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Indian Ocean Trade

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Beginning Middle End

* 8th Century: Islam religion formed; the Delhi Sultanate expands throughout the Middle East within the next few centuries and provides a foundation for their Indian Ocean trade

* 9th-10th centuries: China invents the axial sternpost rudder and compass for easier navigation to the Middle East to trade with the West;

* Math and science under the Arabs continues to develop, which helps create the astronomical tools they use to navigate their ships * During the Middle Ages and the Crusades, interaction through trade with Europe and the Middle East is high. Arab middlemen between trade routes made their profit by charging Europe more money for goods. This encourages European explorers, like Vasco da Gama to discover their own routes.

* Africa begins doing business with Portugal as well as with the Middle East; Europe's more superior technology subordinates the dominance on trade that Middle Eastern countries had for centuries * Portugal continues to control the key trading ports in the Indian Ocean. They make their money by imposing taxes on merchants planning to import/export goods

* The Dutch learn of the information, navigational techniques, and routes Portugal has been using for decades. They use this information against Portugal in order to take over their Asian colonies and create the Dutch East India Company. Later on, the British explore South Asia and form the British East India Company to help manage trade and keep the region under their control.

Changes: Trade dominance shifts from Arabian rule to Portuguese rule in the 15th century, and then later to Dutch and British rule in the 16th century; technological advances throughout this period make business and exploration more efficient

Continuities: Despite the addition of more trade routes being added to the region under European rule, trade routes that have been formed during the beginning of this time period have stayed the same throughout. Not to mention how the monsoon seasons created these trade routes in the first place; advancements in math and science helped better understand these environmental patterns so that enhancements to these routes could be made for faster and safer travel.

THESIS: The trading history of Indian Ocean displays more change than continuity because of the involvement of different cultures wanting different things out of this trading system.



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