Earl Trade FRQ Essay

Submitted By yankee2359
Words: 884
Pages: 4

Early Trade FRQ
Since the first civilizations, trade has been a necessary aspect of humankind in order to gather items, or knowledge, that someone else has. By trading goods and ideas, nations have prospered and even new ones have arisen. Over the past millenniums, trade has always existed, although it became a worldwide necessity that began with trade routes, an example being the Silk Road that connected the Europeans with Asia. Nationalism, through nations believing their superiority, the rise of trade routes, such as the Silk Road and Saharan trade routes, and merchants, sharing their ideas and goods with the people they met, would all come together to create the complex early trade periods.
Ethnocentrism, the idea that your country or civilization is more powerful than anyone else, helped develop a large sense of nationalism in the early trading days. Nationalism is the driving force behind wars in many cases, such as the success behind Napoleon in the Napoleonic wars. An example in the early trade is especially seen when Ferdinand and Isabella hired Columbus to sail in search of a quicker way to get to India. The Spanish monarchs wanted more money and more power and they believed that Columbus was the man to do it (Doc 7). Nationalism also played a large part in the development of early economic principles such as mercantilism. The desire to strengthen one’s country while decreasing others was a driving force that forced countries to develop ways to get their products other places cheaper than others (Doc 5). China, however, was the exception to the nationalist surge in trading. China was the predominate force before Europe began to expand and they were soon left in the dust behind the other powerful nations because they did not try to spread their kingdom as the Europeans did. Nationalism was definitely a factor in trade as the people wanted their kingdoms to be the most powerful, monarchs would push for more technology and expansion.
Trade routes would become the most important aspect of trade due to the fact that whoever was able to move their products the fastest and to the most people often shared in the most wealth. Columbus, who discovered the America’s, Vasco da Gama, who was the first European to sail directly to Europe, and even Marco Polo, who told the European about the riches in Asia, all set the tone for the desire to make even better trade routes. While over land trade was ok, sea trade was faster and more efficient. The triangle trade system would develop between Africa, the Americas, and Europe which would allow for the transfer of slaves and other goods to be traded in this triangle (Doc 1). Due to da Gama, more traders would sail to Asia which would create an impressive trade system of spices (Doc 8). Due to the rough seas, countries would push for better ships. Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal would be a pioneer in the bettering of ships to prepare for quicker sailing and more cargo (Doc 6). As time wore on, the need for precious metals would be increased leading to a new kind of trade. Silver became a predominate leader in the metals trade, being traded all over the world and into powerful countries (Doc 1). As explorers found new routes, the trade system would increase more and more…