Post 3- Muslim Merchants
In roughly the 13th century the Asian sea trade that was slanted in the direction of the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Southern China Sea was broken into three interchangeable circuits, which each had communal authority of both economic and political movers and shakers that were in charge of trade between nearby places. The major explanation for these divisions of circuits was geographic; interestingly enough these sets of circuits soon became cultural domains.
The circuit located farthest west was mainly populated by Muslims which included: ship owners, major merchants, and merchants who had ships in the northwestern coast of India. They conducted their business in three major ports: port of Cambay in Gujarat, and the Malabar port enterpots of Calicut and Quilon. They were able to carry out business by route of large resident “colonies” of Muslim Merchants. A portion of the merchants were from the Middle East, but began to settle, marry, and usually adapt to their new environment. The others who were native to the northwestern coast of India soon picked up on Muslim culture and language through extended exposure of trade.
I find it interesting how the Muslim merchants were such important players in trade, but did not venture far off to trade with other people not close by.
What do you think the Muslim merchants could have done back then to ensure that they would still be a powerful player in trade as they were then? If you think there was nothing they could have done what do you think they could do now to become a more major part of trade now?