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Geography And State Formation Essay

1244 words - 5 pages

Geography played a big role in history and made each empire unique in its own way. Geography had positive and negative effects when it comes to location, access to resources, and trade. For the Spanish and Mongol Empires, geography played a role in state formation as well as affected their strategies of rule. Considering that the Mongol Empire began in the 11th century and the Spanish Empire in the 15th century, the affects that geography had were significantly different regarding their state formation and forms of ruling, however, there were some slight similarities in the process of building up their empires. Both the Mongol and Spanish Empires were similar in that they used trade as a mechanism for expansion and connection, however, they differed in that the Mongol Empire focused on conquering territory throughout the Afroeurasian landmass while the Spanish Empire devoted its attention to overseas territory.
The Mongol and Spanish Empires had some similarities when considering their road to successful empire building. Trade was very important for both the Mongols and Spanish Empires. Because geography restricted access to resources, trade was the ideal mechanism to overt that problem. Both empires flourished because of trade networks that they created. The Mongols and Spanish Empires relied heavily on trade in order to gain access to resources that they did not have in their own locations. The Mongol Empire valued and encouraged trade because of their lack of resources. The Silk Roads were the primary trade network that was linked to the Mongol Empire. Trade was important to the Mongols because they were able tax it. Secure trade routes were a result of the Mongols which allowed for cities to flourish and prosper with the spread of food, inventions, ideas, and technological and agricultural advancement. The Mongols gave a new strength to the cross-Eurasian Silk Roads and according to David Christian’s article, Of Silk Roads or Steppe Roads, the Silk roads were protected by the Mongols because the Mongolian capital, Karakorum, was an important location on the silk roads.1 Unfortunately, the Silk Roads ended after the Mongol Empire ended because other trade routes emerged. In contrast to the Mongol Empire, the Spanish Empire relied on overseas trade to obtain their resources. The Columbian Exchange was a result of the discovery of the New World and was the main trading system used by the Spanish Empire. It allowed for the transfer and trading of people, animals, plants, crops, and disease between the New and Old World. The Columbian Exchange took place in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and connected the two worlds together. Geography caused both the Mongol and Spanish Empires to find other methods to acquire resources and trade was their way obtaining their necessities.
The Mongol Empire began in 1206 in along the Mongolian Steppes. Due to its small territory and location, the empire began to conquer various other territories and...

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