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world in 1600
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background iberian exploration dutch england foundation of the EIC

Asia used to be known as “The East Indies”. Pepper, spices, medicinal drugs, aromatic woods, perfumes and silks were rare commodities in Europe, and therefore valuable. Trading in them could make you a fortune. And for this chance many were willing to risk their lives.

There were three great empires in Asia:
– the Ottoman Turkish
– the Mughal
– the Chinese

Each was wealthy and sophisticated and had its own international trading network. How could Europe open up its own trading routes to Asia?

Rome, Constantinople and Venice had all created successful trade links with the East. But this was only a beginning.

  trading map   map of asia

The Trading World of Asia
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Further Information

Map of Asia, Asia noviter delineata, published at Amsterdam by William Blaeu, c. 1640
Maps C.5.b.1.
(click image to enlarge)

Further Information

World in 1600Getting ThereBantamExpansionIndiaChinaImpactsHOMECONTACT US SITE MAP

BackgroundIberian Exploration Dutch ExplorationEnglandFoundation of the East India Company