The Decline of the Silk Road

The Silk Road was a network of trade routes that connected China and the Far East with Europe and the Middle` East. The road derives its name from the profitable trading of silk. The silk roads were established in 130 B.C when the dynasty of Han in China opened trade with the West (Xin and Jingjing 168-73). The road influenced the introduction and development of business and cultures between states and people living along the Silk Road. The routes had an impact on customs, culture, commerce, and history, which are still evident in the present day.


The Silk Road connected regions of the ancient world through trade from130BCE TO 1453 CE. It covered areas like the Northern route, Southern route, Southwestern route, and the Maritime route. The Maritime route links China to Indonesia, India, Southeast Asia, Arab, Egypt, and Europe. The Silk Road connected to Japan and Korea to the East while connecting to Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Russia to the West. Besides, it links India to the South and the Middle East to the South-West of China.

The routes were functional until 1453 A.D when Ottoman boycotted trade with China and closed the Silk Roads. Although the Silk Road existed a long time ago, the networks still propel international Commerce. The Silk Road also traversed Asia and connected with Eurasia making way for the exchange of goods between the Far East and European countries during the Han Dynasty Between 2016 B.C to 220 A.D.

Figure 1: Regions of the Silk Road


Significance and Benefits of Silk Roads


The Silk roads have been in existence for many years. The routes passed through various empires, societies, kingdoms, and reigns throughout their history. The Silk Road is significant to communities living along the road.
Exchange of Cultures. Silk roads were significant in the transfer of cultures along the trade routes.

The Silk Roads helped in the exchange of arts, religions, languages, architecture, philosophy, and science. Through cultural exchange, people were able to live in unity and with mutual respect of other people’s perceptions.

Additionally, people could marry from different cultural backgrounds since interaction made them tolerant of diverse cultures.

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