Advanced Placement World History with Mr. Duez - Learning Targets    


Chapter 8 Commerce and Culture 500–1500

Chapter Learning Targets

Big Picture Questions

1. What motivated and sustained the long-distance commerce of the Silk Roads, Sea Roads, and Sand Roads?

2. Why did the Eastern Hemisphere develop long-distance trade more extensively than did the societies of the Western Hemisphere?

3. In what ways did commercial exchange foster other changes?

4. In what ways was Afro-Eurasia a single interacting zone, and in what respects was it a vast region of separate cultures and civilizations?

Margin Review Questions

1. What lay behind the emergence of Silk Road commerce, and what kept it going for so many centuries?

2. What made silk such a highly desired commodity across Eurasia?

3. What were the major economic, social, and cultural consequences of Silk Road commerce?

4. What accounted for the spread of Buddhism along the Silk Roads?

5. What was the impact of disease along the Silk Roads?

6. How did the operation of the Indian Ocean trading network differ from that of the Silk Roads?

7. What lay behind the flourishing of Indian Ocean commerce in the post classical millennium?

8. What is the relationship between the rise of Srivijaya and the world of Indian Ocean commerce?

9. What was the role of Swahili civilization in the world of Indian Ocean commerce?

10. What changes did trans-Saharan trade bring to West Africa?

11. In what ways did networks of interaction in the Western Hemisphere differ from those in the Eastern Hemisphere?

Key Terms

American web: A term used to describe the network of trade that linked parts of the pre-Columbian Americas; although less intense and complete than the Afro-Eurasian trade networks, this web nonetheless provided a means of exchange for luxury goods and ideas over large areas.

Black Death: The name given to the massive epidemic that swept Eurasia in the fourteenth century c.e.; it may have been bubonic plague, anthrax, or a collection of epidemic diseases.

Borobudur: The largest Buddhist monument ever built, Borobudur is a mountainous ten-level monument with an elaborate carving program, probably built in the ninth century c.e. by the Sailendras rulers of central Java; it is an outstanding example of cultural exchange and syncretism. (pron. BORE-ahboo-DOOR)

bubonic plague: A highly fatal disease transmitted by fleas; it devastated the Mediterranean world between 534 and 750 c.e. and again in the period 1346–1350 c.e.

Ghana, Mali, Songhay: A series of important states that developed in western and central Sudan in the period 500–1600 c.e. in response to the economic opportunities of trans-Saharan trade (especially control of gold production). (pron. GAH-nah, MAHlee, song-GAH-ee)

Great Zimbabwe: A powerful state in the African interior that apparently emerged from the growing trade in gold to the East African coast; flourished between 1250 and 1350 c.e.

Ibn Battuta: A famous Muslim traveler who visited much of the Islamic world in the fourteenth century and wrote a major account of what he saw. (pron. ibn bat-TOOT-ah)

Indian Ocean trading network: The world’s largest sea-based system of communication and exchange before 1500 c.e., Indian Ocean commerce stretched from southern China to eastern Africa and included not only the exchange of luxury and bulk goods but also the exchange of ideas and crops.

Jie people: A nomadic people who controlled much of northern China in the third and fourth centuries; many converted to Buddhism. (pron. gee)

Malaysians: Speakers of Austronesian languages from what is now Indonesia who became major traders in Southeast Asia and Madagascar.

monsoons: Alternating wind currents that blew eastward across the Indian Ocean in the summer and westward in the winter, facilitating trade.

oasis cities of Central Asia: Cities such as Merv, Samarkand, Khotan, and Dunhuang that became centers of trans-Eurasian trade.

pochteca: Professional merchants among the Aztecs.

Sailendras: A kingdom of central Java that flourished from the eighth century to the tenth century c.e.; noted for being deeply influenced by Indian culture. (pron. sigh-LEN-drahs)

Sand Roads: A term used to describe the routes of the trans-Sahara trade in Africa.

Silk Roads: Land-based trade routes that linked Eurasia.

Srivijaya: A Malay kingdom that dominated the Straits of Malacca between 670 and 1025 c.e.; noted for its creation of a native/Indian hybrid culture. (pron. sree-vih-JUH-yah)

Sudan: From the Arabic term for “land of black people,” a large region of West Africa that became part of a major exchange circuit.

Swahili civilization: An East African civilization that emerged in the eighth century c.e. from a blending of Bantu, Islamic, and other Indian Ocean trade elements. (pron. swah-HEE-lee)

third-wave civilizations: Civilizations that emerged between 500 and 1500 c.e. and were typified by intensifying trade networks.

trans-Saharan slave trade: A fairly small-scale trade that developed in the twelfth century c.e., exporting West African slaves captured in raids across the Sahara for sale mostly as household servants in Islamic North Africa; the difficulty of travel across the desert limited the scope of this trade.

Venice: An Italian city that by 1000 c.e. emerged as a major center of Mediterranean trade.