Cross-Cultural Emmerment from East Africa to the Indian Ocean Basin Essay

During the post-classical era (500 CE – 1000 CE), multiple kingdoms developed throughout the Indian Ocean Basin where societal practices of India had a huge impact, causing cross-cultural shifts in economical practices, religious views, and trade, resulting in increased population and agricultural growth. India, China, and East Africa were the three main societies that were impacted. The development of economics was influenced greatly. Most other kingdoms created a money system using coins, just like the Chinese created.

But only the king of China had a treasury consisting of copper coins.

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The Chinese have gold, silver, fine pearls, fancy silk textiles, and raw silk in large amounts, but were considered raw material for trade. The copper coins served solely as money. Also, the Chinese created a system for debts owed to one another. They were very strict about this and promoted it greatly. If a person were to lie about a debt owed and was proved wrong, they were punished by death and had to pay a fine of 20,000,000 copper coins.

Document 1)

This idea worked because not many people took the risk of lying and paid their debts and eventually spread to other lands such as East Africa and India. It was a way to keep order with money lending and many countries used it. Trade in the Indian Ocean Basin had the biggest influence. Long distance trade expanded from China to East Africa. The Chinese practiced drinking tea from pottered vases and began exporting it to other countries during the Post-Classical Era. Tea was traded often on the Silk Roads and eventually would make it to the Arab trading vessels in India.

Then it would be shipped to be traded again in Africa, or other countries. A black-ware, pottered vase was found at Fort Jesus, Kenya, in Africa, which had Chinese symbols on it, indicating it was from China. (Document 5) This transaction was said to have possibly gone through an island off the shores of India called Ceylon. This island was a center place for much trade throughout the Indian Ocean Basin. When China began trading through Ceylon, it spread to other countries and societies, building relationships between these cultures. Document 2)

Agriculture played a role in the spread of trade as well. Farmers created sophisticated irrigation techniques which based a foundation for expanded trade. This enabled them to grow a surplus of crops, giving them better and more efficient opportunities for trade. Because of this, other societies learned techniques, as well, to become more efficient with trade. (Document 8) Religion expanded through the Indian Ocean basin, as well, influencing many societies. In Korea, a man-made cave was recovered that was used for rituals and religious ceremonies, and worshiping the Buddha. Document 3) Temples in China, originally Hindu and used for worship, were converted for practicing Buddhism during the 14th and 15th centuries. The temples were built to worship Vishnu, the Hindu god, encouraging devotion to Hindu Values. (Document 6) This was influenced by Indian societies as they expanded throughout the Indian Ocean Basin. (Document 4)

After the spread of Buddhism, the popularity of the religion decreased in India. Islam found its way to the societies and dominated more than ever before. Document 8) Throughout the Post-Classical Period, even though politically disunited, India stayed together because of its strong and cultural traditions. (Document 7) There was strong cross-cultural impact that spread from China, India, and East Africa, because the Indian Ocean Basin opened up the opportunity for new and expanded religious views across the lands. There was an explosion in the trading networks because of new agricultural ideas and techniques that made trade more efficient. Lastly, an increase in population formed strong relationships between cultural societies.

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