Lecture No. 3 Asia at 1400 Friday, October 12 ,
Asia was the world’s power house; china had a huge population, advanced in science and
technology, organized state, and a powerful economy. Asia is the first real world economy.
There are three circuits (areas) of trade. The first one is located in the Arabian Sea, then the
Bay of Bengal, and the South China Sea. The Arabian Sea was inhabited mostly by Muslims.
The regions were set by wind patterns. The Bay of Bengal is dominated by Hindus with a
Buddhist connection. South China Sea was dominated by China, and a space of Buddhist and
The trade regions were determined by monsoons. People could be stuck in place for one year if
people missed the right time to use the monsoons for leaving. There was an exchange of ideas
in the ports. Ibn Majid wrote a navigation manual that described when the ocean is closed.
Talked about times when it was suicidal to cross the Indian Ocean.
The Indian Subcontinent was made up of regional states. Delhi Sultanate used cavalry; they
introduced Islam to Northern India. They brought ideas on how to govern the states. The
Vijayanagara is located in the Central Deccan; conquered the Tamil kingdoms in the south. They
opposed the Islam in the north. The economy in India grew cotton with irrigation. They had world
renowned products. They had the most important textile industries. Indian developed a way of
processing cotton more efficiently. They produced rice, sugar, and spices. Vijayanagara sold
spices as far as Venice. Rhubarb was expensive import; originated in the area of China. It would
work on the diarrhea for children.
India in the world system was a logical landfall for ships coming from Africa, and Mesopotamia
on the west side. The trade in India is believed to be 4000 years old. Indians could trade
Chinese goods to Europe. The economy was so strong that the Romans had a trade deficit with
Indian. The Romans had to pay a lot of silver currency to India.
The Bay of Bengal had a lot of contact between India and South East Asia. The contacts were
full of ancient contacts. There was early technology in South East Asia. The people used sailing
and navigation before the Common Era. South East Asia was influenced by India. Most like to
be Hindu; trade tended to be carried by Tamil merchants in the local towns and villages.
Palembang prince controlled the trade in the Straits of Malacca; the Chinese had to pay tribute
in order to pass through, instead of receiving tribute. In the 14 century there was an Islamic
influence. The Hindus brought the Sanskrit language to South East Asia.
The Ming dynasty was dominated in China. Huge population was mostly made up of peasants.
Confucianism was a code developed to organize society. It starts with the idea that there is a
cosmic order – divine plan that needs to have balance. There is a hierarchy made up of superior
and inferior relationships; they are important relationships. People had to know and respect their
place. Everyone had a role to