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Cultural Exchange DBQ

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Cultural exchange in the eleventh to fourteenth centuries was revolutionized by new forms of contact and stronger connections between civilizations. The documents provided demonstrate facets of cultural diffusion that formed each culture, and ultimately the future. The explosion of the Mongol empire, accounted for in documents 1 and 4, tied together the entire continent of Eurasia, linking one end to another and creating ties to spread culture and technology. Documents 1 and 3 demonstrate the inestimable value of religion in the spread of regional ideas, from missionaries to crusades. Finally, commerce and adventure provided another key road to expansion in documents 2, 4, and 5, expanding the scope of Christianity and the culture that…show more content…
Ibn Battuta describes one of his many stops across the world in document 2, in this case, the state of Mali. As Ibn Battuta explored and chronicled the world that he traveled, he exchanged knowledge of his homeland, all the places he had already been to, and gained local culture. However, he was a Muslim, and so was likely to have a very strict view of regional culture that he disapproves of, such as the nudity of their women. Document 4 describes the preparation of the Mongol Khans in creating well-developed and protected routes that would be available to caravans. The document would have been a very helpful tool for future merchants, who could plot their journeys and feel more secure, while also showing the organization that was developing in the international trade system then. However, Marco Polo does not discuss the effects that the spread of culture and ideas would provide. Finally, document 5 is the account of Francesco Pegolotti concerning the things a traveler or merchant would need to know about China. Simply having such an account shows the depth to which international knowledge had permeated, all the way from China to Italy, and the ideas of those cultures had been exchanged (such as paper money). However, Pegolotti does not describe to what extent the new technologies are assimilated into the new cultures; e.g., how China uses glass or how the west used paper. As a final source of illumination, an account from a Chinese bureaucrat with the task of implementing new production and distribution of some of the imported goods would be very helpful. Owing to the Mongol trade network and contacts, the expansion of worldwide religions, and the explosion of trade, the world became a much smaller and closer place in the first half of the second
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