The Silk Roads Were Crucial Trades Routes Across Eurasia
The Silk Roads linked societies across Eurasia. The trade was indirect and worked as a relay system.
The Silk Roads were one of the major global trade networks. By 1200, merchants had been traveling along the Silk Roads for 1300 years. The name of the trade routes refers to the trade of Chinese silk; however, silk was only one of many products that moved within the Silk Road network.
What were the Silk Roads?
The Silk Roads were land-based trade routes that connected societies across Eastern and Western Eurasia.
Significant features of the Silk Roads
The Silk Roads was a relay trade network. Like in a relay race where no one person runs the entire course length, relay traders do not travel the whole distance of trade routes. Trade was indirect. Many civilizations that bought and sold each other’s goods did not directly interact. Instead, they move goods between a series of relay stations within a region. Merchants operated between the same relay stations within areas where they knew the people and landscape.
- When merchants arrived at a large relay station, they would sell their goods to the next merchant, who would then carry them to the next relay station, where the process would begin again.
- Merchants moved between relay stations in caravans of multiple traders, using camels to move their goods.
Causes of Silk Roads trade
The Silk Roads arose from various causes, including a growing number of elites within growing civilizations and empires with excess labor to produce goods and extra wealth elites used to buy foreign goods. New commercial practices and technologies promoted this new trade.
The growth of the Silk Roads resulted from a combination of political, economic, social, and environmental factors that created an environment in which trade could thrive.
The Effects of the Silk Roads
The Silk Roads spread ideas, belief systems, technologies, foods, animals, and diseases between civilizations. This exchange led to the rise of powerful civilizations and empires and the end of others.
The Silk Roads impacted the development of societies across Afro-Eurasia.