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Discussion #3 Essay.docx

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HIST 1059
Prasannan Parthasarathi

Chantz Delgado Discussion #3Essay Europeans and the Indian Ocean During the fifteenth century, the Europeans began to demonstrate their interest in the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean was certainly a highly productive economy in the Indian subcontinent that contained many resources such as silver, cotton, textiles, spices, and rice. The Indian Ocean was linked to the Mediterranean Sea by sailing through either the Persian Gulf or the Red Sea. Another important aspect was that the Indian Ocean was also related to the Pacific Ocean via SoutheastAsia. Given the harsh Monsoons, the windy storms helped the sailboats move swiftly through the waters. The Indian Ocean incorporated many Emporiums in which merchants converged from several directions to exchange their goods. In the fourteenth century,Arab, Iranian, Gujarati, South Indian, and Chinese merchants all operated in the Indian Ocean. Europeans saw the potential for innumerable profit in this specific area and they made plans to capitalize on this scheme. According to Andre Wink’s “Al-Hind, ” the strengths of the Indian Ocean merchants coming from diverse backgrounds was that pluralism was maintained, and the social and cultural life was not made uniform. Nonetheless, the weaknesses were that there was no equality before the law, privileges can be maintained for the rich and the powerful, and it was a male world. Due to the diversity, the strength of the Indian Ocean was really small compared to the Europeans. The European navy was far more advanced for technological reasons and the stronger water currents in theAtlantic Ocean encouraged better ships. Italian merchants obtained Indian Ocean goods from markets of the Middle East, German merchants and bankers began to get involved with the trade, and the Portuguese were left out on the t
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