This week’s reading focused on the trade of the Middle East between the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and the Persian Gulf during the 13th and 14th century. There was a time that all areas traded together without competition, but then the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf became competitive. The Persian Gulf was used more for a while because of the calmer seas and more trade and goods were moved through there. The Persian Gulf then lost its standing because of conflict and economic problems, which allowed the Red Sea trade to grow. The Persian Gulf was a lower on the trading pole than the Red Sea. This allowed Egypt to rise and become hegemony at that time. Egypt’s stand in the trade eventually faded leading to the rise of India. India in the world trade system was more export than import. India had everything to sustain itself and most trade was brought to them. Since India exported more than imported proved how industrialized they were.
I found it interesting how large the Middle East and Egypt were in the world trade system during the 13th and 14th century, because the Middle East, especially, is consumed with war today. It is very hard to picture all roads leading to Baghdad.
One question in class was interesting was how weather could affect trade. Thinking about the amount of trade, during the 13th and 14th century especially, used maritime would definitely be effected by weather. The Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, and Persian Gulf all surround the Middle East and were all used for trade. If there are high winds or storms over those waters it will slow down the trade between countries. In the book the Red Sea is talked about being extremely rough, so getting trade through that area is rough and you have a lot of lives in danger. If there is ever an extreme weather like there was during Katrina hurricane in present time than you the economy is surely going to be devastated.