Marco Polo: The Journey that Shaped Venetian History
Between 1254 and 1324, Marco Polo, who is believed to have traveled throughout Asia during the Mongol Empire, was born. Given that Polo started his adventures at the age of 17, the majority of the history and biography surrounding him focused on the journeys he took with his father. The journey, which came to be known as the Silk Road, was crucial to understanding the influence the man's life had on comprehending various facets of Venetian history. The desire to learn new concepts from the east was one of many factors that defined the motivation to journey across the vast regions at the time. It was plausible to relate from this experience of having been brought by other relatives because his father had gone for economic activities, Polo became a trader. It thus meant that Venice’s history and economic prosperity was traced down to the mindset that young people were made to have following the early exposure that people got in their surroundings. In fact, it was seen that Polo ended up following in the footsteps of his father and also became an explorer, which implied that there were many of such cases of parents training their children to be entrepreneurial and adventurous (Nisen, 2012). Overall, therefore, the implication that could be got from the travels that Niccolo had that alienated him from his son meant that at an early age, children would be trained to appreciate engaging in economic activities that derived economic prosperity in Venice.
The Westernization of China: Marco Polo's Influence
It was also apparent that because of the many travels that Marco Polo would engage in during his life, he would later be referred to as the supposed founder of the Western culture. As it would be expected, a large part of the exporter's life was based on the impact that he had in modern-day China with many of his explorations being in Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, and Mongolia. The Overall effect was that China would start feeling the Western culture because in the process of traversing the Silk Road, the explorer was able to introduce elements of Western culture to the East. The effect of the adventures in the economy of China and many other parts of the Eastern world were that they could now engage in westernization with the outcome being other Europeans being invoked to relate with the Chinese in the process (Nisen, 2012). For example, following his return to Venice, Polo was wearing eastern attire that had treasures at hand after he obtained the treasures on one of the many trips he had made. The effect was that he was nicknamed the millionaire as it played a huge role in defining the Chinese tourism.
A Generation of Explorers: Marco Polo's Legacy
It is also noted that the travels that Marco Polo engaged in would later define a new era of a generation of explorers in Venice, with many engaging in innovative practices that overall defined the economy of Venice. A large majority of those who were inspired by the travels that Polo engaged in ended up developing a mixed reaction that ranged from envy, curiosity, and desire with the idea of western civilization being an intriguing feature. Those who were determined enough opted to explore the unknown and search for the supposed treasures. One such iconic character was Christopher Columbus, who desired to travel across the East and realized that by traversing the lands, it would be dangerous (Silkroad Foundation, 2017). He opted, therefore, to use the sea as he thought that it would be a feasible option. In the end, Columbus ended up in a different place because while he thought that he was headed to China, he had actually landed in the Bahamas, with other explorers setting up colonies in new lands. The outcome was that the East started becoming an economic hub because while Polo inspired Columbus and others to travel, they ended up using other alternatives and safer routes that enabled them to establish more trading centers. The outcome was that many explorers ended up changing for the better as they were able to adjust their economic engagements based on the resources that they got in the new lands and they ended up setting up new colonies in the New World.
New Technologies: Marco Polo's Discoveries
In the course of his travels, it was also apparent that Marco Polo was exposed to new technologies that had not previously been felt by the Europeans. The most notable equipment that he managed to come back with was the compass that constituted a unique navigation device that had first been developed by the Chinese. The result was that with the compass at hand, Marco had initiated a new era in the understanding of the concept of exploration that would change for Europeans for the better (Silkroad Foundation, 2017). The explorers managed to navigate the sea and lands with ease and they could also venture the Venetian topography and other lands and seas as well.
The Economic Impact: Marco Polo's Contributions
Marco was also responsible for introducing a broad range of other products that eased the lifestyle of the colonies at the time, with spices, jade, ivory, raw silk, porcelain, noodles, paper, currency, and paper currency being among the many that he brought home (Silkroad Foundation, 2017). The outcome of the exploration that Marco had in the understanding of the economic prosperity in the land was that by integrating the new products and inventions, the Europeans could now develop a printing press. The idea was significant in the sense that it came after centuries of effort to establish such a feature that enabled mass prints to be made that changed the economic landscape of Venice and other colonies for the better.
The Invention of Paper Currency: Marco Polo's Influence
It was, however, critical to underscore the fact that in the process of his travels, Polo was able to bring home the intriguing concept of paper currency. The thought of such a feature being embraced appeared to be a surprising invention because it was unlikely that one would think of replacing paper with the treasures that were known at the time following the appreciation of gold and silver (Silkroad Foundation, 2017). One of his statements was, “With these pieces of paper they can buy anything and pay for anything. And I can tell you that the papers that reckon as ten bezants do not weigh one” (Silkroad Foundation, 2017). However, the effect was positive because with the paper currency being introduced, it meant that there was less burden on the traveling merchants carrying clunky gold and silver. The effect was that it became much easier to engage in economic transactions and trade processes because the paper currency was more efficient and easy to carry.
Conclusion: Marco Polo's Influence on Venetian Economy
To conclude, Marco Polo was one of the most celebrated Venetian merchants, with the early life and travels he made having played a significant role in the understanding of the economic landscape of Venice. He made use of the potential that was untapped in the East as it was overall intriguing because it meant that with his effort, he would later be referred to as the founder of trade technologies in the land. Among some of what he engaged in his early life were the travels that inspired other explorers, enabled the invention of the press, facilitated the exploration of the sea, and overall improvement of the Venice economy. Thus, because of the biography surrounding Marco Polo's life and the adventures that he engaged in, it was possible to relate the origin of the economic prosperity in Venetian history.
A&E Televisions Networks. (2017). Marco Polo. (A&E Television Networks, LLC). Retrieved on 2017 from http://www.history.com/topics/exploration/marco-polo
Nisen, M. (2012). How globalization created and destroyed the city of Venice. (Business Insider Inc.). Retrieved on September 8, 2012 from http://www.businessinsider.com/the-economic-history-of-venice-2012-8
Silkroad Foundation. (2017). Marco Polo’s effects on the East and the West. (Historpedia). Retrieved on Fall 2017 from https://sites.google.com/a/umn.edu/historpedia/home/interaction-exchange/marco-polo-s-effects-on-the-east-and-the-west-fall-2012