The history of trade in Asia is very interesting for us to discuss. Because, in Indonesian historiography, this record is very important to identify the motives for the arrival of Westerners to the archipelago.
As we all know, Westerners are willing to go exploring the world in order to get spices, by sailing for months at sea.
Of course this is a very interesting thing to do research on, why is this commodity so important for Europe, and why is the Archipelago one of their destination areas.
Instead of being curious, let’s go straight to the history of trade in Asia below. Don’t forget to note if there are things that are important and interesting.
Silk Road, Archipelago Trade Becomes Modern and Develops
The history of trade in Asia notes that the existence of the silk route (a term to refer to the European spice route to Asia) made the archipelago modern and developed.
The Europeans were the group that pioneered the opening of this pathway. They opened this route so that the need to obtain commodities would be easier and faster.
At that time, the European group that became the big boss of trade in Asia was Venice. This group has even been a provider of important commodity countries for Europe and beyond.
Portuguese Cut Trade Routes in East Asia
After the history of trade in Asia recorded Venice’s track record as a country that dominated European trade, then lost after the Portuguese cut the Silk Road.
Apart from Venice going bankrupt as a provider of trading commodities for Europe, it turns out that the cutting off the Portuguese route also had an impact on the trading situation of the people in East Asia.
Interestingly, the Portuguese actually relied on Malacca (a region in Southeast Asia) as a provider of commodity goods that were important to the country.
Attack on Portuguese Ships in Ambon
This interesting note from the history of trade in Asia also mentions that there was an attack on Portuguese ships in the Ambon area.
This is certainly an important event in the history of Indonesia. This event occurred because of the killing of a member of the Ambon kingdom by the Portuguese.
From this incident, many Ambonese and other Indonesians began to distrust the Portuguese as commodity collectors they had previously trusted.
Sea and Boats, Two Interrelated Elements of Trade
Two important elements, such as the sea and boats, are important and interrelated with each other. Just like the Europeans who need a boat to navigate the spice adventure.
Apart from that, Asian people are the same, they need sea and sea to communicate with the outside world, and of course to carry out their daily activities.
There are also those who use boats and the sea to create a national identity. For example, the archipelago that is now Indonesia knows the identity of their sailor ancestors.
This is certainly an interesting fact to be studied more deeply, especially the study of the history of trade in commodities from abroad that our nation has needed for a long time.