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Critical Analysis of Diamond Shipwreck and Tang Shipwreck as the Milestones in the World Trade Relationship - Essay Example

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The two shipwrecks mentioned in Roff Smith’s article, “Diamond Shipwreck”, and Simon Worrall’s article, “Tang Shipwreck”, provide a fragmentary view of the Indian Ocean Trade Relationship among the countries of the European continent, Middle East and the far-east Asia, during a period from the 8th century to the 17th century. …
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Critical Analysis of Diamond Shipwreck and Tang Shipwreck as the Milestones in the World Trade Relationship
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"Critical Analysis of Diamond Shipwreck and Tang Shipwreck as the Milestones in the World Trade Relationship"

Download file to see previous pages Though the material evidences procured from these two shipwrecks are not sufficient enough to depict the whole trade relationship among the countries of the world, they are quite powerful as proofs to support the historians’ claims about the world trade relationship, which had been greatly influenced by the contemporary power politics of that time. The shipwrecks, being located at thousands miles of distance and occurring at an interval of nine hundred years, significantly serve as milestones in the ups and downs of power relations as well as trade relations among the countries. Shipwreck depicted by Roff Smith occurred on an unknown date in the 1533 and is located at “the beach sands of the Sperrgebiet” (Smith 3) on Namibia’s south coast, whereas Worrall’s shipwreck is located under the blue water of “the Gelasa Strait, a funnel-shaped passage between the small Indonesian islands of Bangka and Belitung” (Worrall 2). Depending on a date inscribed on one of the Changsha bowls, Worrall assumed that the shipwreck might occur on an anonymous date in the A.D. 826. The Overall Picture of Asia-Europe Trade Relationships among the Countries The material evidences found at the shipwreck site in the Java Sea fairly prove to be strong support for the historians’ claims about the Chinese commercial relationship with the Arab countries, especially with the economic powerhouse in Baghdad. Worrall claims that ‘The Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Route, which had linked China to the world, lapsed into disuse [after 878 AD]’ because of “[the Confucian] distrust of merchants and the foreign influences” (Worrall 3). The truth is that “[the Confucian] distrust of merchants and the foreign influences” was the one and only cause of the lapse of the Silk Route and the Maritime Silk Route. Rather it was one of a number of causes –such as, the Ottoman barricade and dictation, Mongol barbarism, decay of security, etc on along the Silk Route- that were remapping the political power-relationships among the countries. These reshaped power-relations among the countries were then influencing the Arab-China, Arab-Europe and, therefore, China-Europe trade relationship. Consequently, China turned inward and the European explorers were earnestly searching for an alternate route to Fareast. The European exploration of the Atlantic and the New World was motivated by a number of financial, religious and technological reasons. Following by the industrial revolution in Europe, the Age of Exploration was essentially an age of growing trade and commerce. In later half of the 15th century, the growing strife between Europe and the Ottoman Empire began to narrow the scope of trading silk and spice including incense, medicinal herbs, drugs and opium, etc through the silk route and the spice trade routes. As a response to this shrinking scope of trading along the eastward land and sea route, the Portuguese and the Spanish were motivated to opt for another two alternatives: first they were searching for an alternative route to east and Southeast Asian Markets; second, they were trying to find out markets of cheap slave-labors, other valuable goods like gold, silver, ivory, etc in the African region. Consequently, in 1418 the Portuguese began exploration along the African coast of the Atlantic. But being geared up by the Ottoman blockade on the Silk route and on other eastward sea-routes Vasco Da Gama, funded by the Spanish monarch, traveled the African Seacoast of the Atlantic a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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