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DBQ Essay Essay

Throughout history, trade has influenced civilizations by expanding religions, spreading new products or ideas, and through transmission of diseases. As civilizations began trading more with other civilizations, trade networks were setup. Traders needed a safe route to get to cities in order to trade. With trade networks such as the silk roads, traders had a way to get from Europe to China to trade goods. With more and more people trading because of trade networks, there were both intentional and unintentional effects of trade.

The spread of religion was heavily influenced by trade. Documents 2, and the both support this. The documents show that as people met in city markets, traders did not only trade inventions and products with another. Religious practices, cultures, and traditions were also spread. Document 2 shows that because of trade, religions such as Islam spread from Africa to as far as China in the east. Other religions such as Christianity and Buddhism were also spread. In Document 3, it shows that traders who came to the Swahili Coast to trade stayed there for a couple of months before returning home. Because of this, the traders would share their cultures, languages and religions with the native people who lived there. Over time, trade had a lasting effect on the Swahili Coast. The Swahili language today has some Arabic and Indian words in the language. Most people who are Swahili today also practice Islam as their religion. This would all never have been possible if it weren’t for the trade networks of the Swahili Coast or the Silk Roads.

Aside from the spread of religion, trade also helped new ideas and products spread throughout the world. Documents 1,4,5 and 6 all show that throughout the world, many different products and ideas were spread because of trade. Document 1 shows Mediterranean trade being first controlled by Phoenicians and Greeks. The map in the document shows major products such as tin being traded between Greek and Phoenician colonies. Document 4 is a
quote, it is implied that this Is coming from someone living in Europe during the Commercial Revolution. The person states that as food supplies increased in Europe, trade also began to increase. More goods were being created and traded all over Europe including, cloth, food, and leather. Towns would hold fairs every year for the trading of these goods. As trade increased, methods of getting cash and loans were developed. Banks were established by Christians and this all became the Commercial Revolution. Documents 5 and 6 further show how trade brought products from different civilizations all around the world. The Columbian Exchange in Document 6 shows how products from the Old World were brought to the New World. Some examples of these products include horses, bananas, black eye peas and beef. Document 5 shows how Marco Polo brought new ideas from China back home to Europe such as how to use coal for heat.

While trade helped spread new ideas and products throughout the world, so did deadly diseases. Documents 6 and 7 both show how trade spread disease from one civilization to another. With the Columbian exchange in Document 6, deadly illnesses spread from the Old World to the New World. Disease killed off many indigenous people in the new world and would also enable conquerors from countries such as Spain to gain the upper hand in colonizing and conquering indigenous populations. Document 7 is a political cartoon. It is from the point of view of someone who is against globalization. The cartoon shows an army conquering an indigenous tribe. The members of the tribe all look very fearful and seem to have been forced out of their homes. The army who is conquering all has symbolism representing American culture and ideas. Although this document is biased towards the U.S, it does show the negative effects that trade can have on an indigenous population.

These documents all show that trade had many lasting intentional and unintentional consequences on the many civilizations of the world. These include the expansion of religion, the spread of new ideas and products, as well as the transmission of deadly diseases. A document that would have been helpful in further analyzing the unintentional effects of trade would be one from the perspective of the civilization conquering the indigenous people. Overall however, these documents still show that because of trade, new ideas, cultures and traditions have been spread throughout the world.


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