Introduction Paragraph Time Period In the time period 1450-1750, merchants wereviewed differently among rulers from civilization tocivilization. In Ming China and Ottoman Empire, bothhad absolute rulers who had their own opinions aboutthe merchant class in their population. Ming China andOttoman Empire are different in that Ming China lookeddown upon their merchants whereas the Ottomansrespected theirs, however, both civilizations’ merchantswere wealthy despite how the rulers viewed them. Missing Causation
Thesis Statement The Ottoman Empire had a great relationship withthe merchant class, encouraged trade, and gavemerchants benefits, while Tokugawa Japan stronglydiscouraged trade, looked down upon the merchantclass, and isolated themselves from the rest of theworld. Missing Causation and Similarity
Thesis Statement In Tokugawa Japan merchants were given lessrights and lower status due to Neo-Confuciangoverning policies and in the Ottoman Empiremerchants were treated well due to their religiousconnections to the prophet Muhammad. Missing Similarity
Thesis Statement In Ming China, with the exception of Yonglo, themerchants were frowned upon for both religious andeconomic reasons. However, in the Ottoman Empiremerchants were loved and even given special privilegesby the sultans due to Islamic beliefs. Missing Similarity
Thesis Statement The Ottoman Sultan and the Tokugawa Shogunboth influenced and regulated trade, however, OttomanIslamic beliefs and centralized location created apositive view of the merchants and a policy of tradewhile Confucian ideals and a protected location createda negative view of merchants and a policy of isolation.Despite these differences each policy had a positiveimpact on their respective society.
Sample Essay: Intro and Thesis During period 4 (1450-1750) a new set of Empireswere founded and interactions between societies wereformed again. Trade routes continued flourishing andmerchants gained enormous wealth if they weresuccessful. In two such empires, the Ottoman andTokugawa Japan, the trading class had a uniquerelationship with their ruler. Both Empires effectivelymonitored and controlled their traders with theirextensive bureaucracy but differed in where traderswere placed in society due to their respective religions,Islam and Confucianism and geographic locations.
Sample Essay: Body Paragraph 1 For merchants in both Japan and the OttomanEmpire bureaucracy was built to ensure fair trades andprevent the evasion of taxes. The Ottomans forexample, levied tariffs on foreign goods and providedfor inspections on the goods that were brought into theEmpire. In this way merchants would not cheat thegovernment. While trade was more limited in TokugawaJapan, similar restrictions were set on traders. Theywere to be inspected periodically in order to ensure theproper taxes had been paid and no illegal trades hadbeen made. Thus, in both the Ottoman Empire andTokugawa Japan traders were regulated with theirrespective government leaders.
Sample Essay: Body Paragraph 2 While both societies regulated trade, Japanesetraders faced many more restrictions. After a turninward during period 4, merchants were restricted totrading only with the Dutch, Chinese, and someKoreans. Such trade only took place in Nagasaki Bay.Also, trade with the Dutch only occurred a maximum ofonce a year. This difference comes from two factors.One, traders were considered a threat to Japanesesociety, and the Shogun was concerned of a foreigninvasion. Secondly, borrowed Confucian values puttraders on the lowest part of their society belowfarmers and peasants. Analysis
Sample Essay These factors were nearly the opposite in theOttoman society. Unlike their Japanese counterparts,the Ottomans were Muslim. The Islamic traditionteaches that their Prophet Muhammad was a trader.Therefore, merchants have a much increased socialstanding. This coupled with an empire that effectivelyserved as a middle man for the Silk Road trade createdan empire extremely tolerant and accepting of traders.Thus, while traders faced restrictions for these Analysisdifferences they were not as severe.
Sample Essay This point lends itself to one final difference:geographic location. Being a group of islands, Japanhad little benefit from trading in a terms of sustenance,most goods could be produced domestically. Thisreason further eroded the standing of merchants inTokugawa Japan. The Ottomans on the other handfocused on expansion, not nurturing domestic markets.This, in addition to their key location as the linkbetween Europe and the lucrative silk routes forced areliance on traders. In this situation, the relationshipbetween merchants and government only increased.
Conclusion Overall, during the 4th period interactions between peoplesexpanded across the globe. A complex network of trade thatlinked sellers of silk in Ming China with buyers in Europedeveloped and lead to the rise of a powerful class of merchants. Intwo such empires, the Ottoman and the Tokugawa, traders wererestricted by government overseers and investigators, in additionto tariffs, but because of differences in geographic position andreligion the relationship between merchant and rulers was verydifferent. In Japan, it’s island geography and classic Confucianvalues created a superior and inferior relationship betweenShogun and merchant. In the Ottoman Empire, Islam and it’s“Middle Man” geography lent itself to less restrictive and more fairrelationship between the Sultan and traders.