This chapter explores the cross-cultural networks that linked Europe and Asia between 1000 and The Mongol conquests of the thirteenth century disrupted commerce along the ancient silk route through central Asia, but eventually trade and travel were restored and even strengthened. Although travel was slow and costly, international trade grew significantly with the exchange of crops, technologies, and ideas. Ironically, that same traffic helped spread the bubonic plague, the Black Death, which ravaged much of Eurasia in the mid-fourteenth century. Common elements of these cross-cultural networks include: Diplomacy. Different states used trade routes to send envoys abroad seeking either to form alliances or to impress potential rivals. Religion. Islamic law and culture were common to societies from north and West Africa to Southeast Asia and the Philippines. Travel for Muslim pilgrims and scholars was common under Mongol rule. Christian missionaries also traveled to East Asia, but less frequently. Cultural diffusion. These routes became an important source of new ideas and information throughout Eurasia. New crops, such as sugarcane, and new technologies, such as gunpowder, the magnetic compass, and the printing press, transformed western societies. European exploration. Portugal sought to bypass Muslim-controlled trade routes by mounting expeditions to India around the Cape of Good Hope. In 1492, the Spanish attempted to beat the Portuguese at this game by sending Columbus west across the Atlantic.
Patterns of Long- Distance Trade Silk roads Sea lanes of Indian Ocean basin Trans-Saharan caravan routes Development of trading cities, emporia Nomadic invasions cause local devastation but expand trade network E.g. Mongols in China, 13 th c.
Crash Course World History #19: Venice and the Ottoman Empire
Travel and trade from the twelfth to the fourteenth century.
Marco Polo ( ) Example of long-distance travel Travelled to China with merchant father, uncle Enters service of Mongol Khubilai Khan Returns to Venice after 17-year absence Experiences recorded by fellow prisoner in Venice-Genoa conflict Great influence on European engagement with far east
Ibn Battuta ( ) Islamic scholar, worked in governments on extensive travel Strict punishment meted out according to sharia Lashes for drinking alcohol, hand amputations for theft Unable to convince women of Maldive islands to cover breasts
Political and Diplomatic Travel Trade requires diplomatic relations after 1000 CE Mongols, Christians recognize Muslims as common enemy, 13 th century Pope Innocent IV invites Mongols to convert to Christianity Mongols counter-offer: Christians accept Mongol rule or face destruction Rabban Sauma Nestorian Christian Priest sent to Pope by Mongols in Persia, 1287, regarding proposed attack on Jerusalem Did not win European support 1295 new leader of Persia accepts Islam
Missionary Travelers Sufi missionaries travel throughout new Muslim territories, CE Christian missionaries accompany, follow Crusaders Roman Catholic priests travel east to serve expatriate communities John of Montecorvino travels to China in 1291 Translates Biblical texts, builds Churches
Cultural Exchanges Narratives, Stories E.g. European troubadours take Muslim love songs European scientists learn from early Muslim, Jewish scientists Gunpowder Technologies Muslims, Mongols spread gunpowder Technology reaches Europe by 1258
Spread of Crops Citrus fruits, Asian rice, cotton Sugarcane Muslims introduce crystallized sugar to Europeans Demand increases rapidly Europeans use Muslim precedent of having large populations of slaves work on sugarcane plantations
Bubonic Plague The Little Ice Age, c CE Decline of agricultural output leads to widespread famine Bubonic Plague spreads from south-west China Carried by fleas on rodents Mongol campaigns spread disease to Chinese Interior
Mankind: The Story Of Us All Episode 5: Plague – 13:03-35:59
Spread of Plague Mongols, merchants, travelers spread disease west 1346 Black Sea ports 1347 Mediterranean ports 1348 Western Europe Symptoms of the Plague Inflamed and discolored lymph nodes in neck, armpits, groin area Buboes, hence Bubonic 60-70% mortality rate, within days of onset of symptoms Extreme northern climates less affected Winter hard on flea population India, sub-Saharan areas unaffected Reasons unknown
