The Mongols Supported Trade and Commerce
The Mongol empire led to increased trade across Afro-Eurasia because Mongol leaders directly supported merchants and the expansion of trade and commerce within their territories.
The Mongols understood the importance of trade to the health and wealth of their empire and actively supported its growth. As a result, they worked to develop business and commerce across their territories.
The ways Mongol leaders supported trade
Mongol rulers supported merchants by supplying financial help to increase merchants’ profits and supported the growth of the merchant profession.
Mongol leaders often paid higher than the asking price for merchants’ goods while also giving tax breaks to merchants on the value of their goods.
Mongol leaders also supplied loans and financial backing to merchants.
The Mongols also built and maintained trading infrastructures like roads and bridges. Long-distance traders could also stop and resupply at Mongol postal stations initially built to move communication across the vast Mongol territories.
Merchant associations promoted long-distance trade by combining multiple merchants’ resources to form a trading caravan. Merchants in the group shared profits or losses, making long-distance trade less financially risky for individual traders.
The Yuan Dynasty in China continued the use of paper money.
Across large portions of Mongol territory, credit and bills of exchange were commonplace. These allowed merchants to move goods without carrying large sums of money.
Trade and commerce flourished under the stability of powerful governments that created common trading rules and had strong militaries to protect trade routes.
Mongol Support for Trade Also Increased Contact and Communication Between Distant People and Civilizations
As long-distance travel became safer along land-based trade routes through Mongol territory, communication and contact between distant civilizations increased.
Long-distance trade networks also functioned as networks of communication that linked distant civilizations that had not been in direct contact in earlier periods.
The Yam (postal) network
Across the Mongol Empire, a vast postal system developed and was known as the Yam. Mongol horseback riders passed messages across a relay network of riders that operated 24 hours a day. This system allowed information to travel thousands of miles across the empire within days.
The eastern and western worlds begin sustained contact
Before the 13th century, the western and eastern civilizations were aware of each other’s existence but did not often directly communicate. However, by the 13th century, leaders in Europe were communicating with leaders as far away as China.