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The Silk Road - The Last Leg

Posted On: 18/07/2014 @ 08:22:00 » Send your friend these details

The Mongol Empire and the Silk Road

In 1171 a nine year old boy became a chief of the Kamag Mongol confederation when his father was poisoned to death by Tartars. This child went on to build the Mongol empire- one of the largest in history- and in 1206 was proclaimed Genghis Khan ( ‘Ruler of the Ocean’). The expansion of the Mongol empire brought political stability throughout Asia. As a result trade along the Silk Road flourished; and it was during this period that Westerners such as Marco Polo began to travel to the Far East.

The Mongol Empire fell in the 1360’s, perhaps unsurprising given its volatile nature. The demise led to the great powers along the Silk Road becoming economically and politically separated and trade along the Silk Road began to decline. This led to travelers looking increasingly to sea routes, believing this method of travel to be cheaper and less dangerous (obviously this was before they had encountered pirates). This method of travel was consequently how Columbus ended up accidentally landing in America.

The Silk Road in modern day

In 1916 The Eurasian Land Route- a transcontinental railway line- was completed and came to be known by many as ‘the New Silk Road’. From the 1960’s- 90’s this route served as the main land bridge between Asia and Europe. In 1990 another link that went directly along the Silk Road was established. The 1990’s also saw the beginning of an ongoing effort by the United Nations World Tourism Organization to develop tourism and trade between Europe and Asia in the hope of positively impacting the world’s economy.

Over the past century this route has opened out to much of the population and travelers are able to cross continents via the railway line or even take a bicycle tour!

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