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AP World History

Unit 2: c. 1200-1450

Networks of Exchange

Main Ideas of the Unit:

  • Improved environmental knowledge, maritime tech, and commercial practices → Expanded reach of trade routes

  • Increased volume of trade → Fostered grow of new trading cities & states

  • Increased cross-cultural interaction → Diffusion of different cultures in key trading cities

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The Silk Road

Unit 2: c. 1200-1450

Main Ideas:

  • Improved commercial practices → Increased the reach and volume of trade → Created new trading cities

  • Specialized in luxury goods such as silk, porcelain, and textiles

  • Mongols conquered many different cultures & were religiously tolerant → Facilitated exchange of many different cultures & religions

The Mongols & Silk Road

A Trade Route Connecting China & Europe 

Key Ideas:

  • Improved commercial practices increased the volume of trade → Led to creation of new trading cities

    • Use of credit system, caravanserai (inns), horses/camels, etc. 

    • New trading cities emerged on Silk Road such as Samarkand and Merv

  • Silk Road specialized in luxury goods

    • Goods like silk & porcelain were traded as they were expensive enough to be worth transporting on a difficult overland route (compared to a maritime route)

  • Mongols were religiously tolerant of all the cultures they conquered → Facilitated exchange of lots of goods, ideas, and cultures

    • Mongols ruled Central Asia and had control over parts of India, China, Persia, Southeast Asia, and Europe → Connected most of Eurasia through their empire

      • Pax Mongolica: Because the Mongols ruled the entire land from Europe to China, merchants could safely travel the entire Silk Road without risk

    • Buddhism spread as Buddhist merchants openly practiced their religion in trading cities

    • Gunpowder, paper, and bubonic plague spread

Goods & Ideas Exchanged:

Buddhism

Bubonic Plague

Gunpowder

Silk

Porcelain

Paper

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The Indian Ocean Trade Route

Unit 2: c. 1200-1450

Main Ideas:

  • Improved environmental knowledge & maritime tech → Increased reach & scope of this trade route

  • Growth of interregional trade → Fostered growth of powerful trading cities & states

  • Merchants of different cultures congregated in key trading cities → Set up cosmopolitan cultural centers → Exchanged cultural and religious ideas with each other

The Indian Ocean Basin Trade Routes

A Maritime Trade Route Connecting East Africa, Arabia, India, Southeast Asia, & China 

Key Ideas:

  • Improved maritime tech and environmental knowledge increased the scope of the trade route

    • Maritime tech (compass, astrolabe, stronger ships such as dhow & junk) made it easier to travel longer distances

    • Knowledge of the monsoon winds (seasonal wind patterns in the Indian Ocean) allowed merchants to efficiently travel throughout the region​

  • Growth of trade → Fostered growth of powerful trading cities & states

    • Many cities & kingdoms profited & grew from Indian Ocean Trade

      • Swahili City-States (East Africa), Chola Empire, Sultanate of Malacca, Southeast Asian kingdoms, etc.

    • Many powerful trading cities emerged (Malacca, Cambay, Calicut, etc.)

  • Merchants of different cultures congregated in a few key trading cities → Set up cosmopolitan cultural centers → Significant cultural exchange

    • Religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam were exchanged​

      • Sufi Islam was popular due to its emotional appeal & its compatibility with other religions

Goods & Ideas Exchanged:

Hinduism

Buddhism

Sufi Islam

Spices & Tea

Cotton

Textiles

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The Trans-Saharan Trade Route

Unit 2: c. 1200-1450

Main Ideas:

  • Improved commercial practices → Increased the reach and volume of trade along this trade route

  • Expansion of Mali Empire → More people were drawn into the trans-Saharan Trade Route

  • Islam spread via North African merchants → Many West Africans converted to Islam but retained their indigenous African traditions

The Trans-Saharan Route

A Trade Route Connecting North Africa & West Africa 

Key Ideas:

  • Improved commercial practices increased the volume of trade

    • Camels were used as they could hold heavy loads & survive long without water → Very useful in the desert

    • Caravanserai were roadside inns where merchants rest for the night

  • Mali Empire facilitated trans-Saharan Trade

    • Mali empire traded goods like gold & ivory → Became very rich & prosperous

  • Islam spread to West Africa via North African Merchants → Many West Africans converted to Islam but retained some indigenous African traditions

    • Some West Africans converted to Islam to forge better relations with Islamic North African Merchants

    • Those who converted didn't fully follow Islamic sharia law & retained some indigenous African traditions

      • Most West African Muslims didn't follow Islamic ideals of women subordination

    • Mansa Musa was inspired by Islam and built mosques & Islamic schools in West Africa to promote Islam

Goods & Ideas Exchanged:

Islam

Gold

Ivory

Salt

Slaves

Books

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