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Indian Ocean Trade

Essay by   •  January 18, 2012  •  Essay  •  408 Words (2 Pages)  •  2,077 Views

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The Indian Ocean was a very prominent ocean for commerce and trade from the time 650 CE to 1750 CE. It provided major sea routes connecting East Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. With the connection between different regions that the Indian Ocean provides, commerce and trade have been changed many times throughout those years. However, although many changes have occurred, some elements of commerce and trade have stayed the same.

From the year 650 CE to 1750 CE it has gradually become easier and easier for goods to be exchanged through different sea routes. As the time progresses, trade and commerce becomes more convenient for merchants because as they travel by sea more and more frequently, they are able to become familiarized with the ocean and establish safer, faster, and more efficient sea routes. Another reason that trade and commerce have become easier, is through the development of many different navigational instruments to aid them through the ocean, such as the magnetic compass, the mariners astrolabe, and the marine chronometer. Many merchants and traders heavily depend on their navigational instruments and monsoon winds to avoid danger and to transport materials faster. An example of this would be that the Chinese and the Arabs, who had compasses, were able to cross large expanses of open water without the fear of getting lost or injured.

Another change in commerce from 650 CE to 1750 CE, was the amount of trade and commerce being executed. As powerful city states began to flourish because of trade and commerce, more economic resources were made available to different regions and kingdoms. Because of these city states that served as centers for trade and commerce, the amount of products and regions that participate in the trade has grown and expanded drastically from 650 to 1750 CE. Also, as trade and commerce intensified, many people from different regions began to settle in the Indian Ocean basin. As trade in the Indian Ocean became more and more popular, many different regions were able to get hold of products that they had never had before. For example, the city-states traded with inland kingdoms such as Great Zimbabwe to obtain gold, ivory, and iron. They then sold these materials to places such as China, Southeast Asia, and India. Also, in return, the city-states buy silk, cotton, and porcelain objects at a high price from Asia, because these products were not available in Africa at the time. Anot...

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