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Unit 2: How Trade and Travel Changed the World

Lesson A: Costs and Benefits of Trade

Activity 3: Early Trade and the Rise of Europe

Map of Europe in 1328 Map of Europe in 1328

Map of Europe in 1328 [1]

Think about your responses in the previous activity in which you considered personal experiences with purchasing needed goods. You may recall that you had to decide how you could acquire goods in order to live your own life.

During the late Middle Ages, Europeans also came under the control of individual leaders. This was partly made possible by the wealth created by trade with areas such as the Mediterranean Sea region, North Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Agriculture such as grain and manufactured tools allowed merchants and governments to gain wealth.

The methods used for trade include land-based routes and networks, animals, such as camels, and sea-based methods using sailing vessels. These can be considered the "costs of trade" because to build and maintain them costs money and workers. These methods also created benefits by making needed goods more available to merchants, and supporting the wealth of new European empires. European countries and monarchs competed for the wealth created by trade.

Cost or Benefit?

Interactive IconDirections: Consider how each of the following choices is an example of a cost or benefit of trade for Europeans and then drag it to the correct column. Use the buttons provided to check the latest move or, when you are done, check the whole question.


Consider how your responses to earlier questions about your own experience with acquiring needed goods are similar to the interregional trade in Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Notebook Icon

Written Activity - Notebook

Now, consider the costs and benefits of acquiring goods from your own life. In your notebook, respond to the following questions:

  • What are the costs of acquiring needed goods?
  • What are the benefits of acquiring the same needed goods?


Page Notes:

[1] Source: This image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Europein1328.png has been released into the public domain by its author and copyright holder, Lynn H. Nelson.