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The Silk Road and the Trans-Saharan Trade

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    The Silk Road trade and the Trans-Saharan trade have effected the civilizations around them with power and the economy by their highly demanded good and the spread of religion, however some of the routes led to the spread of disease. The Silk Roads connected the Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire, building a massive road system traveling from China all the way to Gaul and Spain. The Trans-Saharan trade routes traveled all down the Red Sea to Zimbabwe. The trade routes symbolized the complex areas around them.

    Trade has played a major role in the spread of ideas, religion and new products being introduced around the world. Silk was a precious good many civilizations demanded. Silk originated from China where cultivators developed a special technique. Silk allowed China to prosper in wealth. In the Trans-Saharan routes, gold and salt were demanded products that allowed the Kingdom of Ghana and Mali to transform into important trading center for gold and salt. Religion also spread through the trade routes by oasis towns, merchants and missionaries.

    Christianity spread in the Roman Empire by Gregory the Wonderworker on the Silk Roads. Christianity spread all the way to the Iberian Peninsula, India, Mediterranean basin and southwest Asia. Buddhism was also spread along the Silk Roads mainly by oasis towns. The towns allowed merchants to invite monks and build monasteries, making Buddhism a popular religion for merchants. Islam spread in West Africa by the kings of Ghana, who converted. This allowed them to have connections with Muslim scholars.

    The relationship between the kings of Ghana and the Muslim scholars allowed the growth of religion and ideas to spread. Ideas, religion and goods aren’t the only things being spread on the routes. Disease has spread throughout other areas because of merchants along traveling along the road. The Silk Roads allowed disease to spread along Europe and China. Smallpox, measles and the bubonic plague tormented the areas when they spread. The diseases affected the population tremendously all throughout Europe and China.

    The Middle East and India, areas along the Silk Roads were not affected by the diseases because the difference in climate. The areas around the Trans-Saharan did not have any diseases as well as India and the Middle East because of the harsh climate in the deserts. Though the trade routes spread destructive diseases all throughout China to Europe, the goods being sold impacted the economy in the areas around them and spread ideas of different religions. The areas around the roads were able to get many ideas from all the other societies they traded with. This led to the societies becoming more complex.

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    The Silk Road and the Trans-Saharan Trade. (2017, Jan 23). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-silk-road-and-the-trans-saharan-trade/

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