Trans Saharan TradeTrans Saharan trade existed before 700 BC, but trade increased during that time because of the arrival of Muslim merchants. Africans traded things like gold, ivory, hides, and slaves with Arab and Berber salt, cloth, paper, and horses. Something that helped the Trans Saharan trade flourish was the use of camels. Horses were replaced by camels, and saddles were developed for them to make riding easier. Other things that were traded included metal and textiles, with the most important being gold.
Indian Ocean TradeExpanded trade in the Indian Ocean was due to the spread of Islam, increased demand for specialized products, and the growth of states. Islam connected many cities, creating trade partners in East Africa, and parts of Asia. Muslims were also the dominant seafarers, instrumental in transporting goods to port cities. As trade grew, every region had something special to offer. India traded fabrics, Malaysia and Indonesia were the spice islands, and slaves, ivory, and gold, came from Swahili cities.
Silk RoadThe Silk Road was a trade route stretching from places like Kashgar in western China, to Central Asia, India, and many more places. The golden age of the Silk Road was marked by the luxury goods appealing to the upper class Chinese society. From Tang China came: paper, the compass, and gunpowder. From other areas of China, silk, porcelain, and tea were exported while cotton, precious stones, and horses were imported. Along the Silk Road, there were large cities and (inns) for travelers.
Mongol EmpireThe Mongol Empire was lead by Genghis Khan, a focused, fierce, and ruthless leader. They began their conquest by attacking the Jin Empire, which had already conquered many places. By 1227, the Mongol Empire reached from the North China Sea to eastern Persia. Under Khans command, his soldiers were skilled and fearsome, who were highly disciplined and proficient with the short bow. In 1236, Batu (Khan's oldest son) lead an attack on Russia, conquering small kingdoms and forcing them to pay tribute
Impact of CultureNew religions spread as a result of increased trade, and influenced the literary and artistic areas of many cultures. It fused and coexisted with native religions that shaped the era. Some religions that were introduced were Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. In some cases, the introduction of new religions resulted in native religions diminishing. In other cases, new religions unified people and became very popular.
Impact on the EnviornmentAgriculturally, new crops were introduced, resulting in population growth and had an impact on land use. Introduced to the land where things like champa rice (from Vietnam) and bananas (from Indonesia). New farming techniques were also introduced to cultivate crops. Due to overgrazing and environmental degradation, and increases in population, pressure was put on resources. Another negative was the spread of disease. The Bubonic plague killed about 200 million people from 1332 to 1351.