Trade deals with transactions for goods and services. Trade has historically been one of the chief ways in which individuals have interacted with each other. Trade is one of the main ways that countries interact with each other, as well as individuals interact with each other.

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22
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6answers
547 views

Why didn't the silk road run north of the Black Sea?

I have read many times that the only way for Europeans to get to China, or vice versa, was through Anatolia and Persia. This gave Istanbul an advantage in throttling trade, as well as Mesopotamia and ...
21
votes
2answers
3k views

How did Europeans first acquire gunpowder?

I know that gunpowder was first invented in China around the 10th century, and it seems that gunpowder likely made its way to Europe via the "Silk Road." However, there doesn't seem to be a ton of ...
20
votes
3answers
6k views

Why did China shut itself out of the world in the 15th century?

After a period of maritime explorations (see Zheng He) in the early 15th century, the Ming Dynasty started shutting the Middle Kingdom out of the rest of the world. This of course continued with the ...
20
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3answers
413 views

First evidence for replacement of barter trade by local abstract currency?

What were the first local currency systems in history we have detailed information on? I dont think it was gold/silver or other hard to produce materials. Probably these became more important ...
19
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3answers
2k views

When was Silver ever more valuable than Gold?

These days we pretty much take it as a given that gold is more valuable than silver. The obvious example is the Olympics and other such competitions that give "gold" medals for first place and ...
17
votes
2answers
760 views

Has mercantilism ever been successful?

Mercantilism, which includes protectionism, industrial policy, capital controls, and other distortions to trade, is generally viewed by economists today as unsound economic policy. An overwhelming ...
15
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2answers
2k views

When and where was salt as valuable as gold?

I have often heard that gold and salt were sometimes considered of equal value. When and where did that occur?
15
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2answers
470 views

How did Muslim traders raise investments given Islam's prohibition of usury?

During early caliphate era (7th-13th century), Muslim traders dominated trade in Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean (see here and here for example). I think Islam's prohibition of interest or usury ...
13
votes
1answer
315 views

Where was the furthest extent of Arabian trade explorations?

Traders from Arabia travelled to and traded with Roman and Asian empires and this Nabataean Sea Merchants article. How far did Arabian traders travel - where was the furthest extent of their ...
13
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2answers
250 views

Medieval Saharan Caravan Navigation

During the medieval times, trade caravans using camels criss crossed the Sahara and Meghreb. For example, salt caravans from the Empire of Mali to the near east. I've wondered for a long time how ...
9
votes
1answer
199 views

Was there an export industry of papyrus from ancient Egypt?

While researching the orphism question I came across a mention of the Derveni Papyrus. While its content is highly interesting, I got curious as to how a papyrus showed up in 4th century BCE Macedonia ...
9
votes
2answers
143 views

When was grass seed first imported specifically for aesthetic reasons?

Wikipedia states that the term lawn dates to no earlier than the 16th century, and that in early 17th century Europe the concept of a closely cut lawn was born. I understand that certain luxuries were ...
8
votes
7answers
316 views

First evidence of intercontinental or cross-cultural trade?

Probably this happened several times and maybe even failed and broke up in different regions. What hints and proofs do we have of the earliest succesful intercontinental trade relations? I assume ...
8
votes
1answer
218 views

When did retailers stop wrapping purchases in paper and twine?

Listening to stories from relatives, it sounds like it was a near-universal practice (in the US, before the 1970s) to wrap retail purchases with brown paper and twine. Searching for information about ...
7
votes
5answers
267 views

Is there a link between national debt/trade deficit and starting a war?

I saw in an article mentioning that there is a link between national debt and starting wars I don't recall where I've seen it mentioned to look for further references on the matter. Are there known ...
6
votes
2answers
321 views

How did people acquire things in the pre-Roman Celtic world?

Today, when you want to acquire something that you don't make yourself, you buy it with money. How did people acquire things in the pre-Roman Celtic world? Let's say you wanted to acquire something ...
6
votes
3answers
256 views

Who were the traders involved in the triangular slave trade? [closed]

There is currently a big polemic in French news media about antisemitism. A French comedian is accused to propagate antisemitic ideas in France. I have no intention to propagate this polemic on this ...
6
votes
3answers
420 views

How did the Dutch East India Company (VOC) have so much revenue when they only control small part of Indonesia?

