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Local Bridges Present In The Indian Ocean Trade


The network formed by the Indian Ocean Trade

The Indian Ocean Trade: A Classroom Simulation

This page provides background information on the major continents which were involved in the Indian Ocean trade. It provides insight on the goods that were traded among the continents surrounding the Indian ocean. The page also shows the benefits derived from the trade among these continents and how this trading system was drastically subdued due to the invasion of the Portuguese.


One of the most important networks that have been considered in our discussions has been about road networks. Examples of road networks other than highways that we have not discussed yet are sea routes. The Indian ocean provides one of the most important sea routes as it links the African and Asian continents. The connection provided by the sea routes present between parts of Asia and Africa formed a large and prosperous trade network before the Portuguese invaded Africa in the 1500’s. The individuals or the nodes present in this network of the Indian Ocean trade was East Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and China. The edges present between these nodes were the sea routes which connected them. An important aspect of this trade is that it depicts the principles of local bridges. The trade between the two continents involved items such as gold, cotton, silk and porcelain objects. Although the invasion of the Portuguese on the African continent drastically reduced the trade that was present between Africa and Asia, the trade did not completely stop. The capacity of the trade was reduced but not totally diminished. The links that were broken as a result of the invasion of the Portuguese can be classified as local bridges which were removed from the network. The removal of a local bridge does not cause the collapse of a network as seen in the Indian Ocean trade. The trade continued as there were other links between Asia and Africa which were not affected by the invasion of the Portuguese. The removal of the other routes from the trade network made it harder to trade but the trade was still possible which concludes that they were local bridges present in the network of the Indian Ocean trade.  



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