Write an essay that:
• Has a relevant thesis and supports that thesis with appropriate historical evidence
• Addresses all part of the question
• Uses world historical context to show continuities and changes over time
• Analyzes the process of continuity and change over time
2008 CCOT Essay Sample – 9
Analyze the changes and continuities in commerce in the Indian Ocean region from 650 CE to 1750 CE.
The Indian Ocean has always been a power trading region, a corridor between East Africa and China that encouraged the spread of religion, crops, languages, and people. Through the rise and fall of powerful land and sea empires, trade routes have shifted and domination has switched hands numerous times over history. While the goods traded have remained fairly constant, the actual traders and the powers behind them changed from 650 C.E. to 1750 C.E.
Spices, textiles, manufactured goods, and raw goods have remained staples on the many routes that led from the coast of Zimbabwe all the way to the ports of China. Early traders from Polynesia even traveled to Madagascar showing the breadth of such a vast region. With the rise of the Islam and the Mongol Empire, overseas trade slowed slightly because of the importance of the Silk Road as the main connection between China and Europe. However, as the Mongols declined, Indian Ocean trade became of utmost importance to the imperial kingdoms of China and the regional powers of India. Under the Ming Dynasty especially the Chinese engaged heavily in foreign trade, eager to display their wealth with giant treasure ships and junks that sailed the day from China through the important port of Malacca to the east coast of India. The ships carried silks and porcelain, goods in high demand in Europe and Arabia, as well as picking up spices and hardwoods from the Southeast Asian islands. Once in India, the majority of these goods were sent on dhows to the Arabian Peninsula, stopping at crucial...