The Silk Road And The Silk Road

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Supply chains are networks of different people and businesses exchanging goods. The term supply chain has only been around for a few decades but the concept has been around for centuries. “Most of the great civilizations of the past became great because they mastered the art of trading.” The Silk Road is one of the earliest examples of a supply chain. Goods and ideas were moved and traded across long distances in a system of routes and cities that formed the Silk Road. The Silk Road did not consist of one route or one time period. It was not even called the Silk Road until the eighteenth century. The Silk Road was a network of many different routes crossing the terrain and connecting cities and cultures. It had periods of great popularity and times of little usage.
There is no clear cut start to the Silk Road. There were trade routes from city to city throughout Europe and Asia. Towards the beginning of their patterns of interaction in 200 BCE, the Silk Roads were minimally used in East Asia. As time progresses, the roads increase as did empires such as Rome and Han who grew both economically and culturally due to usage of the roads. But, instability and economic pressures took a toll on the two empires, and when Rome fell in 476, the Silk Roads were used far less than how they originally were. The roads managed to pick up again as the Byzantine Empire in the east emerged and was able to prosper from usage of the already available roads. However, the Mongols come into play and invade the empire and end Byzantine’s era with the Silk Roads. In Western Europe, society was in the period called the Middle Ages where trade was minimal and feudalism had taken the place of trade since the fall of the Roman empire. The Mongols, who had...

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...ace in this era, so naturally slaves were traded along the established trade routes. The most important aspect of the trade that was occurring along the Silk Roads was not the material goods but rather the exchange of knowledge, beliefs and cultures. The Silk Road made central Asia into a melting pot of cultures from China to the east and Europe to the west. In central Asia the art, music, fashion and architecture all show influences from different cultures. Knowledge of how to produce goods flowed across the Silk Road too. Certain goods were unique to specific regions because no one else had learned how to produce them, unlike silk that could only be produced in specific regions.
The traded goods themselves were valuable for commerce, but the interchange of religious ideas and knowledge were the more critical component, and had a far reaching effect on the world.

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