The Influence of Silk and the Silk Road in China

Decent Essays

China has more than 5,000 years of history and has changed dramatically over time. Silk and the Silk Road were both responsible for much of the change, beginning when silk became well known and frequently demanded by other countries. Many routes were created, running through all parts of the world exporting silk. As the invention flourished, the routes intertwined to form a trading system that was created and expanded over time. This influential route became know as the Silk Road and soon "channeled merchants, pilgrims, immigrants, smugglers, refugees, soldiers and adventurers across this land" (Clark 139). There were two parts to this prominent route, the Northern and the Southern. The more vulnerable part was the Northern route because travelers encountered bandits more frequently, but the Southern route was also dangerous because it required traveling through desolated areas such as the Taklamakan Desert. Because of the harsh conditions, travelers would often venture the route in caravans led by camels. Nonetheless, the journey was still quite treacherous so people rarely traveled the entire route. Out of these many travelers, missionaries introduced their Buddhist beliefs that eventually overtook China's indigenous religion. As the new religion spread through China during the Tang and Han dynasties, the route became very active and China's economy reached its most prosperous and glorious time period. All of this was the result of the production of silk and usage of the

Get Access