The Spice Islands sold their goods to China and India. Spices were in high demand. As time progressed and people became more mobile, the demand grew. The worlds growing demands for spices, especially pepper, had a huge influence on Southeast Asia’s economic development. The crusades and the policy of the Chinese Government were two of the key factors in the economic development of Southeast Asia.
The Crusades caused more friction between Europeans and Muslims by causing religious tension, however they had an effect on East-West commerce. At first the trade patterns were disrupted, but in time Western desire for eastern goods grew and this desire would shape history for centuries to come.
Even though the Crusaders were aggressive, they brought many long lasting cultural changes. The Muslims introduced the Crusaders to many new items such as, silks, perfume, new foods, and soaps. When some of the Crusaders returned to Europe they introduced the commodities they discovered to their homeland. This sparked an interest in the goods and made more of a demand for goods such as spices, which were the most important item of trade between East and West Asia. This desire and interest enhanced the trade industry.
The trade policy of the Southern Sung China Dynasty contributed greatly to the economic development of the spice-growing world. The Chinese Government was always in need for revenue to appease its neighbors. They encouraged export of produce to Southeast Asia to increase revenue and to help keep peace with their neighbors. The government of the Sung Dynasty sponsored massive shipbuilding and harbor projects. They constructed beacons and seaport warehouses, which supported maritime trade abroad. The Sung Government strongly encouraged trade so that they could tax it for revenue. Since the hostile Nomadic States blocked access to West by land travel, the Chinese workers developed sea trade with Southeast Asia. The influence of the Sung Government had a huge impact on foreign societies. Other countries wanted to trade with them because of their wealth and the stability and prowess of their ships, which made travel easier. It became much easier for the Spice Islands to get their goods to all parts of the world.
As trade grows, people of different towns and backgrounds intermingle. They share ideas and goods. Sharing promotes growth of cities and towns. Such growth brings in more income to all areas of the world. Technology advances and people teach each other new things. The cultural exchange is positive and profitable for all societies. New technology brings new ways to import goods such as spices and help the spice-trading world become stable. The Crusades and the policies of the Chinese government had a positive impact on the economic development in Southeast Asia, which has an impact across the globe.
Upshur, T. World History