer each other solutions for what works for us.
Why Geography Matters More Than Ever