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Lecture 5

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Camille Begin

HISA04 – World History I Lecture 5 Maritime Commerce in the Indian Ocean World - Long distance trade became more important than ever in linking local and distance societies - Trade networks – relatively informal - Physical settings o The Indian Ocean is marked by physical settings  Mekong Delta(market on water) – Vietnam  Irrigated rice field – Indonesia  Mangrove in India – special vegetation that grows in water and protects the coast Monsoon Winds System - 3 zones – overlapping that are trade zones in the Indian Ocean World o Western Basin: Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean  Large open Indian Ocean – links eastern coast of Africa, Madagascar, Arabic Peninsula, western coast of Malabar Coast (Kerala), Gujarat o Middle Basin  Links Bay of Bengal, eastern coast of Indian and Sri Lanka, Coromandel Coast o Eastern Basin  South China Sea – links China and Southeast Asia, tops of the edges of the Pacific Ocean o Eastern side is controlled by the strait of Melaka o 3 zones have different landscapes, different climates, but there is some continuity - Water frontier o Region from Mekong Delta to Maley Peninsula o Area marked by water that unites people and land - Element of continuity: monsoon winds o Alternating wind currents blow predictably  Blow eastward in the summer months, westward in the winter o Made maritime trade and commerce possible o Made it easier for Americans to plan ship trips because the current was so predictable  They would know when they would arrive and when they would return o The winds contributed to geography and climate on the long term o Winds created a sea highway – a sea common to all - Sea Common to all – the common highway flowed one way in the winter and one way in the summer o Linked areas in economic and cultural exchanges o Exchange among distant people is not new Trade and network and cultural exchange - Commerce – tunnel for culture and cultural exchange - Americans would take cultural habits with them and introduce them to new lands - Indian Ocean – world’s largest sea-based communication exchange o Expands network into the Mediterranean - Different regions producing different goods – difference generates desires for items from other places o i.e. Porcelain from China, gold from Africa, spices from India - Trade started off being indirect – separate transactions, many middlemen were involved - Indian Ocean – archeological traces of trade between ancient Mesopotamia and nearby civilization o Scholars think undeciphered scriptures from India are related to trade - Cultural impact – Ancient Egyptians traded down the Red Sea o Roman Merchants went to various lands and influenced their scriptures o May have imported Christianity - Development of the Indian Ocean world grew on ingenuity of people along the shores o Economic and knowledge exchange o Joined by the common highway of the Indian Ocean and the interlock of the human world - Maritime highway – operated in parallel to the silk road - Silk road – land route, from Europe to China, through Eurasia Marco Polo - Travelled the silk road - 1260 – 1295 - Admired hydraulic technology developed by China at the time - Took several years for him to get to China - On his way, he was stopped by several wars - Once he reached China, he came back on sea route - He chose the sea on return because of maritime route advantages – wars were not a problem, there may have been some unrest in port cities, but there was always the option of leaving, water is predictable thanks to the monsoon system, sea route was cheaper, silk road had to ship goods on the back of camels, ships held more o Silk road was mainly for luxury items - Travelled both silk and sea routes - Travels are an indication that the silk and sea routes are interconnected; linked to each other Commerce in the Indian Ocean - Commerce in the Indian Ocean did not happen between countries or regions - Countries shape change - Trade operated across archipelago of towns who merchants had more in common with than their hinterland people - Littoral society – community by the water o Have more in common with each other than the people of their continent; have more in common with other littoral societies than inland neighbours o People bonded together o Characteristics – location: by the shore, water, on the littoral  Where the coasts starts depends on the particular case  Flexible boundaries between land and sea o Characteristics – occupational and economic activities: oriented towards the sea (fishermen) o Characteristics – culture: often very cosmopolitan  Melaka and Ayutthaya (cities) - influence each other in terms of food, language, religious beliefs  Chinese culture was a common grounds amongst merchants - Trade is significant because of cultural links and because it generates changes within societies it connects o Different societies change in different ways o Affects consumption patterns o Affects day-to-day lives of people; alters what people buy - The Chinese produce more china or silk for their own consumption because they knew the demand o If you can make money from one good, you will make that good more, even though you may still need others (i.e. silk and rice) - Social effects of trade o Traders as social groups o Chinese merchants – distinct social group in societies  Looked at with suspicion, they accumulated wealth, but without producing anything o Political effects of trade  Related to wealth produced by trade commerce  Wealth in commerce networks is related to taxing trade and motivation construction of states Dang Trong state (Nguyen Family) - Vietnam - Created by the Nguyen Family, who had to compete against the Trinh State in the north - Foreign trade was the key to survival Maritime Trade - Maritime trade = revenue, weapons, information and knowledge - Trade networks also carried religious identities, technological advantages, new plants and animals, diseases - Indian Ocean – zone of cultural exchange and cultural negotiation o Everchanging network of ports and political events - India o Most active ports: South Indian and Sri Lanka o Important port in Sri Lanka – Mantai – disappeared in 11 century following the war between Sri Lanka and Chinese o Center of everchanging network - Similarities in trade systems in Africa and India
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