It includes the Swahili coast, Arabian peninsula, India, and east asia. They were unified by religion and trade through the Indian Ocean. It was faster than land trade and worked by the monsoon winds. They were very strong, seasonal winds that go east in the summer and west in the winter. This fueled the trade. The I.O.B. flourished because of China, Islam, Technology, and the Mongols. China's revival helped because it unified, encouraged trade. China also had a economic growth trading technology, art, and many luxury items. Islam's growth also grew trade. It promoted trade in the religion and found trading partners in the people of the book. Also, the range of cultural and environmental in the Islamic extent is great creating trade. Arabic was also good for trade. Technology such as sails, compasses, and astrolabes helped increase trade by making it easier. Finally, because the Mongols unified asia, there was safe trade on land. When they fell, people still wanted goods, so traders turned to the sea. There were many people involved in trade. There were the producers who made the goods. They would sell that to the middle men who would move the goods to where it would be sold. Sometimes there were many of them. And then there were the consumers who would finally buy the good. The price would be set by the middle men, always increasing so they could make a profit. Trade always exists because of cultural and environmental differences which was the differences in physical features and cultural customs in different regions. This created trade because people wanted what they couldn't have or make. Also, culturally some societies valued things. White things for an example. They would probably import a lot of pearls, silk, and ivory. They would import what they wanted and export their goods. Africa was known for exporting raw materials and importing manufactured goods from India, China, and Persia. Vice versa. Mostly cash crops and luxury goods were traded. They were grown and created to sell. Staple crops are the food you need to live. Of course, excess staple crops were traded, but not as much.
China: Silk, Porcelain, Oranges
Africa: Skins, Gold, Ivory
India: Indigo, cotton, and pepper
In the I.O.B. port cities goods, ideas, and culture were constantly spreading. These places managed and regulated the trade. The cities were very autonomous and had a lot of freedom as long as they payed tax to the ruling kingdom. In return the rulers would provide a way to export goods. There were guilds managing prices, tax, and so many other things. These cities were very open to foreigners and as a result very diverse. There were many different cultures in this place and there was a lot of cultural blending. In India, the rajputs, Chola, and Mughals were very tolerant and lenient towards its people giving them autonomy. Cities on straits were very significant because they could tax ships and trade to get to other places. Malacca, for example, was on the strait in between China and the Indian ocean. A lot of trade came through there, allowing for a large amount of tax. Another example is Aden, on the strait in between the red sea and the indian ocean. As a result these cities became very powerful.