Timeline of international trade

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The history of international trade chronicles notable events that have affected the trade between various countries.


In the era before the rise of the nation state, the term 'international' trade cannot be literally applied, but simply means trade over long distances; the sort of movement in goods which would represent international trade in the modern world.

Chronology of events

The desert Cities in the Negev were linked to the Mediterranean end of the ancient Incense Route. Shivta ruins in the Negev.jpg
The desert Cities in the Negev were linked to the Mediterranean end of the ancient Incense Route.



Roman trade with India according to the Periplus Maris Erythraei, 1st century CE Periplous of the Erythraean Sea.svg
Roman trade with India according to the Periplus Maris Erythraei, 1st century CE


A modern camel caravan travels across the Sahara. Bilma-Salzkarawane1.jpg
A modern camel caravan travels across the Sahara.

Early modern

Later modern

Monopolistic activity by the British East India Company triggered the Boston Tea Party. Boston tea party.jpg
Monopolistic activity by the British East India Company triggered the Boston Tea Party.

Post-World War II

A world map of WTO participation:
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Members, dually represented with the European Union and UK
Observer, ongoing accession
Non-member, negotiations pending
Non-member WTOmap currentstatus.png
A world map of WTO participation:
  Members, dually represented with the European Union and UK
  Observer, ongoing accession
  Non-member, negotiations pending

See also


  1. The twelve countries are Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
  2. The three EFTA member states are Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The fourth EFTA member, Switzerland, did not join the EEA, and instead negotiated a series of bilateral agreements with the EU over the next decade which allow it also to participate in the internal market.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Spice</span> Food flavoring

A spice is a seed, fruit, root, bark, or other plant substance primarily used for flavoring or coloring food. Spices are distinguished from herbs, which are the leaves, flowers, or stems of plants used for flavoring or as a garnish. Spices are sometimes used in medicine, religious rituals, cosmetics, or perfume production. For example, vanilla is commonly used as an ingredient in fragrance manufacturing.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Trade</span> Exchange of goods and services

Trade involves the transfer of goods and services from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system or network that allows trade as a market.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dutch East India Company</span> 1602–1799 Dutch trading company

The United East India Company was a chartered company established on 20 March 1602 by the States General of the Netherlands amalgamating existing companies into the first joint-stock company in the world, granting it a 21-year monopoly to carry out trade activities in Asia. Shares in the company could be bought by any resident of the United Provinces and then subsequently bought and sold in open-air secondary markets. It is sometimes considered to have been the first multinational corporation. It was a powerful company, possessing quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, imprison and execute convicts, negotiate treaties, strike its own coins, and establish colonies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mansa Musa</span> Ruler of Mali (c. 1312 – c. 1337)

Mansa Musa was the ninth mansa of the Mali Empire, which reached its territorial peak during his reign. Musa is known for his wealth and generosity. He has been subject to popular claims that he is the wealthiest person in history, but the extent of his actual wealth is not known with any certainty.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Human history</span> Narrative of humanitys past

Human history is the narrative of humankind's past. Humans evolved in Africa c. 300,000 years ago and initially lived as nomadic hunter-gatherers. Humans migrated out of Africa during the Last Glacial Period and had populated most of the Earth by the time the Ice Age ended 12,000 years ago. The Agricultural Revolution began soon afterwards in fertile river valleys of the Near East: humans began the systematic husbandry of plants and animals, and many humans transitioned from a nomadic life to a sedentary existence as farmers in permanent settlements. The growing complexity of human societies necessitated systems of accounting and writing.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Spice trade</span> Historic international commerce

The spice trade involved historical civilizations in Asia, Northeast Africa and Europe. Spices such as cinnamon, cassia, cardamom, ginger, pepper, nutmeg, star anise, clove, and turmeric were known and used in antiquity and traded in the Eastern World. These spices found their way into the Near East before the beginning of the Christian era, with fantastic tales hiding their true sources.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Trade route</span> Series of roads, pathways and stoppages for commercial trade on land; excludes rail

