The Indian Ocean trade had many changes and continuities. Economically, the Indian Ocean trade stayed the same with the spread of goods from one place to another, but changed because of the process goods were traded along the trade route. In cultural terms, the Indian Ocean trade stayed the same because of the same constant spread of religion and ideas, but also changed because of the spread of dominant religions already in some places. In the political aspect, the Indian Ocean trade stayed the same by growing while being successful under the control of various massive empires, and changed because of the change of which empires controlled the trade.
Over the course of the Indian Ocean Trade, a continuity was that the trade was always controlled by a strong empire. This continuity leads to how the politics of the trade changed because different empires controlled it at different times. At first the Portuguese dominated the trade. Later on in the early 17th century, the Dutch and English entered the trade and challenged the Portuguese. Together, the Dutch and the English took over the Portuguese, often by force. This shows continuity because a strong empire grew and controlled the trade, but shows change because of the different empires that controlled it.