• The Silk Road – a substantial network of trade routes that connected Asia, the Mediterranean, Africa and Europe• Started 2000 years ago, stretching over 8000 Km – many small routes connected and formed the main road – silk and many other goods were traded• Named “The Silk Road” by Ferdinand Von Richthofen, a German geographer in 1877• Cultural diversity between great civilizations – China, India, Persia, Arab and Rome• Describe three features of The Silk Road• Development, usage and reasons for its declineParagraph 2 • Route developed during the Chinese Han Dynasty – Chinese diplomat first travelled the route in the 2nd century BC• In response to high demand for silk the route formed 20 centuries ago• Lasted around 1600 years• 8th century – under The Tang Dynasty rule – favourable policies encouraged trade, The Silk Road reached its peakParagraph 3 • Transported trade goods – luxury such as silk, musk, and diamonds • Exchange of goods, culture, technology, knowledge and diseases – linked merchants, pilgrims and soldiers• Played a huge role in development of great civilisations – China, India, Egypt, Persia, Arabia, Rome and Byzantium• Historians declared it “information superhighway” – spread of knowledge from East to West• People in certain areas desired products from other areas – Romans traded silk for the same weight in gold Paragraph 4 • During the late 15th century trade on The Silk Road declined as sea trade increased• Advantages of sea route:o Less cost, trouble and dangero Easier, safer and ships are strongero Opened new markets and commercial opportunitieso Fewer stops – lowering prices• Disadvantages of land route:o ‘Tribal policies’ success of the route depended on countries at peaceo Difficulty in transporting goods during waro Many stops – increasing priceso Bad weather – sandstorms in some towns• Ming Dynasty – isolation policy

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