A trade route is a logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. The term can also be used to refer to trade over bodies of water. Allowing goods to reach distant markets, a single trade route contains long-distance arteries, which may further be connected to smaller networks of commercial and noncommercial transportation routes. Among notable trade routes was the Amber Road, which served as a dependable network for long-distance trade. Maritime trade along the Spice Route became prominent during the Middle Ages, when nations resorted to military means for control of this influential route. During the Middle Ages, organizations such as the Hanseatic League, aimed at protecting interests of the merchants and trade became increasingly prominent.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Eurasia</span>

The history of Eurasia is the collective history of a continental area with several distinct peripheral coastal regions: the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Western Europe, linked by the interior mass of the Eurasian steppe of Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Perhaps beginning with the Steppe Route trade, the early Silk Road, the Eurasian view of history seeks establishing genetic, cultural, and linguistic links between Eurasian cultures of antiquity. Much interest in this area lies with the presumed origin of the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language and chariot warfare in Central Eurasia.

In 1324, while staying in Cairo during his hajj, Mansa Musa, the ruler of the Mali Empire, told an Egyptian official whom he had befriended that he had come to rule when his predecessor led a large fleet in an attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean and never returned. This account, recorded by the Arab historian al-Umari, has attracted considerable interest and speculation as a possible instance of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact. The voyage is popularly attributed to a Mansa Abu Bakr II, but no such mansa ever reigned. Rather, the voyage is inferred to have been undertaken by Mansa Muhammad ibn Qu.

Abu Bakr, known as Bata Mande Bori in oral tradition, was the fifth mansa of the Mali Empire, reigning during the late 13th century. He was a son of a daughter of Sunjata, the founder of the Mali Empire, and may have been adopted by Sunjata as a son. Abu Bakr succeeded Khalifa, a tyrant who was deposed after a brief reign. Abu Bakr was the first mansa of the Mali Empire to succeed through the female line. It remains debated whether Abu Bakr's succession marked a return to a traditional pattern of succession that had been ignored by his predecessors or if it was a break from traditional succession caused by political instability. After an unremarkable reign, Abu Bakr was succeeded by Sakura, an enslaved court official who seized power in a coup.

Muhammad ibn Qu was the eighth mansa of the Mali Empire. He succeeded his father, Mansa Qu, and was the predecessor of Mali's most famous ruler, Mansa Musa. The exact dates of Muhammad ibn Qu's reign are not known with certainty, though his reign was certainly brief. His father's predecessor, Sakura, was killed at some point between 1298 and 1308 and his own successor Musa took the throne in 1307 or 1312. Musa said that his predecessor disappeared leading an expedition into the Atlantic Ocean.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Indian maritime history</span> Aspect of Indian history

Indian maritime history begins during the 3rd millennium BCE when inhabitants of the Indus Valley initiated maritime trading contact with Mesopotamia. As per Vedic records, Indian traders and merchants traded with the far east and Arabia. During the Maurya Empire, there was a definite "naval department" to supervise the ships and trade. At the end of 1st century BCE Indian products reached the Romans during the rule of Augustus, and the Roman historian Strabo mentions an increase in Roman trade with India following the Roman annexation of Egypt. As trade between India and the Greco-Roman world increased, spices became the main import from India to the Western world, bypassing silk and other commodities. Indians were present in Alexandria while Christian and Jewish settlers from Rome continued to live in India long after the fall of the Roman Empire, which resulted in Rome's loss of the Red Sea ports, previously used to secure trade with India by the Greco-Roman world since the Ptolemaic dynasty. The Indian commercial connection with Southeast Asia proved vital to the merchants of Arabia and Persia during the 7th–8th century. A study published in 2013 found that some 11 percent of Australian Aboriginal DNA is of Indian origin and suggests these immigrants arrived about 4,000 years ago, possibly at the same time dingoes first arrived in Australia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Indo-Roman trade relations</span> Trade between the Indian subcontinent and the Roman Empire

