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The World of the 15th Century Part 2






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The World of the 15th Century Part 2 The World of the 15th Century Part 2 Presentation Transcript

  • The World of the 15th Century
    Strayer Chapter 13
    Part II: China and Europe Compared
  • Part II: China and Europe compared
    Complex civilizations
    Large city-centered state-based societies
    Dense population centers
    Powerful and innovative
    Unequal in terms of class and gender
    Influenced large numbers of people, though most people identified themselves based on local communities
  • Ming Dynasty China (1368-1644)
    Defeated the Mongols in 1368
    Reestablished Confucian based government
    Attempted to eliminate all signs of foreign rule
    Moved the capital to the Forbidden City in Beijing
  • Restored China after years of Mongol neglect
    Brought back civil service exams
    Restored farm land
    Rebuilt canals, reservoirs, and irrigation works
    Planted a billion trees and reforested China
    Helped the economy rebound by encouraging both domestic which led to population growth
    Began extensive maritime
  • Ming Maritime Madness
    Launched by Emperor Yongle in 1405
    Launched six expeditions in 28 years
    Largest expeditions in history up to that time
    First expedition led by Zheng He included:
    300 boats
    27,000 crew members
    180 physicians
    5 astrologers
    Carpenters, tailors, accountants, merchants, cooks, soldiers, and sailors
  • Purpose of Chinese Expeditions
    Establish Chinese power and prestige in the world
    Did not seek to:
    Gain control
    of foreign markets
  • The Sudden End
    1433- Yongle dies, his successor immediately ends expeditions
    Gov’t officials saw expeditions as a waste of resources
    Believed China should focus on fortifying its northern border against nomadic invaders
    Believed China was a self-sufficient “Middle Kingdom” that required little from the outside world
  • Government sponsorship of foreign trade and exploration ended
    Chinese merchants and craftsmen continued to settle and trade in Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Southeast Asia
    What might the world have been like if China had not turned its focus inward?
  • European Comparisons: State Building and Cultural Renewal
    Like China rebuilt from the Mongols, Europe rebuilt from the Bubonic Plague
    Whereas China was a single state, Europe was fragmented into separate, independent, competitive states
  • States learned to efficiently tax citizens to:
    Strengthen government
    Build infrastructure
    Build strong professional armies
    China remained at peace, but in Europe, war and competition between states led to huge innovations (100 Years War)
  • European Culture Blossoms
    The Renaissance in Europe parallels the reemergence of Confucian learning in China
    Mainly effected wealthy elites who believed they lived in a whole new era
    Trade and commercial success created a wealthy merchant class who became patrons of the arts
    Artists and authors drew inspiration from classical Greece and Rome
  • Greek V. Renaissance
  • Broke away from religious confines of the Middle Ages
    Art and literature became more secular
    Emphasis placed on the role of the individual Humanism
  • European Comparisons: Maritime Voyaging
    European monarchs and traders were eager to dominate the spice trade
    Portugal began exploring the African coast in 1415 looking for a south east passage to India
    1492- Christopher Columbus sailed west to find an all water route to Asia, discovered Americas
    1497- Vasco da Gama round tip of Africa and sails to southern India
  • European expeditions were MUCH smaller than Chinese ones
    Columbus had 3 boats and 90 crew
    da Gama had 4 boats and 170 crew
  • Motivations for European Voyages
    European states competed to control the wealth of Africa and Asia
    Europeans, still bitter from the Crusades, sought to break Muslim control of trade routes
    Tried to monopolize commerce on the Indian Ocean by force
    Violently carved out empires in the New World
  • Other Major Differences
    China ended overseas expeditions but Europeans escalated theirs into massive empire building efforts
    China was relatively centralized, but Europe was politically fragmented leading to more innovations to use to dominate each other
    Confucian scholars opposed expeditions, but the Catholic Church supported them hoping to spread its influence
  • Questions
    What are some of the major achievements of Ming China?
    What political and cultural differences stand out in the histories of 15th century China and Europe?
    What similarities are apparent?
    In what ways did European maritime voyaging in the 15th century differ from that of China?
    What accounts for these differences?