Friday, September 25, 2009

week three readings

While I find it a bit hard to focus after the insanity that unfolded outside my dorm I suppose I'll blog to the best of my ability.

This weeks readings informed us of the crucial role that India played in the world trade system in the thirteenth century. As it was the hinge state between the east and the west, India became a major port of call for anyone wishing to trade with either entity. Because the techonology of the time made it impossible for traders to make the entire trip at once, the self-sufficient nation found the world coming to it's shores with all the luxury goods it had to offer. Once the world discovered the goods that India itself had to share they became hooked. This brought the not very unified country unwillingly into world trade. We discussed in class that India did not need to throw itself into the world trade system, it was brought into it by people from around the world who used India as a rest stop between trade posts.

I find it very interesting how the major places along the world trade route of the time seem to change quite frequently. Once one route is even partially blocked off or fragmented between nations another route opens up that is more viable for traders looking to save money to make money.

What I don't understand entirely is why India did not become a major naval power. I know we discussed this in class but it's still a little fuzzy for me. The country was not unified, this I know, but it still was a major marine market place which attracted the attention of the entire world at the time. Why was ther little to no protection enforced on it on the ocean?

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