A. One factor that fostered the development of states during the period from 1200-1450 was the growth of interregional trade. Interregional connections between states via the Silk Roads and Indian Ocean Trade Networks allowed states to establish and accumulate wealth.
B. Two of the largest empires during this period were the Mali Empire in West Africa and the Song Dynasty in East Asia, both of which accumulated wealth by controlling trade and taxing other peoples in their respective regions. The Song Dynasty used used the tribute system, which demanded periodic taxes and displays of reverence from surrounding states such as Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. In a similar fashion, the Mali Empire taxed all trade that occurred within western Africa. Both of these systems, which had very similar natures and purposes, allowed these states to collect wealth and assert authority over surrounding states.
C. One of the largest differences between the Mali Empire and Song China were the religions that they used to legitimize their rule. In the case of the Mali Empire, leaders such as Mansu Musa promoted Islam in order to establish a nation-wide religion and gain access to trading relationships with Arab merchants. This religion emphasized belief in one diety, Allah. On the other hand, Song China utilized the ideologies of Confucianism in order to legitimize their rule. This religion emphasized respect between different members of society rather than unification under one diety. While both religions allowed rulers to legitimize their rule, they did so using very different ideological and religious concepts.