Abu-Lughod describes the fall of the East and how the location of a major world system affects its trade. She talks about Iraq, China, and India having the possibility of hegemony in the East and further describes why not any one of the three rose to the occasion when given the proper rudiments to dominate the world system.
China, originally seen as a possible world hegemon, completely backed down due to a few different factors. The Ming government, Confucianism, and China’s collapse in the economy contributed to the fall. China also withdrew themselves completely from the seas to isolate themselves from the Mongols who were seen as less civilized. A good example of how location affects trade would have been India. Its location in relation to major trade routes and water was perfect for domination. However, India was not a naval power and did not defend itself or expand. This was due to the fact that India was not unified; therefore, India found no purpose in expanding and in having any protection or navy. Trade routes in the Middle East like the Persian Gulf and Red Sea were crucial during this time. There was a high demand for export trade in Baghdad, but the city’s potential died when the Middle East was conquered and the capital was relocated.
What would our world system look like now if India grew to its true potential during this period?