Synopsis: The Silk Road was a major trade route that ran from Asia to Europe. There were many different types of goods traded on the road. Eventually the trade on the route declined as the world became more advanced and used other means of transportation. The cities along the road that prospered during the 12th century began to decline. The plan for the future is to revive trade on the road along with the once prosperous cities along it.

From its birth before Christ, through the heights of the Tang dynasty, until its slow demise six to seven hundred years ago, the Silk Road has had a unique role in foreign trade and political relations, stretching far beyond the bounds of Asia itself. It has left its mark on the development of civilizations on both sides of the continent. However, the route has merely fallen into disuse; its story is far from over. With the latest developments, and the changes in political and economic systems, the edges of the area may yet see international trade once again, on a scale considerably greater than that of old, the iron horse replacing the camels and horses of the past. -
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Brianna M.
Jenna S.
Michael S.
Chelsey M.

What we've forgotten, what we're dealing with, and what is yet to come.

Marco Polo(1254-1324)
Marco Polo was credited for being one of the first Westerners to travel the Silk road into China; however, he was not alone in this feat. On his first few years traveling he was along side his father, Niccolò, and his uncle, Maffeo. At first the name Polo was not a name to a family of explorers, but simple merchants. On this first journey, Marco Polo became a favorite of Kublai Khan, the Mongol Emperor. He roamed through Mongolia and China for 17 years. During this time he went farther into China than any European had gone before. When he returned to Venice in 1295, he became a popular storyteller. People gathered at his home to hear his stories about all his travels in the Far East. In 1298, there was a conflict between Venice and Genoa, and Marco Polo was captured by the Genoese and imprisoned. While in jail, Marco Polo told the story of his travels to a writer who published the book, The Travels of Marco Polo. This book helped make Europeans very interested in trading with all of the Far East.This led to the explorations of Christopher Columbus and many others who were searching for a quicker way to sail to China and India.
-Brianna Maidens

The silk road was not a road of silk, nor was it a road at all. The silk road was a system of trade routes that extended from China, across Western Asia into Europe. Trade on this route had a large part in the development of the great civilizations across it's length. Spanning over 4,000 miles, this trade system allowed exchanges with what was then thought the other side of the world.This Silk Road began in Chang'an, what is now Xian, and extended to Dunhuang, where it divided into three different routes.The Southern Route, Central Route, and Northern Route. These three routes spread all over the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and even extend as far west as India and Rome.
-Brianna M.

The Silk Road opened up new ways for other religions to spread to the countries involved as well as money. The Crusades may have been called to make Christianity the dominant religion over all of the others that were being spread by the Silk Road, but they also may have occurred in order to break up trade between those countries involved to start a new route to Europe for financial gain.
-Michael S.

Trade on the Silk Road was a significant factor in the development of the great civilizations of China, India, Egypt, Persia, Arabia, and Rome, and in several respects helped lay the foundations for the modern world.
-Jenna S.

The Present
Benefits of trade:
When tariffs are lowered, relative prices change and resources are relocated to production activities that raise national incomes.
Trade liberalization can permanently raise a firm's productivity, as the firm gains access to up-to date capital equipment and high-quality intermediate inputs at lower prices.
Productivity rises when businesses are exposed to demanding international clients and the "best practices" of overseas competitors.
-Jenna S. & Chelsy M.

Although the Silk Road no longer exists as a trade route, sites along its course remain important tourist destinations. These sites include the ancient trading metropolises of Samarqand, Bukhara, and Khiva, and the towns of Dunhuang, Kashi, and Turpan, with their artistic and architectural treasures.
(from Encarta) © 1993-2003 Microsoft Corporation.
-Jenna S.

How has the Silk Road help shape our present day economy?-- The Silk Road, in a way, layed down the foundation of trade with other nations. It allowed rare goods to be imported and exported into Asia and from Asia. The goods imported were not available in the nations they were imported too. Trade along the road also helped the spread of culture throughout the world. Many ideas were brought back with the people who went from Europe into Asia. This helped Europeans to develop their own countries and integrate their own ideas into it.
Kolt G.

