Friday, September 25, 2009

week 3 commentary

For this week's reading, we learned more about the Middle East and their trade with the East. During the 13th and 14th century there was much trade between the Middle East and the East. For trade to occur, merchants would take either the Red Sea or the Persian Gulf. At first these two routes were being controlled by the same power but when the power got divided, these two routes became rivals, competing for more merchants to take their path. For this matter, the Persian Gulf was favored more than the Red Sea due to better weather conditions and better goods. This allows us to see how weather is able to influence the economy. But due to changing power control of Baghdad, the Persian Gulf route's favor began to dwindle. Thus the Red Sea's usage became more frequent. Egypt controlled the Red Sea allowing it to gain power. Egypt allowed trade to occur but they would not let anyone to come through. However, as Egypt's power faded, India was able to gain control. India was a nation that had great exports rather than imports. They were a nation that was self sufficient enough to live without goods from other countries.

One thing that fascinates me about this week's reading is Egypt's rules on visitors. It's amazing how were a great trading nation but they would not allow anyone to come to their country. This type of governmental system reminds me of North Korea in that they would not allow anyone to come into their country as well as leave their country. It's amazing how long they were able to sustain power. I feel like for a nation to grow they need other influences to learn from and this includes having visitors come into their country. I wonder what makes a ruler want to keep this kind of policy and what they think will come out of it by ruling in this way.

-angela han


  1. I completely agree on how incredible it was that Egypt depended so much on foreigners to trade with but did not allow them to pass through their land. And why did the Europeans really want to continue trading with a power that wouldn't let them cross thought their land (besides the fact they needed the goods)? I saw Egypt as very puzzling in their ways as well. Great post!

  2. I agree with what your saying about North Korea. It is puzzling to see how leader can do that, the parallels to North Korea are there. But I still do not understand why countries do stuff like that. Events like the G-20 whether you are for it or against it, you can protest whatever you want. Countries like that; N. Korea, usually you are not allowed to participate in protest or things of that nature. People need to understand that there is more to just having these freedoms. When you have free idea and thought, you must sacrifice certain things, and if upset people, well then move to France.

  3. I also found it very interesting that Egypt was so dependent on other countries for trade but did not let them pass through their land. It confused me greatly that these countries continued to trade with them when Egypt was not in the upperhand. I feel if they would have threatened to stop trading with them maybe they would let them use their land for travel because they were so dependent on other countries.

    -Teresa Green