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Changes & Continuities in Commercial Trade in the Indian Ocean
Transcript of Changes & Continuities in Commercial Trade in the Indian Ocean
Analysis of Continuity and Change Over Time
Continuity: The merchants sailing across the Indian Ocean utilized the monsoons as a means of transportation along the commercial region because they were reliable and made getting to and from destinations less difficult and dangerous.
Fall of the Mongol Empire: fell to campaign led by charismatic Chinese leader, Zhu Yuan-zhang.
Competition for influential control between Portuguese and Arabs: Recognizing the Indian Ocean trade region was profitable, the Arabs and the Portuguese battled for influential control of it.
The new goods Europe received from the Americas (The Columbian Exchange): These new likable goods, such as the foodstuffs that contained more calories per acre, demanded to be exchanged in this region.
Relevant Historical Context
The Columbian Exchange
The Collapse of the Mongol Empire
Indian Ocean Maritime Trade Routes
European Expeditions (ca. 16th-ca.18th centuries)
From 650 C.E. to 1750 C.E., the commercial life in the Indian Ocean region altered especially due to the fall of the Mongol Empire which affected who the region traded with, the duel for influential control of the Indian Ocean trade region between the Arabs and the Portuguese which affected who controlled the trade region, the new goods Europe received from the Americas (The Columbian Exchange) which affected what the region traded, the function of Indian coastal or semi-coastal, economic cities, the improvement of naval navigational technology and naval transportation which affected how merchants traded and traveled on trade routes, and the increased involvement of European merchants in Indian Ocean trade which also affected who the region traded with; however, the use of the same, efficient, likable trade routes perpetuated throughout the commercial region.
Changes and Continuities in Commercial Life in the Indian Ocean 650 C.E. to 1750 C.E.
The function of each Indian coastal and semi-coastal city: These Indian coastal/semi-coastal cities attracted much trade. Some produced cotton textiles, silk cloth, linen, carpets, quilts, etc.
The improvement of naval navigational technology and naval transportation: Devices were invented and used by merchants, such as the magnetic compass from China, to help direct their voyage. Stronger, better-built ships were constructed, such as the southwest Indian dhow.
The increased European involvement in Indian Ocean trade: Europeans desired many Indian goods such as spices and textiles. The mission of expeditions was to establish trading agreements in that profitable region.
The Earth and Its Peoples
Chapter 13: Tropical Africa and Asia
Chapter 15: The Maritime Revolution, to 1550
Chapter 17: The Diversity of American Colonial Societies, 1530-1770
Eveyen Calado Morgan Moore
European merchants' eager involvement in Indian Ocean trade: Vasco de Gama's expedition to India to set up trading agreements. (pg. 437,442,443)
Duel for control of Indian ocean region between Arabs and Portuguese: "In 1511, the Portuguese seized [Malacca] then established a trading post in Macao. Portuguese required all spices...to be carried in Portuguese ships. Ships...to carry a Portuguese passport and pay customs duties ." (pg. 444,445)
The collapse of the Mongol Empire in the 14th century disrupted overland trade routes across Central Asia. The Indian Ocean assumed a greater strategic importance in tying together the peoples of Eurasia and Africa. (pg. 385)
New goods from the Americas: The New World's useful staple crops had enriched the agricultures of Asia. (pg. 491-92)
Economic function of each Indian coastal or semi-coastal city: The state of Gujarat in western India prospered from expanding trade of the Arabia Sea and the rise of the Delhi Sultanate. Gujarat manufactured goods for trade. Its prominent manufacturing/exporting cities: Gujaratis, Cambay, and Calicut (Malabar Coast). (pg. 389-90)
New naval technology: Some pilots used ancient techniques that
Arabs had used to find their way across the desert; others used
magnetic compasses, which originated in China. Dhows - characteristic cargo and passenger ships of the Arabian Sea
(lateen sails, sewn hulls) (pg. 386-87).
Evidence of Continuity
Use of the same, efficient trade routes: Sailors would use the seasonal and predictable monsoons to travel to their next destination.
Analysis of Improvement in Naval Technology
Analysis of Effect of the Collapse of the Mongol Empire on Indian Ocean trade
Analysis of the competition between Arabs and Portuguese for authoritative control of Indian Ocean trade region
Analysis of the functions of Indian economic coastal and semi-coastal cities
Analysis of Involvement of European Merchants in Indian Ocean Trade
Analysis of the New Goods Europe Received From The Americas
Why did the Europeans want to be involved in Indian Ocean trade so desperately? The effect of European involvement in Indian Ocean trade was new trading connections and interactions between Europe and the region, which also forecasts the Portuguese control of the profitable region. The European merchants were confident they would benefit from the profit and income gained by the European-desired exotic goods and resources, such as spices like pepper.
The utilization of the same, efficient, likable trade routes: The reliable monsoons carried merchants to and from their destinations.
The hulls of new cargo and passenger carrying ships, dhows, consisted of planks that were sewn together, not nailed. Marco Polo fancifully suggested that it indicated sailors' fear that large ocean magnets would pull the nails out of their ships; however, more probable explanations are that pliant sewn hulls were cheaper to build than rigid nailed hulls and were less likely to be damaged if the ships ran aground on coral reefs. This new invention transformed transportation means. As for utilization of the magnetic compass, sailors probably used it as a more certain device (than the stars) to direct their voyages. This transformed navigational methods.
The fall of the Mongol Empire in the fourteenth century disrupted northern land routes. This attracted trade to the Indian Ocean region. Previous trade connections and interactions were ruined and needed to be re-established. The collapse of the Mongol Empire affected who the Indian Ocean region traded with. These new connections and interaction with new regions foreshadowed the competition for authoritative control.
This duel for authoritative control of the Indian Ocean region affected who was in influential control of the region. The Portuguese's influential control of the Indian Ocean region changed the way trade was done due to their requirement of goods to be carried in Portuguese ships and their effort to control and tax other Indian Ocean trade by requiring all merchant ships entering and leaving one of their ports to carry a Portuguese passport and pay customs duties. This also changed merchants' in the Indian Ocean region attitudes towards the Portuguese. They felt much resentment towards the Portuguese; trade in the Indian Ocean region became violent.
Indian economic coastal and semi-coastal cities realized the economic benefit of participating in/contributing to the Indian Ocean trade that was attracting so many different regions. Their participation increased the coveted wealth and prosperity of Gujarat and on a bigger scale, India. This coveted wealth and prosperity foreshadowed the desire of the Portuguese to obtain influential control of the Indian Ocean trade region.
The new goods from the Americas, such as silver and the higher calorie per acre crops
like the potato, created popular demand for them in the Indian Ocean region. This
changed what was traded in the region.