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As transportation networks improved,
globalization increased rapidly as nations were now able to easily
communicate amongst each other. Long distance trade played a major
role in the exchanges of goods, religions and diseases that took
place between the major centres of civilization on trade routes in
Europe and Asia. Trade was self-sufficient for local societies up
until this period, the opening of transportation networks through
land and sea provided prestige goods for elites , motivated state
creation, and spread religious ideas along trade routes. Despite the
overwhelming number of events that characterized world history,
globalization through long distance trade stands above rest as what
mainly characterizing world history between 500 and 1500 C.E. Long
distance trade characterized world history by allowing for the
globalization of economics, religion and disease.

Firstly, world history during this
period was characterized through the long distance trade of goods
that increased the productivity of the economy. As the cost of long
distance trade diminished and extensive networks began to develop,
such as the Silk Roads and Ocean Roads, the trade of goods became
inevitable. Geography was a major factor that determined what was
exchanged and where it was exchanged. Eurasia was divided into inner
and outer zones with different ecologies. Outer Eurasia was
relatively warm and well-watered, inner Eurasia harsher , drier
climate products were exchanged for agriculture produce and
manufactured goods. “Realizing
that they could acquire goods they didn’t have at hand from other
cities far away, where the climate and natural resources produced
different things. This longer-distance trade was slow and often
dangerous, but was lucrative for the middlemen willing to make the
journey.” (Whipps, 2008) Silks
and spices traveled west from Asia and India through the silk roads,
whereas the Roman Empire traded goods such as glassware, jewellery
and different types of linen using the same silk roads. An endless
variety of goods traveled along the silk roads, often by camel, silk
symbolized exchange system this demonstrated economically and
socially important.Transportation was cheaper by the sea than by
land, which made the transportation of bulk goods possible.To
contribute to globalization by long distance trade, Alexander the
Great built the planned city of Alexandria that was a port city
dominated by its huge lighthouse that allowed for the trade of goods
by sea such as papyrus, textiles, gems and spices. Indian ocean trade
allowed east Africa to begin trading ivory, gold and slaves and
Arabia to trade frankincense and perfumes.

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Secondly, in addition to economic
globalization, the globalization of religion was brought on by long
distance trade. Merchants were responsible for the delivery of goods
being traded, as they traveled these long distances they were exposed
to different types of religions. Buddhism was successful in
attracting merchants as converts, as a result long distance trade
allowed Buddhism to become a well-established religion in northern
India. Merchants carried Buddhism along the silk roads where is
evolved to different types of Buddhism. In addition to Buddhism,
Hinduism also began to spread along the Silk Roads. Indian merchants
accompanied priest along their trade voyages. Just like other
religions, Christianity followed the trade routes and spread their
religion through merchants. Christianity
had spread onto every continent and quickly became a major religion
practiced by millions of people. In addition, Christian missionaries
took advantage of the European colonization of India and Africa; this
work done by the Missionaries accelerated the conversion of the
world’s religions into christianity . These missionaries were
committed Christians who wanted to spread the Gospel and were usually
men , they travelled from village to village. They were most
successful when they converted a king to christian then the kingdom
would convert to Christianity too ,for example the conversion of
Constantine and his followers. As
the political boundaries of the Roman Empire weakened they soon
collapsed in the West, Christianity spread beyond the borders of the
Empire and into lands that had never been under the control of Rome.

As with economic globalization, the globalization of religions
throughout the world was possible thanks to long distance trade.

Thirdly,
with the constant exchange of goods and people, the long distance
trades meant exposures to unfamiliar diseases. For example, the black
death was spread during this period in history.Trading ships
travelling the Black Sea docked in Europe where many of the sailers
were affected by the Black Death, “The
Black Death arrived in Europe by sea in October 1347 when 12 Genoese
trading ships docked at the Sicilian port of Messina after a long
journey through the Black Sea.” (2011) Globalization through long
distance trade was the reason for why so many individuals in the
world died. The plague commenced in China, one of the busiest world’s
trading nation, it quickly spread through the long distance trade on
sea. Rodents and different types of germs easily attached themselves
to goods or travelling vessels creating an easy way to spread
diseases. The quick spread of diseases wouldn’t be possible without
long distance trade, nations wouldn’t be as exposed to different
diseases if it weren’t for globalization.

In
conclusion, long distance trade became more important than ever in
500-1500 C.E. and helped quickly globalize nations. Long distance
trade brought on by different routes expanding, such as the Silk
Roads on land and Ocean Roads by sea, made it possible for nations to
quickly globalize by the sharing of goods and knowledge. Goods such
as spices and luxury items were now exported to different ends of the
world. Knowledge, such as religion was shared amongst merchants in
addition to shared goods. Long distance trade made it easy for
nations to share different goods which stimulated the economy, it
helped spread knowledge on different religions and unfortunately made
it easy for the spread of diseases.

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