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Change In Diapers Trade In The Far East

1316 words - 5 pages

After Europeans arrived in East Asia via the Indian Ocean, trade in the Far East changed dramatically moving towards a globalized economy. Between 1450 (39 years before the arrival of Vasco Da Gama) until 1750, the levels of trade in Asia reached a new peak; initial changes came in the form of the addition of new goods; and the eventual addition of colonization into the Indian Ocean Trade Network ultimately turned traditional “trade” into imperial relations. However, the importance of raw materials and the main Asian groups involved in the Indian Ocean trade network largely remained constant after European exposure until the start of British Imperial rule of India. Throughout these three centuries, economic superpowers rose and fell, leadership changed, and cultural exchange was highly prevalent, but the general philosophies, and religions of the societies involved in trade remained intact, resulting in far more positive interaction than in the New World.
Before the Portuguese discovered of a passage to India by navigating around Africa in 1489, there was little trade in East Asia, the majority of it being between China and India, but some European explorers did participate in trade to some extent, spreading spices through much of the known world. In 1450, trade was done exclusively on land and was mainly between East and South Asian states was mainly an exchange of materials such as silk, silver, and jade, with China importing few goods because of xenophobic tendencies. The nearly ancient Silk Road that brought Chinese goods to Europe was also still intact after its revival by explorers such as Marco Polo. Additionally, China rarely exported gunpowder and several other inventions until later, and although India was a large producer of cotton, India did not benefit greatly from the trade of cotton until the arrival of the British. Eventually, the Middle East became involved in trade Safavid and Mughal Empires used goods to build large “gunpowder empires.” These gunpowder empires helped to united much of Asia and brought societies into the trade systems but lessened the importance of the Swahili Coast to South Asia. However, gunpowder had already been used to operate lethal weapons in Western Europe and the Ottoman Empire for 200 years to exert force on most societies that encountered. Once the Portuguese, and later along with many other Europeans, arrived in India and established trade routes, gunpowder became an exported product that was held to be nearly as important as Indian spices such as black pepper. Despite the changes that came from the introduction gunpowder to more areas and rise as a major good, silk and spices remained the primary concern of Europeans regarding trade. Generally, trade amongst Europe, China, and the Muslim world increased between 1450 and the early 16th century with a new emphasis on gunpowder, but even after the development of new empires and the discovery of a sea route, spices still held precedence in trade,...

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