The Silk Road Trade Route

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During 200 B.C.E. to 1450 C.E., the Silk Road changed from a simple trade route with Europe to an international business, and its political power shifted from the Chinese dynasties to the Mongols taking over the Silk Road; despite these political and economic changes, the Silk Road remained a trade route that facilitated cultural diffusion and exchange. Stretching beyond 4,000 miles and serving as a major trade route between China and western Europe, the Silk Road assimilated different cultures while establishing commerce over the regions. The Silk Road's cross-cultural interaction significantly transformed the lives and societies of those who participated. In particular, trade was among the main reasons for such cross-cultural interaction, as well as the basis for their economies. The Silk Road was initially created for trading merchandise between Asia and Europe. Due to the trade between the regions, "Asia and Europe's economy became profoundly dependent on money from the Silk Road trade," (Strayer, 329). This trade route was initially created for trade among nearby communities; however, it ended up as a long-distance trade route that fostered cultural diffusion and commercial relationships while fueling the regions' economies. Such commerce grew extensively during the post-classical era; it acted as a change among its participants and their societies. Soon enough, the Silk Road extended across Asia and Europe, gradually shaping other cultures and societies. While at first the Silk Road only consisted of a route from China to central Asia, it later expanded to throughout Asia, western Europe, and Northern Africa. Moreover, the political change in China also contributed to the expansion and cultural diffusion of the Silk Ro... ... middle of paper ... ...e interactions around it fostered cultural diffusion and exchange. Many large trade routes such as the Maritime trade route, the Hanseatic League, and the Triangular Slave Trade, underwent political and economic changes; however, their purpose for their trade remained to be the same: to trade and culturally diffuse. Such occurrences in history explain that through cross-cultural interactions we have adopted many aspects of different cultures. Cultural diffusion specifically assisted the spread of religion to different areas. Buddhism, for instance, began in India during the sixth century B.C.E. Through cultural diffusion, it spread to different areas of the world, while universalizing the religion. This explains that, although the trade routes were initiated for trade among different regions, the trade route resulted in cultural diffusion that connected the regions.

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