The Silk Road - Essay Example

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Nowadays, international businesses and global markets are capable of carrying transactions without the hassle of communication. With the expanding population of freight services and third party logistics, shipment…
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The Silk Road
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Silk Road as Link of West and East College Silk Road as Link of West and East Continental boundaries seem inexistent in modern way of living. Nowadays, international businesses and global markets are capable of carrying transactions without the hassle of communication. With the expanding population of freight services and third party logistics, shipment of goods has been as easy as one click of a button. But this is not the case for our early ancestors. The variety of land structures and presence of bodies of water have been a major problem during early times. In addition to such natural obstacles, there were also military and political conflicts among people. Traveling and exchange of goods were at a limited and minimal level until the establishment of the Silk Roads. Silk Road is the collective term used to point the interconnected routes for transportation of goods across China and Mediterranean (Liu, 2010). The seemingly safe route established from the halted military conflicts among regions attracted merchants from different parts of the world (Liu, 2010). This focus in trade and market roads have enabled the city of Changan to receive the arrival of distinct merchandise – “Roman glass ware, India cotton textiles, spices, fragrances, gemstones, and woolen textiles of various origins” (Liu, 2010).
Premium goods are those rarely found. Silk is common in China but were considered to be infrequent to nomads of the West (Liu, 2010). This is primarily the origin how the term Silk Road is coined. In addition to its perceived high value, silk is one of the items that drove trade because it is light and beauteous (Christian, 2000). Things which are exotic created a demand for them; hence, the trade was dominated by precious stones, spices and silver (Whitfield, 2004). These products were associated with glamour and thus, are deemed precious (Whitfield, 2004). Gems, stones and other jewelries conveyed luxury and very well became symbols of one’s societal status (Whitfield, 2004). Possession of such expensive items became a definition of a person’s capability and societal influence.
It is men’s nature to strive to be different. Allocation of foreign goods was one of the measures for people to display grandiose peculiarity. Amidst global diversity, there still is a common ground with which every culture can be identified (Haskoz, Iyer and Seshadri, 2012). McNeill emphasized the significance of contact and communication among civilizations. He also gave focus that aside from material goods, diseases and immunity to some of it are passed onto different cultures through these Silk Roads (Christian, 2000). McNeil also proposed the idea that the world is united as one through diffusion in culture of each civilization. Like McNeil, Christian (2000) also cited that the Silk Roads consolidated the Afro-Eurasian history. McNeil’s idea of the world as interconnected and deeply unified through these Silk Roads can well be established.
The prices can vary greatly depending on natural causes which primarily consist of the land structure, seasonal weather, and animal availability (Haskoz et. al., 2012). Animals, such as yaks and camels, played an important part in the journey of merchandise goods across steppes. Haksoz et al. (2012) enumerated the cost determinants for goods as “freight prices, road tolls, and custom fees.” The act of cross-docking, requiring the process of transferring from station to station, fairly contributed on saving time, money and effort (Haksoz et. al., 2012) and has greatly affected the prices imposed on goods. Furthermore, merchants can also take into account the security of the land, the presence of necessities like water, food and accommodation as one travels (Whitfield, 2004). Up until now, several companies still implement the process that was used in the Silk Roads (Haksoz et. al., 2012).
Trade is one of the driving forces for global economic growth. An in-depth look on its history is considered incomplete if Silk Road is not included. The Silk Road is the predecessor of global market and an illustrious icon in trade history. Its establishment has incontestably formed the foundations of world market. The intertwining routes provided a way for the dynamic exchange of not just goods, but also cultural traits, diseases, and genes. The trade did not only encompass lands across regions, moreover, it traversed the continents of Africa, Europe and Asia. Existing literature and the ways of the modern world can attest that the Silk Road is undeniably the archetypal link that initially connected the west and the east.
Christian, D. (2000), Silk Roads or Steppe Roads? The Silk Roads in World History. Journal of World History, 11(1), 1–26. Retrieved from /support/reading_9_3.pdf
Haksoz, C., Iyer, A., & Seshadri, S. (2012). Managing Supply Chains on the Silk Road: Strategy, Performance and Risk. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Liu, X. (2010). The Silk Road History. New York, NY: Oxford.
Whitfield, S. (2004). The Silk Road: Trade, Travel, War and Faith. Chicago, IL: Serindia.
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