Changes and Continuities in Indian Ocean Commerce from 650-1750

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During the years between 650 an 1750 AD, the Indian Ocean saw changes and continuities in commerce through new methods of transportation, new commodities, and new European involvement. Innovation in transportation, new and unexpected commodities, and the Europeans spurned change in commerce in the Indian Ocean region from 650 to 1750 AD. Change in commerce in the Indian Ocean began with the invention of the Dhow. An Arab invention, Dhows are ships whose sails can maximize monsoon winds that are often found in the Indian Ocean. This enabled trade that region to occur faster than ever before. Another change in the Indian Ocean’s commerce came through new strains of cereals and maize found in the America’s, which became a new commodity for trade. Along with grains came another new commodity for trade: humans. During 1000-1750 AD, the Fatimid Dynasty, a Muslim government in Egypt, began to slowly take over surrounding regions in Africa. After permeating African society, Muslim merchants began capturing slaves and selling them to buyers in Arabia, where slaves were prized as status symbols. The Muslim slave trade operated throughout the Indian Ocean in order to reach Arabia and Southeast Asia. Lastly, change came to the Indian Ocean’s commerce when European’s became involved, beginning around 1500. The Portuguese, English, and Dutch vied for control of the spice trade in the Indian Ocean region. Eventually the Dutch monopolized the spice trade by capturing various nutmeg and clove producing islands and destroying regions that proved to be competition. Through the invention of the dhow, the Muslim slave trade, and the lure of the power of the spice trade the Indian Ocean saw change in commerce from 650 to 1750. Despite the changes that new boats, new commodities, and European involvement brought, the Indian Ocean region still maintained some continuities through

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