The Silk Road Project - Essay Example

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Author’s Name Professor Subject Date The Silk Road Project Introduction The Silk Road refers to a historical trade route that linked the South, West and Eastern Asia to the European and Mediterranean world. It also involves some parts of the North and Eastern Africa…
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Download file to see previous pages This terrain significantly separated China from the nations in the west. Furthermore, the terrain in the west together with the peace treaties amongst the Western Nations led to the development of the Western economies. This paper will elaborate on the historical aspects that pertain to the Silk Road. It will address the origin of the term Silk Road, and the goods and products traded along the route. It will also cover on the significant traders of the Silk Road, and the effects on the East and West. The History of the Silk Road, Naming and Fate The Central Asian sections of the trade were expanded during the reign of Han Wudi, the Emperor in 2006 BCE- 220 CE period. The emperor had sent Zhang Qian in a mission to establish political treaties with the Yeuzhi people. However, on return from a 13 year journey, Zhang Qian reported of the lucrative trade that was taking place in the Western nations (Franck 66). The Emperor on an attempt to develop peace treaties with the western nations not only led to political relationships but also economic and cultural developments. The trade led to a great civilization in Ancient Rome, China, India, Persia, Arabia and Ancient Egypt. The route was given the name due to the lucrative Chinese silk that was traded along the road. Although there were other goods traded along the route, silk was the main commodity. ...
Later on, in 1877, a German researcher, Ferdinand Richthefen, named the trade route as the Great Silk Road (Foltz 50). The overland trade route was divided into the Southern and Northern Routes by passing Lop Nur and the Taklimakan Desert. The Northern route started at Chang’an, which is the present day Xi’an. This was the capital city of the ancient Chinese Kingdom. Later on, Han expanded the route to Luoyang, a town in the east of China. This route travelled northwest through the Gansu from Shaanxi Province. It split into three routes where two routes followed the mountain ranges on the south and north of the Taklamakan Desert to join at Kashgar. The other route headed south to the Tian Shan Mountains through Almaty, Turpan and Talgar (Franck 71). Figure 1: The Silk Road The route then split at the West of Kashgar with a northern route travelling through Kokand, present day eastern Uzbekistan. It then progressed to the West to cross the Karakum Desert. The Southern branch headed towards the Alai valley toward Balkh, currently Afghanistan, and Termez, currently known as Uzbekistan (Xinru 34). The routes rejoined in the southern side before reaching Merv, which is currently known as Turkmenistan. On the other hand, the Southern route was a single route which started in China through the Karakoram. Today, this route is known as the Karakoram Highway, an international paved road that connects China to Pakistan. The route then branches westward but with southwards branches enabling the journey to be completed using the sea. This route crossed through the Northern Pakistan, across the Hindu Kush Mountains to the present day Afghanistan. The southern route then joined the northern route near Merv. From Merv, the route followed a straight route to the West ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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