Indo-Roman trade relations was trade between the Indian subcontinent and the Roman Empire in Europe and the Mediterranean Sea. Trade through the overland caravan routes via Asia Minor and the Middle East, though at a relative trickle compared to later times, preceded the southern trade route via the Red Sea which started around the beginning of the Common Era (CE) following the reign of Augustus and his conquest of Egypt in 30 BCE.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of agriculture in the Indian subcontinent</span>

Indian agriculture began by 9000 BCE on north-west India with the early cultivation of plants, and domestication of crops and animals. Indian subcontinent agriculture was the largest producer of wheat and grain. They settled life soon followed with implements and techniques being developed for agriculture. Double monsoons led to two harvests being reaped in one year. Indian products soon reached the world via existing trading networks and foreign crops were introduced to India. Plants and animals—considered essential to their survival by the Indians—came to be worshiped and venerated.

Proto-globalization or early modern globalization is a period of the history of globalization roughly spanning the years between 1600 and 1800, following the period of archaic globalization. First introduced by historians A. G. Hopkins and Christopher Bayly, the term describes the phase of increasing trade links and cultural exchange that characterized the period immediately preceding the advent of so-called "modern globalization" in the 19th century.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">France–Asia relations</span>

France–Asia relations span a period of more than two millennia, starting in the 6th century BCE with the establishment of Marseille by Greeks from Asia Minor, and continuing in the 3rd century BCE with Gaulish invasions of Asia Minor to form the kingdom of Galatia, and Frankish Crusaders forming the Crusader states. Since these early interactions, France has had a rich history of contacts with the Asian continent.

Indian Ocean trade has been a key factor in East–West exchanges throughout history. Long-distance trade in dhows and proas made it a dynamic zone of interaction between peoples, cultures, and civilizations stretching from Southeast Asia to East and Southeast Africa and East Mediterranean in the West in prehistoric and early historic periods. Cities and states on the Indian Ocean rim focused on both the sea and the land.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Japan–Portugal relations</span> Bilateral relations

Japanese–Portugal relations describes the foreign relations between Japan and Portugal. Although Portuguese sailors visited Japan first in 1543, diplomatic relations started in the nineteenth century.

Interlopers are individuals or businesses who breach the monopoly of established guild, livery company or other body granted monopoly trading rights.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Indian Ocean slave trade</span>

The Indian Ocean slave trade, sometimes known as the East African slave trade or Arab slave trade, was multi-directional slave trade and has changed over time. Africans were sent as slaves to the Middle East, to Indian Ocean islands, to the Indian subcontinent, and later to the Americas.



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  • Northrup, Cynthia Clark, ed. Encyclopedia of World Trade. Volumes 1-4: From Ancient Times to the Present (Routledge, 2004). 1200pp online
  • Pomeranz, Kenneth. The World That Trade Created: Society, Culture, And the World Economy, 1400 to the Present (3rd ed. 2012)
  • Bernstein, William J. A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2008)
  • Vaidya, Ashish, ed. Globalization: Encyclopedia of Trade, Labor, and Politics (2 vol 2005)

Citated books

  • Colburn, Marta (2002). The Republic of Yemen: Development Challenges in the 21st Century. Progressio. ISBN   978-1-85287-249-6.
  • Corn, Charles (1999). The Scents of Eden: A History of the Spice Trade. Kodansha America. ISBN   978-1-56836-249-6.
  • Donkin, Robin A. (2003). Between East and West: The Moluccas and the Traffic in Spices Up to the Arrival of Europeans. Diane Publishing Company. ISBN   978-0-87169-248-1.
  • Rawlinson, Hugh George (2001). Intercourse Between India and the Western World: From the Earliest Times to the Fall of Rome. Asian Educational Services. ISBN   978-81-206-1549-6.
  • Young, Gary Keith (2001). Rome's Eastern Trade: International Commerce and Imperial Policy, 31 BC – AD 305. Routledge. ISBN   978-0-415-24219-6.