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The Silk Road Trade Route Essay

684 words - 3 pages

During 200 B.C.E. to 1450 C.E., the Silk Road changed from a simple trade route with Europe to an international business, and its political power shifted from the Chinese dynasties to the Mongols taking over the Silk Road; despite these political and economic changes, the Silk Road remained a trade route that facilitated cultural diffusion and exchange.
Stretching beyond 4,000 miles and serving as a major trade route between China and western Europe, the Silk Road assimilated different cultures while establishing commerce over the regions. The Silk Road's cross-cultural interaction significantly transformed the lives and societies of those who participated. In particular, trade was among the main reasons for such cross-cultural interaction, as well as the basis for their economies. The Silk Road was initially created for trading merchandise between Asia and Europe. Due to the trade between the regions, "Asia and Europe's economy became profoundly dependent on money from the Silk Road trade," (Strayer, 329). This trade route was initially created for trade among nearby communities; however, it ended up as a long-distance trade route that fostered cultural diffusion and commercial relationships while fueling the regions' economies. Such commerce grew extensively during the post-classical era; it acted as a change among its participants and their societies. Soon enough, the Silk Road extended across Asia and Europe, gradually shaping other cultures and societies. While at first the Silk Road only consisted of a route from China to central Asia, it later expanded to throughout Asia, western Europe, and Northern Africa.
Moreover, the political change in China also contributed to the expansion and cultural diffusion of the Silk Road. The Chinese dynasties were no longer in charge of the Silk Road; rather, the Silk Road became dominated by the Mongols during 1200 C.E. The Mongol expansion, however, contributed to political stability; their domination of the Silk Road allowed more trade to occur between the regions. Thus, the Silk Road's political change enhanced its purpose: trading by expanding and culturally diffusing. Moreover, a myriad of valuable merchandise that other regions demanded was useless to the Mongols. Consequently, the Mongols received luxurious...

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