How would the world be different if the Silk Road didn't exist?-- The Silk Road spread culture, religion, and scientific ideas through Asia and Europe. If the Silk Road didn't exist the advances that we have today in science wouldn't exist, and rich cultural traditions may have been lost if they weren't spread over such a vast area. Culturally rich cities founded along the road would not exist and most of the culture they contain wouldn't exist.
Carrie. C

What is happening to the Silk Road today?-- Today the areas around the Silk Road are becoming important once again. The UN General Assembly made the decision to revive the Silk Road as an important channel of international cooperation in diplomacy, culture, science, trade, and tourism. Tourism is the leading role. Many jobs are being outsourced to areas around the Silk Road because it is cheap and easy to ship and transport goods from these areas.
Shane W.
Ruins Along the Silk Road

The Future
The Silk Road is currently out of use in its entirety. Now, only sections of it are being used as a means of tourism. The future will bring extended preservation of the road and its tourism; however, it will remain just that for around 15-25 years. Then, it may be reused as a new highway for all of Asia to use. Very possible is the opening of a new Silk Road through sea routes opened up by Global Warming. As technology in biodegradable fuels increases, the waste from the many developing third world countries will provide them with the fuel needed to travel great distances for trade. This will improve the world's economy and will provide benefits for them. As Americans, we will profit from this boost, but not nearly as much as the Asians. Because they will profit more than we will, our country and their countries’ economies will be close to equal.
-Michael S.

Conclusion-- The global economy was based on exports and imports. It was the beginning of international trade and cooperation. The spread of culture and scientific ideas was important to the people. Countries that didn't have a certain resource were dependent on foreign countries to bring the luxuries to them. In turn, the countries that were importing goods were trading away what they had that the other nations didn't. The spread of culture was a result of what was happening between these countries. R.J. K

End Synopsis-- The Silk Road was once an important trade route that allowed the growth of a world economy. It created many new cultures, and spread some too. The Silk Road was the beginning of a new era of trade and human interaction. Many of today's Asian cultures were started by people using the Silk Road. Those people could be considered some of the first pioneers.
The Silk Road ran from Eastern Europe all the way to China, in eastern Asia. The Middle East is the area where most of the cultures mixed together. The people there, although they were once considered some of the most intelligent people, are now considered backwards and uncivilized in some ways. Things have changed tremendously since the past. The area that surrounded the Silk Road was once prosperous and as of now, those areas have declined to almost nothing.
What was once the Silk Road is now becoming important again. Jobs are being outsourced to areas in Asia and the Middle East where the Silk Road once ran through. The poverty that has been surrounding those areas for many years is beginning to decline. Most people in the Middle East and Asia are still considerably poor, but their lives are beginning to take the form of our more modern Western lives.
The Silk Road, in the future, may pick up again. Many people will move back to the area and bring the jobs and culture back to the areas where it all began. If things continue on the path they are on now, the idea of the Silk Road being a major trade route once again is not impossible. Meanwhile, as the world economy weakens, many people are moving to trading for goods, instead of buying goods. Our group believes that the Silk Road is becoming important once again. Everything in life eventually has a way of going back to its origin. The Silk Road will follow the same pattern. The world will start to realize the importance of the trade route and begin to use the stops along it, just as it was in the past.
In conclusion, we strongly believe that the Silk Road began much of the world. Nations began importing and exporting goods on a major scale with each other. Cultures and ideas spread from the route and into the world. Civilizations began emerging along the road and from there, farther out in the world. Cultures mixed, languages changed, and scientific discoveries moved from one intellectual to another. The modern world has forgot its origin, but soon its origin will arise and the world will be forced to realize where it has come from.,-95.677068&spn=30.819956,56.162109&z=4,-95.677068&spn=30.819956,56.162109&z=4