Development of commercial activity

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Business ・Chicago ・1 Sources

The main force behind the development of commercial activity, commercial hubs, and commercial networks has been the shortage of commodities. Following their establishment, the networks were crucial in promoting the exchange of goods and cultures. The Silk Road, which linked China to the Roman Empire, the Spice Routes, which were maritime routes linking the West and the East, the Tea Route, which connected India with China through Tibet, and the Trans-Saharan Trade Route, which linked North Africa and West Africa are some examples of these ancient trade routes. Because it was so simple to swap goods along the trade routes, significant trading centers emerged. This essay explains how ancient towns developed into important hubs for trade,eligious and cultural activities.

Strategic locations of Kilwa, Samarkand, Venice and Malacca

Kilwa city was located on the East African coast. The city stretched from inland to the shore of Indian Ocean and was connected with roads to the hinterland. Kilwa acted as a port between Africa and Asia. Its strategic position on the coast facilitated connections between East Africa and China and India. The locals sold ivory, coconuts, rhino horns and gold while the Indians and Asians brought them East cotton silk and porcelain objects . Samarkand was located at the junction of the Silk Road which connected India China and the West . The city was popular for crafts. In Samarkand, silk tissue was sold in bulk to cross-border traders. Venice was located on the coast of Mediterranean and was bordered by the Adriatic Sea. The city was separated from the mainland by few miles. Venice’s eastern side had long sandbars that protected the lagoon from naval threats and invasion and storms from the Adriatic. Malacca was a bustling port that connected the present-day Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. The port was accessible in all seasons and was strategically located at the narrowest points of the Straits of Malacca. Its strategic position made it a gateway to trade between Asia and other regions the world such as Rome, Greece China, and India.

How the Roles Malacca and Potosia Differed

Malacca was an international seaport where passing ships could call. The port had fair and reliable warehousing and trading facilities for traders. However, the revenues from the port were not used to fund wars. On the other hand, Potosi, Bolivia emerged as was one of the greatest mining cities in the 16th century upon the discovery of silver deposits. Potosi became a source of revenue that was used to fund wars. The King of Spain of that time, Emperor Charles IV and his successors such as Philip II and Carlos II recognized it because the taxes levied enhanced bankrolling other wars of Spain.

The culture of Mecca that influenced the world

Mecca was initially occupied by people that worshiped idols and cult images (Quraysh worship) prior to the coming of Muhammad. Muhammad ordained Mecca as the holiest Islam site and the center of Islam pilgrimage (Hajj) and one of the five pillars of Islamic faith. The Muslim rulers met the needs such as food and water of travelers that passed their lands when making a pilgrimage in the last month of Islamic Lunar calendar . To the present, Muslims travel by air, sea, and land to make the pilgrimage. They could also protect the travelers when they were on their way back. Hajj entailed celebrating and giving out gifts. The rulers also maintained cisterns, roads. Mecca was also famous for enhancing slave trade. The Muslim merchants provided access to SW. Asia, India, Persia, Mediterranean basin where there was a huge demand for slaves. Famous people such as Mansa Musa took slaves from Africa to sell on the way and give them away as gifts to his friends on their pilgrimage.


In conclusion, the analysis reveals that the major cities in the ancient civilization emerged in strategic areas. Kilwa grew to become a city because it was a natural port where merchant ships from the Eastern regions such as China and Persia could dock. Another city that grew as a port city was Venice in Italy and Malacca in Malaysia. On the other hand, Samarkand was located in a junction of in Silk Road that connected India and China. Basically, Samarkand grew as a dry port. Because it was located in an area where an exchange of commodities, it became a center for crafts. Potosi emerged as a mining city in Europe. It became a strategic place for collecting revenue among the Spanish Emperors. Mecca was initially inhabited by Arabian merchants. Upon the introduction of Hajj, leaders from different parts of the world such as Mansa Musa took a pilgrimage to the city frequently. While doing so, they carried slave along and gave them as gifts along the way. The culture of welcoming travelers among the Arabian Kings along the routes of Muslim Pilgrimage and meeting their needs encouraged slavery in other parts of the world.


Bentley, Jerry H., Herbert F. Ziegler, Heather Streets-Salter, and Craig Benjamin. . Traditions & encounters: a global perspective on the past. NY. Mcgraw-Hill Education. 2015.

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