Social and Economic Effects Massive labor shortage Demand for higher wages Population movements Goverments attempt to freeze wages, stop serf movements Riots result King Richard II of England had to flee London and stay on a boat in the Thames River when peasants revolted in 1381
Recovery in China: The Ming Dynasty Yuan dynasty collapses 1368, Mongols depart Impoverished orphan raised by Buddhist monks, works through military ranks, becomes Emperor Hongwu Proclaims new Ming (Brilliant) Dynasty,
Ming Centralization Reestablishment of Confucian educational system Execution of minister suspected of treason, begins tradition of direct rule by Emperor Reliance on emissaries called Mandarins Heavy reliance on eunuchs Sterile, could not build hereditary power base Centralized structure lasts through Qing dynasty to 1911
Economic Recovery Conscripted labor to repair, rebuild irrigation systems Promoted manufacturing of porcelain, silk Cultural revival Attempt to eradicate Mongol legacy by promoting traditional Chinese culture Emperor Yongle commissions 23,000-roll Encyclopedia
Ming Exploration Ming dynasty hesitant to have large foreign populations Mongol experience Allowed small populations in port cities Yongle engaged Admiral Zheng He to mount seven massive naval expeditions, Placed trade under imperial control Demonstrated strength of Ming dynasty Successful, but aborted as Mongols presented new threat in the north
Recovery in Western Europe: State Building China: centralized Empire Europe: regional states Europe develops new taxes Italian states: bonds France: salt tax, sales tax England: hearth tax, head tax, plow tax Establish large standing armies French Louis XI ( ) had army of 15,000
Spain Fernando of Aragon marries Isabel of Castile, 1469 Major political and economic alliance Completes reconquista, expanded beyond Iberian peninsula to Italy Funded Columbus quest for China
The Renaissance, 14 th -18 th Centuries rebirth of classical culture Italian artists use perspective Work with real human anatomy and musculature Leonardo da Vinci ( ) Architecture: domed cathedrals Imitation of Roman domes
Crash Course World History #22: The Renaissance: Was It A Thing?
The Humanists Humanities: literature, history, moral philosophy Renaissance humanists deeply devoted to Christianity Desiderius Erasmus ( ) publishes critical Greek-Latin edition of New Testament Also devoted to rediscovering classical Latin texts, often ignored in monastic libraries
Humanist Moral Thought Rejection of monastic lifestyle in favor of morally virtuous life while engaged in the world Marriage, business Reconciliation of Christianity with rapidly changing European society and economy
Renaissance Europe and the Larger World Artists express interest in Byzantine, Asian worlds Giovanni Pico della Mirandola ( ) tries to reconcile Plato, Aristotle, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism Illustrative failure
European Exploration in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans Motives: profit, missionary activity Portugese early leaders in Atlantic exploration Search for sea route to Indian Ocean basin Prince Henrique (Henry the Navigator) siezes Strait of Gibraltar, 1415 Begins encouragement of major Atlantic voyages
Colonization of the Atlantic Islands Madeiras, Azores Islands, etc. Investments in sugarcane plantations Exploration of west African coast Dramatically increases volume of slave trade Ultimately, some 12 million Africans deported to Americas for slave labor
Indian Ocean Trade Attempt to avoid using Muslim middlemen in trade with east 1488 Bartolomeu Dias sails around Cape of Good Hope Vasco de Gama sails this route to India and back Portuguese gunships attempt to maintain trade monopoly Beginnings of European imperialism in Asia
Christopher Columbus Search for western sea route to Indian Ocean Portuguese consider his proposal impractical, reject it Fernando and Isabel of Spain underwrite voyage, departs in 1492 Makes landfall in San Salvador Believed he had reached islands off coast of Asia
Crash Course World History #21: Columbus, Da Gama, Zheng He! 15 th Century Mariners