Friday, December 11, 2009

Blog 2

For week two's reading Janet Abu-Lughod discusses Venice and Genoa's history of trade. Both Genoa and Venice were supreme forces in the Mediterranean trade. In the 13th century northern and central Italy's most commanding merchants had a firm grasp on trade in Europe and down to the Middle East. Genoa and Venice both attempted to monopolize the trade routes. Genoa eventually fell because of their connection with Egypt. Egypt provided Genoa with many slaves through trade. Once this connection fell through Genoa never recovered.

The destruction of the Mongol Empire led to the decrease in value of the north. The Mediterranean was badly affected and produced low profits. The last significant thing Genoa attempted to do was take control of the Atlantic. This was a stretch but they weren't left with many options. In the end this was a failure and Venice took over the connection with Egypt. Genoa was left with virtually nothing and Venice took over.

I found the issues between Venice and Genoa to be quite interesting. Each tried to stay one step ahead of the other and control the trade routes. They also tried to cut off trade routes of the other. The greed for money and power both possessed was incredible. Unfortunately, Genoa fell short of this battle mainly because of natural disasters and external factors.

My question is how much longer could Genoa have fought off Venice if they didn't lose their connection to Egypt?

1 comment:

  1. Haha a throwback blog; OK I can roll with this. Genova could probably have held on for a very long time if the alliance with Egypt would not have been dissolved. Egypt not only provided slaves for Genova, but also provided security. This was because Egypt relied on the capital from Genova through the slave trades. Venice, however, was able to provide a better agreement with Egypt which stole the advantage over control of the trade routes.