According to this, the VOC only controlled some ports, cities (like Batavia/Jakarta) and its surrounding. Yet, it seems to be a very successful corporation, mostly benefiting from the natural ...
6
votes
1answer
386 views

The value of spice trade during the age of exploration

One of the initial motivations for the Europeans in sending exploration voyages was to find cheap spices. To be worth such expensive and risky mission, spices must have been worth a lot and must have ...
6
votes
1answer
284 views

How did ancient Nomadic communities conduct trade? [closed]

Given that nomads are always on the move, how would you conduct trade with one another? Or maybe a better question did they even conduct trade with one another? Were there always cities/villages ...
6
votes
2answers
816 views

Status of merchants in feudal Europe

What was the status of merchants during the feudal age in Europe? Did they, like peasants, serve/have allegiance to certain land owning lord? If yes, do they have different status or privileges from ...
6
votes
1answer
90 views

How big was the kapa trade out of Hawaii?

The production of kapa bark cloth was a major industry in premodern Hawaii. Once Hawaii was opened to the outside world (1778 and onwards), was kapa exported from Hawaii? Was it a significant trade ...
5
votes
1answer
474 views

Could medieval European merchants travel through the Islamic world?

I've heard that the Islamic world was closed to European merchants in the Middle Ages. Is this true? If so, when did it close and when did it open again?
5
votes
1answer
168 views

Who invented psychological pricing?

Psychological pricing sets price to slightly below a round value, (e.g. $19.99 instead of $20) The seller reduces the price by the smallest possible unit, but relies on the customer to perceive a ...
4
votes
2answers
250 views

Did the United States ever impose any trade embargoes on the basis of health related concerns? [closed]

Did the United States (particularly in the 20th century) ever impose any trade embargoes on the basis of health related concerns? Are there instances where the U.S. said that if Country X doesn't meet ...
4
votes
1answer
80 views

Were there interstate tariffs before the US Constitution (1789)?

I've heard many times that the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution was (in part) designed to end tariffs between the thirteen states. Now that I'm trying to learn about those tariffs, I'm having a ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Book on history of international trade

I have just finished reading the book Taipan by James Clavell and I am fascinated by the history of International Trade and merchants and how they have affected the course of history. Can I get a ...
2
votes
2answers
133 views

Wanderwort origins and the Indus Valley Civilization?

I have noticed that there seem to be many words that have travelled the globe due to trade, such as the word orange or rice, which have plausible origins in proto-Dravidian. Meanwhile, it is ...
1
vote
2answers
119 views

Spain's tributary empire vs. Portugal's seaborne empire

While the Spanish built a huge colonial empire in the Americas, why didn't Portugal colonize the South Asian coast and only aimed at controlling trade? Why did these empires pursue such different ...
1
vote
3answers
204 views

Why was spice trade so profitable in the 15th century? [closed]

During the 16th century, Portuguese captured Melaka to dominate the lucrative spice trade; other city states such as Aceh, Banten, Brunei and Pegu also sprung up by exporting and trading spices. ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Chemical Evidence for Ancient Trans-Atlantic Trade

I remember reading a book some years ago that claimed there was chemical evidence of trans-Atlantic trade in ancient times from traces of cocaine being found in Egyptian mummies. I cannot remember ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

What was traded on the Chicago Board of Trade in the mid 1800s?

The Chicago Board of Trade was the world's first futures and options exchange, trading various kinds of commodities (I think mostly agricultural, but I'm not sure). When it first opened in 1848, what ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

Have majority European descent countries ever been seen by other European descent countries as a threat to manufacturing?

As far as I'm aware, in Australia, currently only countries which are predominantly made up of people not of European descent, such as China, are seen as a "threat" to Australia's manufacturing. Have ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Is there a different view by political-scientist in history that printing more bill is different from adding few more zeros in a bill [closed]

Is there a different view by political-scientist in history mention that printing more bill is different from adding few more zeros on the bill. I know some Africa country tend to doing that.